Robert Blake (Actor) Biography, Age, Height, Death, Career, Networth And Movies

Robert Blake (Actor) Biography

Robert Blake (actor) Full Names Michael James Gubitosi is an American actor. He had starring roles in the film In Cold Blood and the U.S. television series Baretta. Blake began HIs career as a child with a lead role in the final years of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s Our Gang (Little Rascals) short film series from 1939 to 1944. He also appeared as a child actor in 22 entries of the Red Ryder film franchise.

Robert Blake

Robert Blake (Actor) Age

Blake was born on September 18, 1933, in Nutley, New Jersey, in the United States of America. He passed on on March 9, 2023 (age 89 years), in Los Angeles, California.

Robert Blake (Actor) Height

He stands at a height of 5′ 4″.

Robert Blake (Actor) Education

He had an unhappy childhood and was allegedly abused by his alcoholic father. When Blake entered public school at age 10, he was bullied and had fights with other students, which led to his expulsion. The Actor states that he was physically and sexually abused by both of his parents while growing up and was frequently locked in a closet and forced to eat off the floor as punishment. At age 14, he ran away from home, leading to several more difficult years. His father committed suicide in 1956.

Robert Blake (Actor) Child Acting Career

He started appearing in MGM’s Our Gang short films under his real name, taking over from Eugene “Porky” Lee. Gubitosi was featured in 40 of the shorts from 1939 to 1944, eventually becoming the series’ final main character. His parents, James and Giovanna Gubitosi, also had minor roles in the series. In Our Gang, his character, Mickey, often had to cry, but his performance was criticized as unconvincing. He was also criticized for being irritating and whiny.

In 1942, he adopted the stage name Bobby Blake, and his character in the series became “Mickey Blake.” In 1944, MGM ended Our Gang, releasing the final short, Dancing Romeo. Additionally, in 1995, Blake was recognized by the Young Artist Foundation with its Former Child Star “Lifetime Achievement” Award for his work in Our Gang.

In 1942, Blake played “Tooky” Stedman in Andy Hardy’s Double Life. He portrayed “Little Beaver” in a Red Ryder film serial chapter around 1946. From 1944 to 1947, Blake played a Native American boy named “Little Beaver” in the Red Ryder western series at Republic Pictures. He also appeared in one of Laurel and Hardy’s later films, The Big Noise (1944), and Warner Bros. movies Humoresque (1946), where he portrayed John Garfield’s character as a child, and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), where he played the Mexican boy who sells Humphrey Bogart a winning lottery ticket and receives a glass of water in his face from Bogart in return. In 1950, at 17 years old, Blake appeared as Mahmoud in The Black Rose and as Enrico, Naples Bus Boy (uncredited) in Black Hand.

Robert Blake (Actor) Adult Career

In 1950, he was enlisted in the Army. Upon his return to Southern California, he joined Jeff Corey’s acting class to refine his skills and career. He later emerged as an accomplished Hollywood actor, taking on significant dramatic roles in both film and television. It wasn’t until 1956 that he adopted the name Robert Blake professionally.

In 1959, he made a decision that was seen as a misstep in his career when he declined the role of Little Joe Cartwright, which eventually went to Michael Landon, in the NBC series Bonanza. However, he did make appearances that year, such as playing Tobe Hackett in an episode of the syndicated series 26 Men and portraying “Alfredo” twice in The Cisco Kid. He also had roles in other series like Men of Annapolis, Have Gun Will Travel, The Restless Gun, The Rebel, The Californians, Straightaway, and Laramie.

However, Blake is perhaps most remembered for his Emmy-winning portrayal of Tony Baretta in the TV series Baretta (1975-1978), where he played an undercover detective known for his pet cockatoo “Fred” and catchphrases like “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.”

Blake remained active in acting throughout the 1980s and 1990s, primarily in television. He played roles like Jimmy Hoffa in the miniseries Blood Feud (1983) and John List in Judgment Day: The John List Story (1993), earning him a third Emmy nomination. Additionally, he starred in the series Hell Town (1985) and had character parts in films like Money Train (1995) and Lost Highway (1997), where he portrayed the eerie Mystery Man in David Lynch’s production.

Robert Blake Wife

In 1961, Blake married actress Sondra Kerr, but they divorced in 1983. This was his first marriage, and they had two children: actor Noah Blake (born 1965) and Delilah Blake (born 1966). Later, in 1999, Blake met Bonnie Lee Bakley, who had a history of multiple marriages and allegedly exploiting older, often famous men for financial gain. During their relationship, Bakley was also involved with Christian Brando, son of Marlon Brando.

Bakley claimed to be pregnant and told both Brando and Blake that the child was theirs. Initially, she named the baby “Christian Shannon Brando” and insisted that Brando was the father. However, she later wrote letters to Blake revealing her questionable intentions. Blake demanded a DNA test to confirm paternity. After the test proved Blake was the biological father, he married Bakley on November 19, 2000. They renamed the child Rosie.

Actor Robert Blake Dead Or Alive

He died on March 9, 2023 (age 89 years), in Los Angeles, California.

Robert Blake Actor Net Worth

Blake was acquitted on November 18, 2005. Moreover, a California civil court found him liable for her wrongful death and ordered him to pay $30 million. That figure was eventually cut down to $15 million. On February 4, 2006, Robert Blake filed for bankruptcy listing $3 million in liabilities. On April 9, 2010, the state of California filed a lien against the actor seeking $1,110,878 for unpaid back taxes.

Did Actor Robert Blake Killed His Wife

In 2005, Blake was tried and acquitted of the 2001 murder of his second wife, Bonnie Lee Bakley. On November 18, 2005, he was found liable in a California civil court for her wrongful death

Robert Blake(Actor) Movies

  • In Cold Blood (1967): Blake was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Perry Smith, one of two murderers in Truman Capote’s true-crime novel.
  • Baretta (1975-1978): Blake played the title role in this popular television series about a tough-talking, one-armed detective. He won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his performance.
  • Electra Glide in Blue (1973): Blake starred in this neo-noir film as a motorcycle cop who becomes obsessed with a woman he believes is in danger.
  • Lost Highway (1997): Blake played a mysterious figure in David Lynch’s surreal neo-noir film.
  • Town Without Pity (1961): Blake played one of four American soldiers who participate in a gang rape in occupied Germany. This controversial film was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
  • The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948): Blake played a young Mexican boy in this classic John Huston film.
  • Pork Chop Hill (1959): Blake played a soldier in this Korean War film.
  • The Purple Gang (1960): Blake starred as gangster Abe Reles in this film based on the true story of the Jewish mob in Detroit.

TV Shows

  • Baretta (1975-1978): This detective series starred Blake as Tony Baretta, a tough-as-nails ex-cop who runs a private investigation agency. 
  • Hell Town (1985): In this short-lived drama, Blake played Father Michael O’Reilly, a priest who works in a tough inner-city neighborhood. 
  • Judgment Day: The John List Story (1993): This TV movie starred Blake as John List, a suburban father who murdered his entire family.

Blake also appeared in numerous other TV shows throughout his long career, including The Cisco Kid, Have Gun Will Travel, The Restless Gun, The Rebel, Bat Masterson, The Californians, Straightaway, and Laramie. He also had guest roles on more modern shows like Saturday Night Live, Piers Morgan Tonight, and Dr. Phil.

In addition to his acting career, Blake also worked as a writer and producer. He created the TV movies Murder 1, Dancer 0, and The Big Black Pill, and he wrote the screenplay for the pilot of Hell Town. He also served as executive producer of the miniseries Blood Feud.

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