LOS ANGELES: Actor Robert Blake, who played a mass murderer in the film adaptation of Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood” and was acquitted of murdering his own wife in real life, has died in Los Angeles, US media reported Thursday. He was 89.
Showbiz outlet Deadline reported Blake died of heart disease and said his niece Noreen Austin confirmed the news.
Blake, who rose to fame as a US TV detective on the 1970s series Baretta, made a name for himself as a hell of an actor who got into fistfights with co-workers.
But his career, which began as a child, was overshadowed by the murder of his wife, a crime for which he was tried and acquitted.
Bonny Lee Bakley was in a relationship with Christian Brando, son of Marlon Brando, when she met Blake at a Los Angeles nightclub in 1999.
Paternity tests on the child she gave birth to a few months later revealed that Blake, not Brando, was the father and the couple were married.
In 2001, Bakley was found dead by a gunshot in a car outside a restaurant where she and Blake had just had dinner.
At his trial, Blake said his wife was shot while he was returning to the restaurant to pick up a gun he accidentally left behind.
The actor claimed he returned to the car to find his wife bleeding profusely from a gunshot wound to the head and shoulder.
Possible perpetrators, Blake’s attorney told jurors, included Bakley’s seven previous husbands, hundreds of men who cheated on her, and Christian Brando.
The jury heard evidence that Blake had attempted to hire stuntmen to kill his wife but acquitted him in early 2005.
Later that year, a civil jury found him liable for Bakley’s death and ordered him to pay her family $30 million. -AFP
https://www.thesundaily.my/home/in-cold-blood-actor-robert-blake-acquitted-of-wife-s-murder-dead-at-89-AF10733399 ‘In Cold Blood’ actor Robert Blake, acquitted of wife’s murder, dies aged 89