Robert Blake was a brilliant actor famous for his impeccable performance in "Our Gang." When his wife was killed, police had no choice but to arrest the actor, and since he left jail, things have not remained the same.
Robert Blake was a former child actor who began his career starring as Mickey in the short movie "Our Gang."
Blake rose to fame when he was nominated for an Oscar after his performance in the 1967 movie "Cold Blood" where he starred as a condemned killer. On the 1979 TV show "Baretta," he appeared as a tough-talking detective.
Things took a tragic turn for Blake on May 4, 2001, when his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, was found dead. She suffered gunshot wounds to the head and was discovered outside Vitello's restaurant in Studio City, California.
Bakley and Blake married six months earlier after a paternity test revealed that Bakley was carrying the actor's child. The actress was in a relationship with Christian Brando before the paternity results.
On the day of the tragic incident, the couple had just finished dinner. Bakley sat in her husband's car waiting for him when she got shot in the head twice.
When asked, Blake told the police he was not at the scene when his wife was attacked. According to the actor, he was getting a gun that fell out of his clothes in the restaurant.
However compelling the story was, the authorities had a hard time believing it, and Blake was charged with murder. The couple had a daughter Rose Lenore who was only 11 months old at the time.
After almost a year in jail, the actor was released on bail, posted at $1.5 million. He was also able to see his daughter Rose Lenore who was being taken care of by her older sister Delinah. Blake shared Delinah with his first wife of 20 years, Sondra Kerry.
Blake went on trial for his connection to Bakley's death but was acquitted in March 2005 as the prosecutors did not have enough concrete evidence to prove he was guilty.
He was found civilly liable in the wrongful death suit and was asked to pay the sum of $30 million. Soon after, the actor filed for bankruptcy.
LENORE SPEAKS OUT
In 2019, years after the awful incident, Blake's daughter Lenore sat with People Magazine for an interview. She opened up about how she had contact with her father as a toddler.
According to Lenore, the actor would visit her half-sister's place, and they would play in the backyard, sometimes looking for bugs. Lenore also claimed they lost touch when she was five and didn't see each other until over a decade later, in 2009.
When they reunited, Lenore, who calls the actor Robert instead of dad, revealed they talked about her childhood and what he's been up to since leaving jail.
DEALING WITH HER MOTHER'S DEATH
Lenore revealed that she had no idea where her mother was buried for a long time after her demise. She shared that although she could have asked, she was not ready to deal with the reality. At 18, Lenore eventually went to visit her mother's grave.
Losing her mother the way she did was traumatic, and the trauma reportedly resulted in depression and anxiety. However, Lenore revealed that staying with Delinah and her husband in Sherman Oaks shielded her from the media attention that her mother's death generated.
She recalled an incident where she was performing as a cheerleader at a football game in high school. Lenore saw someone taking pictures of her, and a few weeks later, those pictures appeared in a magazine.
She explained that even though the magazine painted a positive outlook, it created a distance between her and some classmates. At the time of the interview with People, Lenore, who had two cats, lived with her boyfriend.
She admitted to being happy with her life and had plans to chase her lifelong dream of being an actress. Blake's daughter also said she had let go of all the nervousness, anxiety, and sadness she felt as a kid.
At the end of the interview, Lenore claimed she wanted to set the record straight about her life since there has been a lot said in the media over the years.
BLAKE'S LIFE AFTER JAIL
In an interview with CNN Reporter Piers Morgan to promote his self-published memoir "Tales Of A Rascal," Blake revealed the book was not about his late wife. The revelation came after Morgan asked about the details of his murder case.
Excerpts obtained from the book, which Blake also posted online, contain detailed descriptions of the events that led to the murder and his time in jail awaiting trial.
Blake, 78 at the time, claimed he was innocent and accused Morgan of being uncool as he only agreed to the interview to talk about his book. He also blamed Bakley's past for her death.
He mentioned that nobody knew who she was, exposing Bakley as a con artist who owned 15 ID and credit cards. He accused her of moving to Hollywood with the plan of conning her way into fame.
Blake further explained that someone in her past with a grudge probably saw her in the news when they married and came to get revenge.
The actor also used profane words throughout the interview, sometimes quoting words from interviews and movies he appeared in. When asked about where he lived, Blake responded he was broke and was staying in an apartment.
Before the interview ended, the former actor called Morgan "Charlie potatoes," a reference from his 1968 movie "The Defiant Ones." He also accused the CNN reporter of being just like the cops.
Blake got married for the third time to Pamela Hudak in 2017, but they divorced a year after saying, "I do." The former couple reportedly knew each other for decades and would occasionally date on and off before they finally tied the knot.
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