Robert Blake


Actor
Robert Blake

About

Also Known As
Rob Blake, Bob Blake, Bobby Blake, Michael Gubitosi, Mickey Gubitosi, Robby Blake, Michael James Vincenzo Gubitosi, Lyman P Docker
Birth Place
Nutley, New Jersey, USA
Born
September 18, 1933

Biography

Actor Robert Blake began his career as a member of the preadolescent comedy troupe "Our Gang," and later as an adult actor enjoyed critical notoriety with the docudrama "In Cold Blood" (1967) and achieved breakout fame as the exotic bird-loving star of the popular television series "Baretta" (ABC, 1975-78). It was as the prime suspect in the domestic murder of wife Bonnie Lee Bakley, how...

Family & Companions

Sondra Kerry
Wife
Actor. Divorced; subsequently linked to former TV talk show host Les Crane.
Bonny Bakley
Wife
Mother of Rose; married in November 2000; died of a gunshot wound to the head on May 4, 2001 at age 45; Blake arrected and charged with her murder on April 22, 2002.

Notes

In 2001, Blake was charged with murdering his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, outside a restaurant where they had dined; March 16, 2004, the jury acquitted the former Baretta star.

In 2002, Blake insisted on doing an interview with Diane Sawyer, which resulted in the resignation of his lawyer.

Biography

Actor Robert Blake began his career as a member of the preadolescent comedy troupe "Our Gang," and later as an adult actor enjoyed critical notoriety with the docudrama "In Cold Blood" (1967) and achieved breakout fame as the exotic bird-loving star of the popular television series "Baretta" (ABC, 1975-78). It was as the prime suspect in the domestic murder of wife Bonnie Lee Bakley, however, that would ultimately overshadow the onetime revered actor's career. As a child, Blake's parents began taking the toddler to auditions in Los Angles in the late 1930s, and for more than a decade he appeared in dozens of films and television programs. After a tumultuous two-year enlistment with the U.S. Army, Blake returned home and underwent intense psychotherapy treatments in an effort to cope with his depression and self-loathing. Having made substantial gains, he resumed his acting career as an adult with supporting roles in such films as "Pork Chop Hill" (1959) and "The Greatest Story Ever Told" (1965). With his intense portrayal of murderer Perry Smith in the adaptation of Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood," Blake was poised for mainstream feature film stardom. Follow up movies failed to capitalize on the earlier success, however, and the actor soon returned to television. As the streetwise titular hero of "Baretta," it seemed Blake had at last found his star-making role. After his hit cop show was canceled, the actor appeared with some regularity on television before disappearing from screens almost entirely for nearly a decade. He unfortunately reemerged not for artistic endeavors, but for making national headlines when he was accused of plotting the murder of his estranged wife in 2001. Although he would ultimately be acquitted of the killing in criminal court, a civil trial resulted in a wrongful death verdict against him, forever tainting Blake's professional and personal legacies.

Born Michael James Vincenzo Gubitosi on Sept. 19, 1933 in Nutley, NJ, Blake was the son of mother Elizabeth and father Giacomo "James" Gubitosi, an Italian immigrant who worked as a die setter for a manufacturing company. Elizabeth and James later formed a musical stage act to bring in extra money, and eventually brought their children into the routine. By 1938, they moved the family to Los Angeles and began pursuing extra work in movies for Blake and his two siblings. Almost immediately, Blake found success when he made his debut in the MGM comedy "Bridal Suite" (1939). That same year, he began his career in earnest - now billed as "Mickey Gubitosi" - in "Joy Scouts" (1939), the continuation of the long-running series of "Our Gang" comedy shorts. The child actor worked continuously with Spanky and the Gang in dozens of short films over the next several years. By the early 1940s, MGM had rechristened him "Bobby Blake" for such films as "China Girl" (1942), "Andy Hardy's Double Life" (1942) and "Salute to the Marines" (1943). While never achieving the child star status of contemporaries Mickey Rooney or fellow "Our Gang" star Jackie Cooper, he gained considerable notice as "Little Beaver" in more than a dozen "Red Ryder" Western serials, beginning with "Tucson Raiders" (1944). Other notable projects of the decade included the late-career Laurel & Hardy comedy "The Big Noise" (1944), the Joan Crawford romantic melodrama "Humoresque" (1946), and a brief but significant appearance in John Huston's masterpiece of greed and desperation, "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" (1949), alongside Humphrey Bogart.

Despite outward appearances of success, according to Blake in interviews years later, his childhood was far from a happy one. His memories of growing up with his parents were filled with abuse, not only emotional and physical in nature, but sexual, as well. By his recollection, he was frequently locked in a closet for days by his violent, alcoholic father and often forced to eat off of the floor. When he reached his late-teens, Blake sought escape from his nightmarish home life by enlisting in the U.S. Army. Try as he might, however, the troubled young man was not able to leave his issues of anger and self-doubt behind - particularly during an era when these things were not discussed in good company. There were incidents of insubordination that resulted in Blake being incarcerated for a period while he was stationed in Alaska. One particular episode involved his admitted contemplation - and near follow-through - of killing the disapproving father of an underage girl he was involved with at the time. After his release from the service, Blake's emotional state only worsened. He grew increasingly withdrawn and despondent, seldom left his home and frequently contemplated suicide. When he at last sought help with professional therapy, Blake gradually returned to a semblance of normalcy. He studied acting, attended college classes, and performed in local theater productions. After making his career re-entry with guest-starring turns on various television programs, he managed to land a leading role in the crime drama "The Purple Gang" (1959). That same year, a supporting part in the Gregory Peck Korean War film "Pork Chop Hill" (1959) completed Blake's cinematic transition to adulthood.

By the early 1960s, Blake was consistently appearing in important films in supporting roles such as an accused G.I. defended by Kirk Douglas in "Town Without Pity" (1961) and as a member of a young JFK's combat boat crew in "P.T. 109" (1963). Working steadily, he was also a member of the anthology players on "The Richard Boone Show" (NBC, 1963-64), and played Simon the Zealot in director George Stevens' biblical epic, "The Greatest Story Ever Told" (1965). Although he had been acting professionally since the age of five, it was not until he played murderer Perry Smith in the fact-based "In Cold Blood" (1967), that Blake at last demonstrated the full breadth of his ability. Based on the controversial bestseller by Truman Capote, Blake's complex, seething performance earned him rave reviews and top-billing status. Two years later, he headlined with rising megastar Robert Redford in the anti-Western "Tell Them Willie Boy is Here" (1969), starring in the title role as a native-American on the run after killing the father of his Anglo girlfriend (Katherine Ross) in self-defense. Unfortunately, "Willie Boy" was not the success Blake had hoped for, nor were his subsequent big screen efforts in the years that immediately followed. He gave a solid performance as a diminutive but determined motorcycle patrolman trying to solve a murder in "Electra Glide in Blue" (1973), a film brutally panned by critics at the time, although it later achieved a modicum of cult-film status. Director Peter Hyams' first feature film "Busting" (1974), a buddy cop actioner pairing Blake with Elliot Gould, fared no better.

With his theatrical fortunes waning, Blake looked to television for future opportunities. After actor Tony Musante had bowed out of his gritty cop series "Toma" (ABC, 1973-74), the network retooled the property with Blake as the lead in "Baretta" (ABC, 1975-78). Less violent than its predecessor and infused with a rugged sense of humor, the show became a hit and established Blake's newfound persona as the tough-talking, Cockatoo-owning urban crime fighter with the catchphrase, "And dat's the name of dat tune." The move paid off, with Blake winning an Emmy for his work on the series and his star was once again on the rise. He followed "Baretta" with "Coast to Coast" (1980), a screwball comedy co-starring Dyan Cannon as a woman fleeing her unscrupulous husband. The film was another disappointment at the box office, and he returned to TV with a series of movies as hard-boiled P.I. Joe Dancer, beginning with "The Big Black Pill" (NBC, 1981). Another feature film, "Second-Hand Hearts" (1981), directed by troubled filmmaker Hal Ashby, became another in a string of theatrical failures for Blake. Once again, television provided a more welcoming venue for Blake's talents. He played a world-weary George in the well-received adaptation of John Steinbeck's heartbreaking tale of friendship "Of Mice and Men" (NBC, 1981), followed by an equally impressive turn as ill-fated union kingpin Jimmy Hoffa in the miniseries "Blood Ties" (syndicated, 1983). When Blake landed the lead in another series, this time as a crusading priest trying to clean up a tough neighborhood in "Hell Town" (NBC, 1985-86), it looked as if Blake had found career stability. However, his increasingly combative professional attitude, erratic offscreen behavior, and rumored substance abuse soon led to the show's cancelation and Blake's virtual disappearance from Hollywood for much of the next decade.

Blake reemerged with a dark portrait of a mass murderer in the made-for-TV movie "Judgment Day: The John List Story" (CBS, 1993), the factual recounting of a man who, after killing his entire family, remained at large for 17 years under an assumed identity. He returned to the big screen as a tough-minded MTA boss opposite Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson in "Money Train" (1995), an action-comedy that failed miserably at the box office. The actor later turned in what would be his most enigmatic portrayal on film when he played the malevolent Mystery Man in director David Lynch's mesmerizingly incomprehensible noir "Lost Highway" (1997). It would be Blake's last film appearance before the startling events of May 4, 2001, when his wife of just a few months, Bonnie Lee Bakley, was shot dead in his car just outside a Studio City restaurant they frequented. According to Blake's statement, after dining together at his favorite Italian eatery, Vitello's, he realized that he had dropped a licensed handgun he carried at the table and went back inside to retrieve it, leaving her alone in the car. Upon his return, Blake said he discovered Bakley slumped in the vehicle, bleeding profusely from a bullet wound to the head. As the police investigation into the murder got underway, a scandalous picture began to emerge.

Bakley, a well-known celebrity stalker and mail-order scam artist, had become pregnant with Blake's child after orchestrating a one-night stand in 1999. At that time she was also involved with Christian Brando, the troubled son of film icon Marlon Brando, who she initially claimed to be the father of her child. However, after DNA-tests confirmed Blake as the father, he reluctantly married Bakley, who then took up residence in the guest house of his San Fernando Valley home, dubbed "The Mata Hari Ranch" in late 2000. While far from being a typical, or particularly loving, marriage, Blake would later insist that he had been trying to make the relationship work for the sake of their baby girl, Rose. Not surprisingly, Blake was immediately viewed as a person of interest in the police investigation. One day after the murder, the LAPD arrived at Blake's home and began an extensive search and interview process with the actor, whose account of the previous night's events were already in question. In the meantime, Blake's legal team began painting an unflattering portrait of Bakley, describing her as a gold-digging scam artist, who had already unsuccessfully attempted to entrap rock-n-roll legend Jerry Lee Lewis in a similar pregnancy scheme years earlier. Bakley was a woman with a criminal history of bilking men out of money, and very likely had made her fair share of enemies. In the opinion of Blake's attorney Harland Braun, she had an "interesting past...that may have caught up with her."

For nearly a year, Blake's attorneys conducted an unofficial investigation into Bakley's past as the LAPD continued to focus their efforts on Blake himself. Finally, on April 18, 2002, Los Angeles police arrested and charged Blake with Bakley's slaying, along with his longtime bodyguard, Earl Caldwell, on conspiracy to commit murder. Blake paid Caldwell's bail, but the courts denied bail to the actor himself, leaving him incarcerated for several months before his trial went to court. While awaiting trial, Blake insisted on giving a televised interview with Barbara Walters, in which he professed his innocence. After unsuccessfully pleading with Blake to not speak publicly about the case, a frustrated Braun and another defense attorney excused themselves from the trial. After nearly a year in jail, Blake was finally freed on $1.5 million bail, although he remained under house arrest and was ordered to wear a monitoring device while he continued to wait for his day in court.

When at last the trial commenced in December of 2004, the prosecution relied heavily on the testimony of two former stuntmen who claimed that Blake had offered each of them money in return for killing Bakley. For their part, Blake's defense team portrayed the two men as unreliable former drug-abusers who, by their own admissions, had suffered psychotic breaks in the past. Additionally, much was made of the fact that, despite circumstantial evidence and conjecture on the part of the LAPD and the district attorney's office, there had been no clear physical evidence or actual witnesses to connect Blake to the murder. Blake never took the stand in his own defense during the trial, although his attorneys did show the jury his interview with Barbara Walters in lieu of testimony. On March 16, 2005, Blake was acquitted on one count of murder and one count of solicitation of murder. Another count of solicitation was dropped after the jury became hopelessly deadlocked. After the verdict, a stunned District Attorney insisted that Blake was "guilty as sin," going so far as to call the jury "incredibly stupid."

Despite his victory in the criminal case, in November 2005 a civil court jury found Blake liable in the death of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, and ordered him to pay her family damages in the amount of $30 million. The actor declared bankruptcy shortly thereafter. With his finances already drained by the protracted criminal trial and saddled with substantial debt after the result of the civil case, Blake briefly came out of retirement with a brief onscreen cameo as himself in Michael Myers' misbegotten comedy, "The Love Guru" (2008). In February of 2011, Blake made news again when he was escorted off the premises of a Los Angeles memorabilia convention after a disagreement concerning the organizer's handling of an autograph session.

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

The Monkey Mission (1981)
Creator
The Big Black Pill (1981)
Creator

Cast (Feature Film)

The Love Guru (2008)
Himself
Lost Highway (1997)
Money Train (1995)
Judgment Day: The John List Story (1993)
Heart Of A Champion: The Ray Mancini Story (1985)
Father of Hell Town (1985)
Murder 1, Dancer 0 (1983)
The Monkey Mission (1981)
The Big Black Pill (1981)
Of Mice and Men (1981)
Second-Hand Hearts (1981)
Coast to Coast (1980)
Busting (1974)
Electra Glide In Blue (1973)
Corky (1972)
Corky [Curtiss]
Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here (1969)
Willie Boy
In Cold Blood (1967)
Perry Smith
This Property Is Condemned (1966)
Sidney
The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)
Simon the Zealot
PT 109 (1963)
"Bucky" Harris
Town Without Pity (1961)
Jim
The Purple Gang (1960)
William Joseph "Honeyboy" Willard
Battle Flame (1959)
Corp. Jake Pachecho
Pork Chop Hill (1959)
Velie
The Beast of Budapest (1958)
Karolyi
Revolt in the Big House (1958)
Rudy Hernandez
The Tijuana Story (1957)
Enrique Acosta Mesa
Three Violent People (1957)
Rafael
Rumble on the Docks (1956)
Chuck
The Rack (1956)
Italian soldier
Screaming Eagles (1956)
Pvt. Hernandez
The Veils of Bagdad (1953)
Beggar boy
Treasure of the Golden Condor (1953)
Stable boy
Apache War Smoke (1952)
Luis [Herrera]
The Black Rose (1950)
Mahmoud
Black Hand (1950)
Pasquale, a bus boy
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
Mexican boy
The Return of Rin Tin Tin (1947)
Paul, the refugee lad
The Last Round-Up (1947)
Mike
Vigilantes of Boomtown (1947)
Little Beaver
Marshal of Cripple Creek (1947)
Little Beaver
Homesteaders of Paradise Valley (1947)
Little Beaver
Rustlers of Devil's Canyon (1947)
Little Beaver
Oregon Trail Scouts (1947)
Little Beaver
Humoresque (1947)
Paul Boray, as a child
A Guy Could Change (1946)
Alan Schroeder
Out California Way (1946)
Danny McCoy
Home on the Range (1946)
Cub Garth
In Old Sacramento (1946)
Newsboy
California Gold Rush (1946)
Little Beaver
Stagecoach to Denver (1946)
Little Beaver
Santa Fe Uprising (1946)
Little Beaver
Sheriff of Redwood Valley (1946)
Little Beaver
Sun Valley Cyclone (1946)
Little Beaver
Conquest of Cheyenne (1946)
Little Beaver
The Horn Blows at Midnight (1945)
Junior
Dakota (1945)
Boy
Pillow to Post (1945)
Wilbur
Colorado Pioneers (1945)
Little Beaver
Great Stagecoach Robbery (1945)
Little Beaver
Phantom of the Plains (1945)
Little Beaver
Wagon Wheels Westward (1945)
Little Beaver
Lone Texas Ranger (1945)
Little Beaver
Marshal of Laredo (1945)
Little Beaver
Lost Angel (1944)
Jerry
The Big Noise (1944)
Egbert Hartley
The Woman in the Window (1944)
Dickie Wanley
The Seventh Cross (1944)
Small boy
Meet the People (1944)
Jimmy, age 7
Vigilantes of Dodge City (1944)
Little Beaver
Cheyenne Wildcat (1944)
Little Beaver
The San Antonio Kid (1944)
Little Beaver
Sheriff of Las Vegas (1944)
Little Beaver
Marshal of Reno (1944)
Little Beaver
Tucson Raiders (1944)
Little Beaver
China Girl (1943)
Chandu
Salute to the Marines (1943)
Small boy
Andy Hardy's Double Life (1942)
"Tooky" [Stedman]
Mokey (1942)
Mokey Delano
I Love You Again (1940)
Littlejohn Jr.
Bridal Suite (1939)
Toto

Writer (Feature Film)

Father of Hell Town (1985)
From Story
Father of Hell Town (1985)
Screenplay

Producer (Feature Film)

Father of Hell Town (1985)
Executive Producer
Murder 1, Dancer 0 (1983)
Executive Producer
Of Mice and Men (1981)
Executive Producer
The Big Black Pill (1981)
Executive Producer
The Monkey Mission (1981)
Executive Producer

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

The Love Guru (2008)
Other
Murder 1, Dancer 0 (1983)
Other

Cast (Special)

Natalie Wood: The E! True Hollywood Story (1997)
The NBC All-Star Hour (1985)
The American Film Institute Salute to John Huston (1983)
Performer

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

Blood Feud (1983)

Life Events

1939

Acted in numerous "Our Gang" shorts including "Joy Scouts" and "Captain Spanky's Show Boat"

1940

Feature film debut, the MGM romantic comedy "I Love You Again"

1942

Played title role in "Mokey"

1944

Played 'Little Beaver' in "Tucson Raiders" and subsequent Republic series of films

1948

Played bit part in "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre"

1950

Producer and first billing as Robert Blake in "Eros"

1953

Acted in "Night in the Warehouse" episode of "Fireside Theatre"

1961

Played Cpl. Jim Larkin in "Town Without Pity"

1963

Appeared as a regular on "The Richard Boone Show" (NBC)

1966

Breakthrough screen role, Perry Smith in "In Cold Blood"

1975

Achieved TV stardom as the titular detective on ABC crime drama "Baretta"; won Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (1975)

1981

Served as creator, executive producer, and star of series of "Joe Dancer" TV-movies; first one was "The Big Black Pill" (NBC)

1981

Played George Milton in NBC remake of "Of Mice and Men"

1983

Portrayed Jimmy Hoffa in "Blood Feud" miniseries

1985

Appeared as Father Rivers on short-lived series "Hell Town" (NBC), also wrote and produced using pseudonym Lyman P. Docker

1986

Took a break from acting

1993

Made TV comeback in "Judgment Day: The John List Story" (CBS), received Emmy nomination

1995

Feature film comeback, "Money Train"

1997

Acted in mystery drama "Lost Highway," directed by David Lynch

2011

Featured in the documentary "Paul Williams Still Alive"

2011

Published memoir Tales of a Rascal

Photo Collections

Mokey - Lobby Cards
Here are a few Lobby Cards from MGM's Mokey (1942), starring Donna Reed and Bobby (Robert) Blake. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Corky - Scene Stills
Here are a few stills from MGM's Corky (1972), starring Robert Blake.

Videos

Movie Clip

Treasure Of The Sierra Madre, The (1948) - Fellow American Opening scenes in Tampico, Dobbs (Humphrey Bogart) meeting the young Mexican Robert "Bobby" Blake, Curtin (Tim Holt) and the writer/director John Huston, twice, from The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre, 1948.
Pork Chop Hill (1959) - Don't You Need Me? Lt. Clemons (Gregory Peck) talks to an unseen commander (Barry Atwater), issues orders, and dismisses the forgetful Pvt. Velle (Robert Blake) in Lewis Milestone's Korean War drama Pork Chop Hill, 1959.
Pork Chop Hill (1959) - Men Of King Company It's not made clear why the Chinese broadcasters know they are addressing "King" company but, we meet Franklin (Woody Strode), queried by Velie (Robert Blake) then challenged by Clemons (Gregory Peck), in the opening assault in Lewis Milestone's Korean War drama Pork Chop Hill, 1959.
In Cold Blood (1967) - Something's Wrong Here From a scene shot in the actual Clutter farmhouse in Holcomb, Kansas, family members of the victims, to the first scene with killers Perry (Robert Blake) and Dick (Scott Wilson) after the crime, in Richard Brooks' In Cold Blood, 1967, from Truman Capote's book.
Rumble On The Docks (1956) - You're Over The Line Grim opening as thugs (Dan Terranova, Don Devlin) approach Poochie (Barry Froner) and home-from-college sister Della (Laurie Carroll), leading to the first bit for James Darren (as "Jimmy") in his first movie, aided by Robert Blake, in Rumble On The Docks, 1956, from producer Sam Katzman.
Rumble On The Docks (1956) - Money With Blood On It Exposition here, as Brooklyn gangster Brindo (Michael Granger), with goon Mangus (Timothy Carey), visits Smigelski (Edgar Barrier), the disabled printer father of budding hoodlum Jimmy (James Darren) who, along with his mom (Celia Lovsky), can't relate to the old man, in producer Sam Katzman's Rumble On The Docks, 1956.
Town Without Pity (1961) - Just Asking For It Army defense lawyer Garrett (Kirk Douglas) in West Germany interviewing his G.I. clients (Richard Jaeckel, Mal Sondock, Robert Blake, Frank Sutton), all of whom admit to raping a local girl, early in Gottfried Reinhardt's Town Without Pity, 1961.
Town Without Pity (1961) - Painful And Embarassing First scene for prosecutor Maj. Pakenham (E.G. Marshall), deposing hospitalized teenage German rape victim Karin (Christine Kaufman), Army defense lawyer Garrett (Kirk Douglas) and defendants (Frank Sutton, Richard Jaeckel, Robert Blake, Mal Sondock) observing, in Town Without Pity, 1961.
In Cold Blood (1967) - Do The Right Thing Getting to know Dick (Scott Wilson) and Perry (Robert Blake) on the road and with Perry's flashback, before the murders, in Richard Brooks' In Cold Blood, 1967, from the Truman Capote "non-fiction novel."
Electra Glide in Blue - Title credits These are the title credits to the 1973 movie Electra Glide in Blue starring Robert Blake as an Arizona cop investigating the murder of a desert hermit.
Electra Glide in Blue - Robert Blake dressing ritual Arizona cop Wintergreen (Robert Blake) takes a ritualistic approach to dressing for his big night out on the town.
Electra Glide in Blue - Jeannine Riley monologue Jolene (Jeannine Riley) goes into psychobabble mode in front of Wintergreen (Robert Blake) and Poole (Mitch Ryan) as she recalls her failed Hollywood dream.

Trailer

This Property Is Condemned - (Original Trailer) A small-town girl (Natalie Wood) fights her mother's opposition when she falls for a big-city businessman (Robert Redford) in This Property Is Condemned (1966).
In Cold Blood - (Original Trailer) Robert Blake and Scott Wilson play the men who murder a Kansas family In Cold Blood (1967), based on the Truman Capote book.
Greatest Story Ever Told, The - (Original Trailer) The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965) is an epic re-telling of the life of Christ, directed by George Stevens and starring Max Von Sydow, Dorothy McGuire, Claude Rains and many more
Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here - (Re-issue Trailer) A rebellious Native American races to elude a bloodthirsty posse in Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here (1969) starring Robert Blake and Robert Redford.
Horn Blows At Midnight, The - (Original Trailer) Jack Benny plays an angel sent to destroy the Earth with a trumpet blast in The Horn Blows At Midnight (1945).
Woman in the Window, The - (Original Trailer) Joan Bennett gets innocent professor Edward G. Robinson mixed up in murder in Fritz Lang's The Woman in the Window (1944).
Andy Hardy's Double Life - (Original Trailer) A new college student lets romance get in the way of his studies in Andy Hardy's Double Life (1942) starring Mickey Rooney and Esther Williams in her first film role.
Mokey - (Original Trailer) Newlywed Donna Reed tries to deal with her troubled stepchild Robert Blake in Mokey (1942).
Lost Angel - (Original Trailer) A girl (Margaret O'Brien) raised to be a genius gets lost and discovers the simple pleasure of life in Lost Angel (1943).
Electra Glide in Blue - (Original Trailer) An Arizona motorcycle cop (Robert Blake) moves to the Homicide Division to solve a hermit's murder in Electra Glide in Blue (1973).
PT 109 - (Original Trailer) Future president John Kennedy (Cliff Robertson) fights to save his crew when their PT boat sinks in the Pacific in PT 109 (1963).
Humoresque - (Original Trailer) A classical musician from the slums is sidetracked by his love for a wealthy neurotic in Humoresque with Joan Crawford & John Garfield.

Family

James Gubitosi
Father
Entertainer. Had song-and-dance act with wife.
Elizabeth Gubitosi
Mother
Entertainer. Had song-and-dance act with husband.
Noah Blake
Son
Actor. Born in February 1965.
Delinah R Blake
Daughter
Born in August 1966.
Rose Lenore Sophia
Daughter
Born on June 2, 2000; child was originally named Christian Shannon Brando as mother thought Christian Brando was father.

Companions

Sondra Kerry
Wife
Actor. Divorced; subsequently linked to former TV talk show host Les Crane.
Bonny Bakley
Wife
Mother of Rose; married in November 2000; died of a gunshot wound to the head on May 4, 2001 at age 45; Blake arrected and charged with her murder on April 22, 2002.

Bibliography

Notes

In 2001, Blake was charged with murdering his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, outside a restaurant where they had dined; March 16, 2004, the jury acquitted the former Baretta star.

In 2002, Blake insisted on doing an interview with Diane Sawyer, which resulted in the resignation of his lawyer.