Actor Robert Blake has passed away. His lengthy career was clouded by claims that he killed his wife. He was 89.
He was well-known for his parts in the movies Lost Highway and the TV show Baretta, but his career suffered after his wife was fatally shot in 2001.
Although being cleared of the murder allegation against him, he was eventually judged responsible for her passing in a civil lawsuit.
His family confirmed in a statement that he passed away “peacefully with family and friends” on Thursday.
He passed away from heart illness, according to a statement issued by his niece Noreen Austin.
The New Jersey native made his acting debut as a youngster by taking part in the Our Gang comedy series.
He also appeared in the 1967 version of Truman Capote’s novel In Cold Blood and the classic movie The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.
His career never recovered following his incarceration, despite him once being regarded as one of the greatest performers of his generation.
When she was shot, Mrs. Blake was driving by herself in the actor’s automobile in the Studio City neighborhood of Los Angeles.
The actor told police that after leaving her alone so he could go back to the restaurant where they had just eaten to get a gun he had left behind, he returned and discovered she was dead.
A jury in Los Angeles ruled Mr. Blake not guilty of her murder four years after she passed away, including the year he spent in jail as he awaited trial.
At the time, analogies to the case of famous defendant OJ Simpson, who had been exonerated of murdering his ex-wife in Los Angeles ten years prior, were frequently made.
Mr. Blake has consistently defended his innocence.