Actor Robert Blake died at the age of 89. Noreen Austin, Blake’s niece, verified the news on March 9. “He died quietly at home with family surrounding him due to long-term cardiac difficulties,” Austin explained. “He spent the last few years listening to jazz music, playing guitar, and watching old movies.”

Blake had a long career in Hollywood that began in the late 1930s.

Blake debuted as a child actor in the 1939 film “Bridal Suite” in an uncredited appearance.

Yet, he quickly amassed over 150 acting credits, including his most well-known parts in “In Cold Blood” and “Baretta,” which propelled him through the 1960s and 1970s.

Blake was nominated for four Emmys over his career, winning one for his work on “Baretta.” Blake’s last film role was in the murder thriller “Lost Highway” in 1997.

Blake’s death adds to the list of celebrities who have died in 2023. While some lament the end of his long and illustrious career, many focus on the terrible facts that marked the last quarter of his life, particularly the heinous crime of which the former child actor was accused.

In May 2001, Robert Blake’s life took a terrible turn when his second wife, Bonnie Lee, was murdered. Bonnie was found dead in Blake’s automobile, “slumped in the front seat,” according to LAPD Online.

Bonnie was 44 years old (23 years Blake’s junior) and had been married to him for one year; however, she had previously been married ten times.

Blake was accused of Bonnie’s murder and arrested 11 months later, shocking the globe.

“We are confirming that Robert Blake has been arrested in connection with the death of his wife,” said police spokesman Officer Don Cox at the time.

Blake has repeatedly denied murdering Bonnie. According to his official story, he left her in the car after dinner and returned to discover her dead.

According to CNN, Blake maintained his version of events throughout the judicial proceedings, including the year he spent in jail before securing a $1.5 million bond. Blake met Barbara Walters in 2003 and blamed Bonnie’s death on her background.

“In my heart, I feel that some man, 10, 15, maybe 20 years ago, because she used to marry them,” Blake remarked. “I believe she took many lives. And I believe one of the lives she ruined watched her on television.”

On March 29, 2005, Blake was acquitted of murder charges, but his reputation never recovered.