In 2001, actor Robert Blake went from famous to infamous, when he was accused of killing his wife Bonny Lee Bakley. Though he was acquitted of murder, he was later found liable for her death in a civil trial, and was ordered to pay $15 million to Bakley’s three eldest children. After keeping a low profile for much of the last decade, Blake has recently resurfaced, promoting his memoir, Tales of a Rascal
. The 78-year-old Baretta
star sits down with Dr. Phil to set the record straight about his reputation and the negative press that surrounds him. Why does he say he was carrying a gun on the night his wife was shot to death? And, what does he believe happened? Blake, who says he’s now broke and alone, opens up about his painful past. Why does he believe his parents wanted him dead — before he was even born? Plus, don’t miss the actor’s emotional tribute to his 12-year-old daughter Rosie.
‘Rascal’ to Murder Suspect
Born Michael Gubitosi, actor Robert Blake began his career at the tender age of 6, and worked his way up from extra to a leading role in the short series, The Little Rascals
. At 8 years old, Blake starred in the MGM film, Mokey
, which he credits as the highlight of his more than 50-year-long career. Perhaps best known for his later roles in the hit movie In Cold Blood
and the television series Baretta
, Blake continued to act through the 1980s and 1990s, mostly in television.
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In 1999, Blake began dating Bonny Lee Bakely, who soon became pregnant. After DNA tests proved the child was Blake’s, the two wed in November 2000. In May 2001, Blake took his wife to Vitello’s restaurant in Los Angeles, and she never made it home; Bakley was shot to death inside a parked car, around the corner from the restaurant. After a highly-publicized trial, Blake was acquitted of murder in 2005. He was later found liable for his wife’s death in a civil trial and was ordered to pay $15 million to Bakley’s three eldest children. Blake says his life hasn’t been the same since — and he’s now alone and penniless.
Take a peek inside Blake’s modest two-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles.
Blake talks about his troubled childhood. Why does he say his parents wanted him dead?
“The only people that can break your heart are the people that are in your heart.”
Must-See: Did Blake kill his wife? What does he say happened that fateful night?
“If I had to start caring [about] what people think of me, I’d blow my brains out.”