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Follow the Blake case on Court TV



Click Here to visit Morty's "Baretta" Showcard. Get episode guides, "Baretta" on DVD and more!




See Blake's arrest record at the County of LA's Sheriffs Department
(Inmate information Center)

 

Wow! What a Site!

"Potus" suggested I check out this site, wow! "The Murder of Bonnie Bakley" it is excellent  ****
 
  Robert Blake
 in the News
 
  The following are links to recent stories related to the Robert Blake trial:
New Page 1

WNYT
Robert Blake acquitted of murder NDTV.com, India
A US jury acquitted actor Robert Blake on Wednesday of murder in the shooting death of his wife four years ago. The jury also acquitted ...
Newly Acquitted Robert Blake Seeks Work ABC News
Robert Blake: Actor found not guilty in the 2001 shooting death of ... San Diego Union Tribune
With costly murder case behind him, Blake says he needs a job San Diego Union Tribune - all 1,228 related 

USA Today
Newly acquitted Robert Blake seeks work USA Today 
... entertainment industry. By Nick Ut, AP. Moments after his trial ended, Robert Blake was making a pitch to Hollywood. "I'm broke. I ...
Calif. Lawyer Vows to 'Wipe Smile Off' Blake's Face Reuters
Actor Robert Blake acquitted of his wife's murder CourtTV
Jurors weighing fate of Robert Blake request second readback of ... CourtTV

Contactmusic.com
BLAKE BEGS FOR EMPLOYMENT AFTER MURDER TRIAL Contactmusic.com, UK -
Exonerated actor ROBERT BLAKE made an emotional appeal for employment just moments after his murder trial ended last night (17MAR05) - because legal fees have ...
BLAKE GEARS UP FOR ANOTHER COURT BATTLE Contactmusic.com
BLAKE FANS FLOCK TO ACTOR'S FAVOURITE RESTAURANT Contactmusic.com
BLAKE INDEBTED TO ATTORNEY SCHWARTZBACH Contactmusic.com
all 4 related 
Defense attorney called a godsend by acquitted tough guy actor San Jose Mercury News
all 63 related 

The American Weasel (satire)
Robert Blake Not Guilty antiMUSIC.com, CA (antiTainment) Update: Actor Robert Blake sat with a worried look on his face as he prepared to hear the verdict of the jury in the murder trial of his wife ...
Robert Blake Not Guilty in Murder Trial The American Weasel (satire)
More The Daily Farce (satire)
Ay! The Jury LA Weekly
all 4 related 
Decatur Journalist Knew Wife of Robert Blake WAFF, AL -... at the jury's decision. Chris Bell knew Bonnie Lee Bakely well, the wife of Robert Blake who was shot to death. Bell said he wasn ...
Actor Robert Blake acquitted of murdering his wife in 2001 Bakersfield Californian (subscription), CA - LOS ANGELES (AP) - A jury acquitted tough-guy actor Robert Blake of murder in the shooting death of his wife four years ago, bringing a stunning end Wednesday ...

Defamer.com
Robert Blake Off To Do Some Cowboying  Defamer.com, CA - Hey, Robert Blake, youve just been acquitted of murdering your wife! So what are you gonna do? Disneyland? Im going ...
 
Robert Blake Found Not Guilty  WLNS, MI - The verdict has been handed down in Actor Robert Blakes' murder case- not guilty. Blake was being tried for the shooting death of ...
Robert Blake: Not Guilty  580 CFRA Radio, Canada - The actor was found not guilty of first-degree murder in the death of his former wife. Appearing overjoyed as the verdict was read ...
Jurors hear Robert Blake and witnesses to his wife's death  LOS ANGELES Jurors in the Robert Blake murder trial came as close as they may come to having the actor testify, viewing a videotape of him speaking before ...
Blake didn't aid dying wife, says a witness New York Daily News
Actor Robert Blake acted oddly, witnesses say Khaleej Times
Murder trial of film star Robert Blake gets underway Taipei Times

Guardian
Blake acted oddly, murder trial told  Robert Blake did not try to help his wife as she lay dying in his car, three prosecution witnesses told a Los Angeles court yesterday, on the second day of the ...
WITNESSES CLAIM BLAKE DIDN'T HELP DYING WIFE Contactmusic.com
  Robert Blake:
Child Actor
 
  Robert Blake started acting in films at age six.

Mickey Gubitosi and Spanky McFarland in
"The Little Rascals."

From 1939 to 1944, Robert Blake appeared as Mickey in over 40 of "The Little Rascals' Our Gang" comedies for Hal Roach at MGM. His brothers and sisters also sometimes appeared with him in supporting roles.   From 1944 thru '47 he played "Little Beaver" in over 20 "Red Ryder" western movies for Republic Pictures.  By this time,  Michael Gubitosi, had changed his name to Bobby Blake.  In 1948 Bobby appeared with Humphrey Bogart in "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre."  By now Blake was 15.  As a teenager, Blake landed fewer roles, but there were very few years in his life that he was unemployed.  Blake spent 1954 to '56 in the military.  When he returned to Hollywood, he was cast in "Pork Chop Hill."
  Robert Blake
(A Star Once More)
 
   
In 1963 Blake was a regular cast member on "The Richard Boone Show."  In 1964 Blake married Sondra Kerr, who who later appear on several "Baretta" episodes as "Candy."  That same year, Sondra gave birth to Noah Blake.  By 1967 he was getting rave reviews again for his portrayal of Perry Smith (the starring role) in Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood."  In 1969 Sondra gave Blake a daughter, Delinah.  1973 brought us "Electra Glide in Blue," although some disagree, I consider this one of the best pictures of the '70's.  Blake was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Actor in a  Drama. 

In 1975 Blake got the role he would be best remembered for, Detective Tony Baretta in the Stephen J. Cannell TV series "Baretta."   During the first season, Blake had troubles on the set with co-star Dana Elcar, who  was replaced by Ed Grover when the series returned for its second season.  Blake also fought with producers on the hit series, and the second season saw changes in management too. Blake won an Emmy for his Baretta role.  In 1976 "Baretta" was in 22nd place in the ratings for ABC. 

Blake's dynamic, no-holds-barred personality made him a favorite of talk shows like like "The Tonight Show, Starring Johnny Carson," and "Hollywood Squares."  In 1977, Blake even hosted the Emmys.   During the series Blake publicly criticized the "Baretta"  scripts for being too violent. After four seasons and 80 episodes, the network and producers called it quits. 

Following "Baretta," Blake did a half dozen mediocre TV movies, and thus proved he was not "difficult" to work with.  In 1983 he divorced Sondra.  In 1985 Blake landed the starring role of Father Noah 'Hardstep' Rivers in yet another series, "Hell Town."  Father Rivers was pretty much like Baretta with a Bible, but this time the violence was turned down a a level Blake was comfortable with.  Although "Helltown"  never made it into the Nielsen top 30, it was considered a success against the tough competition of "Dynasty." 

"Hell Town" lasted just one season, Blake quit the series when his personal demons (depression, drugs)  became overwhelming.

After a self-imposed exile of nearly eight years, during which he struggled to right his life, he returned to work in 1993 to appear in the TV movie "Judgment Day: The John List Story."   The five foot four Blake born no resemblance to John List and some critics thought he was miscast, however the role still earned him an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Special.

After another break, Blake would make two more feature films "Money Train" (1995)  and "Lost Highway" (1997). 
  Robert Blake
&
Bonny
 
  In 1999 Robert Blake met Bonny Lee Bakley in an LA jazz club.
Bakley's past was checkered by a criminal record. She made a living running a lonely hearts scheme, sending provocative pictures of herself to men with the promise of visiting them if they sent her money. After receiving money, she would never show. By the time she died she had accumulated an estate that included three houses.  She had been convicted in Arkansas for possessing false identifications. 

The 44-year-old Bakley, who went by several aliases, had been married numerous times so many in fact, that several of her former husbands don't know how many marriages she's had or whether she was even divorced when she remarried.

In June of 2000 Bakley gave birth to  her fourth child, a baby girl.  Initially, Bakley believed the baby was fathered by Christian Brando, son of Marlon Brando. Bakley claimed to have become involved with him after he was released from prison after serving half of a 10-year sentenced for manslaughter for killing his half-sister's boyfriend in 1990.

She named her daughter Christian Shannon Brando, but later told Blake she wasn't sure if the baby was Brando's. When a DNA test determined that it was Blake, not Brando, that was the father of Bakley's youngest child, Blake agreed to marry her, and the baby's name was changed to Rose Lenore Sophia Blake. 

Full details of the relationship and the events of Bakley's murder can be found in Court TV's background files. 

  The Robert Blake
FAQ File
 
   
What was Batetta's full name?
Robert Blake played Detective Anthony Vincenzo Baretta.

What was the name of Baretta's Bird?
Baretta's bird was a cockatoo named Fred.

What was the name of the pool hall that Baretta hung out in?
When not out solving crimes in New York City's 53rd precinct, you'd find Baretta at Ross's Billiard Academy.

What kind of car did Baretta drive?
Tony drives a Chevy Impala.

What was Baretta's father's name?
Louis.

I heard there was a curse on the "Our Gang" cast. They all had problems and died tragic deaths.  Is this true?
First, you should realize that most hardcore fans consider "The Little Rascals" to have had two casts, one in the early silents, and a new cast for the talkies that followed in the 1930's.  Joe Cobb is considered the star of the first series of "Our Gang" shorts from the 1920's.  He died in May of 2002 at age 84 of natural causes.  In the Cobb gang was Jackie Condon, died in 1977 at age 59; Mickey Daniels, who died in 1970 of cirrhosis of liver at age 56.  Records of his death did not surface until being researched 21 years after his body was found in a hotel . He died alone.;  Allen Hoskins played Farina.  He died of cancer in 1970 at age 59.;  Mary Kornman died of cancer in 1973, she was 57.  Matthew Beard played 'Stymie,' he died of pneumonia in 1981 at age 56. Bobby  Hutchins played 'Wheezer' he died in a plane crash in 1945 at age 19.

Mickey in Our Gang


The players during the Spanky era  were: Billie 'Buckwheat' Thomas, he died in 1980 of a heart attack at age 49. ;  Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer  died in 1959 at age 32 by gunshot wound by an acquaintance in an argument over $50 which Switzer felt the man owed him.  His brother, Harold Switzer,  who also appeared in some of the shorts, committed suicide in 1967. ;  Eugene 'Porky' Lee is living and will turn 70 this year.;  Darla Hood died in 1979 of hepatitis at age 47.;  Billy 'Froggy' Laughlin died in a car accident in 1948 at age 16;  Darwood Kaye played Waldo and was killed by a hit-and-run driver in 2002 at age 72.  And the star of the show, George "Spanky" McFarland, died in 1993 of a heart attack at age 64.

I met Spanky in the 70's, and I knew his son, Vern, pretty well.  Spanky's wife (and yes, if you didn't call him "Mr McFarland," you called him "Spanky") showed me his family album and memorabilia from his days at MGM.  Despite what you've heard about early child stars being abused, Spanky worked hard, but was happy.  His brother, Tommy also appeared about a dozen "Our Gang" comedies.  Mrs. McFarland intimated, that it might have been the children that abused the adults.  She told me that during the down time, the kids would play and get into trouble.  During one lunch break, Spanky and Mickey crawled around the soundstage collecting scraps of the celluloid movie film and stuffed the pieces in wet socks.  They hid the socks on the stage lights.  When the stage was lit to resume filming, the heat from the lights caused celluloid in the wet socks to fill the stage with smoke.  Shooting would have to stop until the studio aired out and all the socks were found.

In Spanky's adult life, from 1955 to 1960, he created and hosted his own daily kids TV show, "The Spanky Show" for an Oklahoma TV station.  He worked as an engineer for RCA, and enjoyed being an amateur radio operator.  In the 80's he reached an agreement with the company distributing the "Our Gang" video tapes, and became their spokesman.   He was a devoted family man, and raised a son and daughter.

So, my point to all this is that none of them shared similar lives off camera.  Although many of the gang died young,  there's no pattern that could be called "a curse."

 

 
 

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