Goodbye To A Hollywood O.G.: Robert Blake

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Iconic Hollywood rebel, infamous murder suspect, one of Johnny Carson’s best and frequent guests, actor Robert Blake was born in Nutley, New Jersey. In his autobiography, he mentions visiting his grandmother as a kid, she living in nearby Allwood, Clifton at the time. Allwood is where I grew up and still live part-time with my folks; Nutley is a stone’s throw from me.

Robert Blake died this week at the age of 89.

Reading Blake’s The Life of a Rascal will pop your eyes open wide, but one doesn’t need to be treated to his autobiography to know about the man. He was a well-known fixture on the Hollywood scene, surely known for his rebellious ways (even before being brought to trial for murder). Some of the facts of his life and career are:

Blake was accused and participated in a long well-publicized trial over the shooting death of his wife Bonnie Lee Bakley in 2001. This crime matched only OJ in tabloid murder mayhem

He won an Emmy for his famous T.V, series Baretta

He began his acting career at age five, his first appearance in the film Bridal Suite. Following this Blake began appearing as “Micky,” in the Our Gang shorts, better known as The Little Rascals. He continued his career playing a young Native American role in the “Red Ryder” franchise of films, a Mexican boy in the Humphrey Bogart’s Treasure of the Sierra Madre and skipping many years later (and after a hitch in the service) Blake earned his first breakout adult movie role playing Perry Smith in an 1967 adaptation of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood.

In this movie, Blake has the distinction of being the first actor to say “Bullshit” in a feature film.

He starred in the TV series Toma, from 1975 through 1978.

His final movie was 1997 David Lynch’s Lost Highway.

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