Robert Blake, the award-winning actor known for his role in the TV show “Baretta,” has died in Los Angeles at age 89. Blake had hoped for a comeback after being acquitted of killing his wife, but the ordeal took its toll. Despite his success as an actor, he became more widely known as a defendant in a murder trial. Blake won an Emmy for his portrayal of Tony Baretta, but behind the scenes, he was difficult to work with. His personal saga was as dramatic as any of the characters he portrayed, and he struggled with alcohol and drug addiction in his early life. Born Michael James Gubitosi, he began his career as a child performer in vaudeville and became famous for his role in the “Our Gang” comedies. He was married to actress Sondra Kerr, with whom he had two children, but they divorced in 1983. In 1999, he met Bonnie Lee Bakley, and she gave birth to a baby girl, who Blake raised as his own. He was acquitted of Bakley’s murder but lost a civil suit and was ordered to pay her family $30 million, driving him to bankruptcy. Blake hoped to restart his career, but he spent his last years living on social security and a Screen Actor’s Guild pension.

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