Death of actor Robert Blake, star of “In cold blood” and acquitted of the murder of his wife

Death of actor Robert Blake, star of “In Cold Blood” and acquitted ; of the murder of his wife


He had played a chilling criminal in the adaptation of “In cold blood”, the masterpiece of Truman Capote, before being prosecuted in real life and then acquitted for the murder of his wife: actor Robert Blake died Thursday at the age of 89, according to the American press. 

The American comedian died of heart disease, according to the specialized site Deadline, which quoted his niece.

Known as the vigilante of the American series “Baretta” in the 1970s, this temperamental actor, able to fight with his colleagues, was preceded by his reputation in Hollywood.

His career was clouded by the murder of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, a crime for which he was prosecuted before being cleared.

Robert Blake was charged with the May 4, 2001 shooting of him in the head, six months after he married her, while she was sitting in their car near a Hollywood restaurant.

At trial, the prosecution had assured that the actor “despised Bonny Lee Bakley”, because “she had become pregnant against her will and (…) she had refused an abortion as he had asked her”.

According to the prosecution at the time, Robert Blake had tried to persuade two stuntmen who had worked with him to kill his wife, before she was found dead.

The actor, who had consented to the marriage after paternity tests proved that he was the father of a little girl, he always claimed his innocence.

At trial, he explained that his wife was killed when he returned to the restaurant to pick up a gun he had accidentally left behind. According to him, he had discovered her when she returned to the car, bleeding profusely from a gunshot wound to the head and shoulder.

His lawyer told the jury that the seven previous husbands of Mrs. Bakley, the hundreds of men she had defrauded and Christian Brando, the son of Marlon Brando, whom she had dated, were the possible perpetrators of the crime.

Mr. Blake was cleared of criminal charges in early 2005. But that same year, a civil jury later found him responsible for Ms. Bakley's death and ordered to pay her family $30 million.

In addition to his role of vigilante in “Baretta” (1975), Robert Blake, who had started on the boards at the age of six, had played in several films, including “In cold blood” (1967), where he had a role of murderer, “Money train” (1995) and “Lost Highway”, by David Lynch, in 1997.