G. McConway
March 11, 2023

‘Baretta’ Star Robert Blake Dead at 89

Another TV icon from our childhood is gone.

This time, it is Robert Blake, the star of the police show, "Baretta," reports the New York Times.

He was 89 years old.

Fall from Grace

Blake was a favorite for many of us growing up because of his tough-guy persona on "Baretta."

He got his start as a child, being one of the members of "Our Gang," better known as "The Little Rascals." He was also very popular in western films, such as "The Big Noise," "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre," and "The Black Rose."

In 1975, he landed the title role in "Baretta," one for which he will forever be known. I can still hear him say, "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time."

His fall from grace came when he was accused of murdering his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, in 2001.

He was tried and acquitted of the crime, but it was something that would follow him around for the rest of his life.

Bakley was found in a car with a gunshot wound to her head, and Blake was arrested and charged with one count of murder with special circumstances, two counts of solicitation of murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder about a year later, reports Fox News.

Blake was in jail for a year before being able to post his $1.5 million in bail.

Blake always proclaimed his innocence in the matter, and the jury agreed with him.

Even though he was acquitted for the murder, he was found guilty in a civil case and ordered to pay restitution to Bakley's family to the tune of $30 million, which bankrupted him. I will never understand how a civil case can proceed after an acquittal, but that is another matter altogether.

Blake's niece announced his death, stating, "He died at home with family around him peacefully, long-term heart issues. He spent the last few years listening to jazz music and playing his guitar and watching classic movies."

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