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Robert Blake, ‘Baretta’ Star Acquitted in Wife’s Murder, Dies at 89


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New York Times

His long career in film and television began with the “Our Gang” comedies, and included an acclaimed performance as a mass killer in “In Cold Blood.”

Douglas Martin
March 9, 2023

Robert Blake, an actor whose career portraying gritty characters like the television detective Tony Baretta was eclipsed by his trial and acquittal in the murder of his wife in 2001, died Thursday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 89.

The cause was long-term heart disease, Noreen Austin, his niece, said.

Mr. Blake began performing at 2, when his father would bring him and his brother and sister to New Jersey parks to dance for money. By age 5 he was a regular in the “Our Gang” film comedies.

He went on to act in scores of films and on hundreds of television shows, all the while making regular visits to late-night talk shows, where he delighted in spouting flagrantly unorthodox views and savagely mocking his own career.







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