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Actor Robert Blake dead at 89

Actor Robert Blake dead at 89
Robert Blake / © Cover Media

Actor Robert Blake has died at the age of 89.

Blake died from heart disease at his residence in Los Angeles on Thursday, according to a statement released by his niece Noreen Austin.

Blake, who began his career as a child actor, was most recognised for his Emmy-winning performance as the titular undercover cop on the TV series Baretta in the 1970s as well as roles in Lost Highway, In Cold Blood and Judgment Day: The John List Story.

However, his career never recovered following the death of his wife Bonny Lee Bakley in May 2001.

Bakley was found dead in Blake's car with a gunshot wound to the head after the pair had dined at a restaurant in Studio City, California. Blake alleged he had left his wife sitting in the car while he went back to the restaurant, where he inadvertently left his firearm, and was not present when the shooting occurred.

Blake was arrested and his trial began in December 2004, and he was acquitted of the charges in March 2005. However, Bakley's children filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Blake in November of the same year, and he was found liable in civil court and ordered to pay $30 million (£25 million). He filed for bankruptcy in February of the following year.

Subsequently, Blake kept a low public profile for many years.

He is survived by three children: Noah and Delinah, from his marriage to Sondra Kerr, and Rose, his daughter from his marriage to Bakley.

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