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Michael "Mickey" Gubitosi (Blake) was born September 1933 in Nutley, New Jersey, to entertainers James and Elizabeth. He was part of their act.
When he was five, his family moved to Los Angeles where he landed a role in the Our Gang, for MGM Studios. In a 1993 interview he described to People magazine a childhoold of severe psychological, physical, and sexual abuse. Claiming his parents, "locked me in a closet and left me there all day long," and "made me eat on the floor like a dog."
In Cold Blood (1967) Blake played murderer Perry Smit. He was a Native American fugitive in Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here (1969), and a police officer in Electra Glide in Blue (1973). He won an Emmy for outstanding actor in a TV drama for his crime series Baretta (1975).
He had two children with his first wife Sondra. They divorced in 1983.
in 1985, he walked off the TV series,"Hell Town" and didn't workagain for eight years. In 1993 he was in the TV movie "Judgement Day: The John List story" and David Lynch's "Lost Highway" in 1997.
On June 2, 2000, Bonny Lee Bakley gave birth to Rosie. November 19, 2000, after, DNA proved Blake, 71, was Rosie's father, he married Bonny, 44. They lived separately.
Middle aged and overweight, Bonny had always been star struck, desperately pursuing relationships with show business personalities, and Christian, Brando, Marlon Brando's son, an ex-convict who shot a sleeping man to death. She also bilked desperate, lonely, old men out of money while
May 4, 2001, five days after Bonny moved to a cottage in Blake's back yard, she was shot to death as she sat in the passenger seat of her husband's car, parked on the quiet street around the corner from Vitello's restaurant just outside Studio City. Blake said he left Bonnie in the car while he retrieved a gun he accidentally left at Vitello's while they were eating dinner. He claimed Bonny was dead when he returned to the car.
was arrested April 18, 2002 for murder,
soliciting murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and laying in wait for the murder of his wife. On April 22, 2002, he pleaded not guilty to one count of murder and two counts of solicitation of murder. April 29, 2002, Bakley's four children filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against Blake and his former handyman/bodyguard, Earle Caldwell.
July 25, 2002, Blake's adult daughter, Delinah Blake, gained custody of Rosie.
February 17, 2003, Blake called the Bakley's family "monsters" but says he did not kill his wife during a jailhouse interview with Barbara Walters.
After Blake posted $1.5 million bail he was released from jail on March 14, 2003 and placed under house arrest.
December 20, 2004, opening statements began in the criminal trial. The defense hoped to deflect suspicion from Blake by pointing the finger at Christian Brando,
but that tactic failed due to a lack of evidence. Blake, his fans, and the media smeared the reputation of Bonny, the victim, his wife, and the mother of his child. Ronald "Duffy" Hambleton, and Gary McLarty, both former stuntman, testified that Blake told them he was looking for someone to hire to kill Bonny. On March 4, 2005, jurors began deliberations. March 16, 2005, Blake was acquitted of first-degree murder, one count of solicitation of murder, and were deadlocked on a second solicitation charge after jurors were split 11-1 in favor of acquittal.
People v. Blake
On September 1, 2005 opening statements began in the civil trial. On October 25, 2005, Christian Brando invoked the Fifth Amendment when he took the witness stand.
After closing arguments on November 3, 2005, jurors began deliberations. On November 18, 2005, jurors found Blake "intentionally caused the death" of Bonny by a 10-2 vote and he was ordered to pay Bonny's children $30 million in damages. They voted against implicating Caldwell.
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