Actor Robert Blake, whose name was all over the headlines following the death of his wife Bonny Lee Bakley in 2001, is speaking out in a new ABC News interview, to be featured in a special 2-hour edition 20/20 to air Friday night. Blake, famous for his starring role in the 1970’s cop series Baretta, was charged with Bakley’s murder, only to be acquitted in 2005, but was later found liable for her death in a civil trial.
Bakley was fatally shot while sitting in Blake’s car. Blake told authorities he had gone back to the restaurant where they had just had dinner, because he left a gun there. That weapon was determined not to be the murder weapon. In the same area as O.J. Simpson‘s case, just several years later, Blake’s case had a similar outcome. Since then, Bakley’s death has hung over Blake, much like Simpson will forever be linked to the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.
Blake appealed the decision in the wrongful death case brought by Bakley’s children, and lost, with a judgment ordering him to pay millions. He eventually reached a settlement agreement.
Blake now mostly stays out of the spotlight, having not worked as an actor in decades, his last role being before Bakley’s death in the 1997 film Lost Highway.
The 85-year-old Blake told ABC News that he could go back to performing, as people still recognize him, but just doesn’t have it in him.
“You say, ‘Well why don’t you work?'” Blake said. “‘Cause I’m half dead.”
Half dead and totally dead are quite different though, as he defiantly said his misfortunes haven’t gotten the best of him.
“I’m 85 years old, I’m beat up all to hell and gone but I’m still here,” he declared. “I’m not giving up. I ain’t stick a gun in my mouth. I’m not juicing. I ain’t taking dope.”
Blake ultimately is appreciative of he life he does have.
“If you live to be a thousand, you’ll never meet anybody with more miracles in their life than me.”
The full special is set to air Friday night on ABC at 9:oo p.m. ET.
[Image via ABC screengrab]