American actor Robert Blake, accused then acquitted of the murder of his wife, is dead

American actor Robert Blake, in Los Angeles, USA, April 11, 1977.

He had distinguished himself in the 1970s in the police series Baretta. American actor Robert Blake died Thursday, March 9, at the age of 89 following heart disease, confirmed several American media including CNN And variety. His niece Noreen Austin announced her death to the American agency Associated Press, stating that the actor died surrounded by his family in Los Angeles.

This so-called temperamental actor, able to fight with his colleagues, was preceded by his reputation in Hollywood. He had also played a chilling criminal in the adaptation of Truman Capote’s masterpiece In cold blood (1967).

Judicial soap opera

The actor’s career was subsequently marred by a court scandal linked to the murder of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley. Robert Blake is a time accused of having shot her, on May 4, 2001, a bullet in the head, six months after marrying her, while she was sitting in their car near a restaurant in Hollywood.

At trial, the prosecution assured that the actor “despised Bonny Lee Bakley” because “She had become pregnant against her will and (…) had refused an abortion as he had requested”. According to the prosecution at the time, Robert Blake had tried to persuade two stuntmen who 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, has always claimed his innocence. At trial, he explained that his wife had been killed when he returned to the restaurant to pick up a gun he had accidentally left behind. According to him, he had discovered her on her return to the car, bleeding profusely.

Cleared in criminal proceedings, declared liable in civil proceedings

His lawyer had explained to the jurors that the seven previous husbands of Mme Bakley, the hundreds of men she had defrauded, and Christian Brando, Marlon Brando’s son, whom she had dated, could all be possible perpetrators. Mr. Blake had been cleared in the criminal beginning of 2005. But that same year, a civil jury had then found him responsible for the death of Bakley and ordered to pay $30 million to his family.

In addition to his roles in Baretta And In cold bloodRobert Blake, who had started on the boards at the age of 6, had played in several films, including Money Train (1995) and Lost Highway (1997), by David Lynch.

Le Monde with AP and AFP

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