Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The curious case of Robert Blake

One of my favorite actor-turned-defendants is back in the news. Robert Blake was ordered to pay $30 million dollars after being found liable in the 2001 murder of his wife in California.

But it's safe to say that with no Heisman Trophy for Blake to auction, the victim's family won't be collecting that money.

The case featured everything you could ever want. Witness:

Blake's wife, some 25 years his junior, was killed in a car after getting dinner with Blake in California in 2001. Blake says he had gone back in the restaurant at the time. To get his gun. This, by the way, is the plot to the pilot episode of Blake's old TV show Baretta. No joke.

After his arrest, Blake granted the obligatory jailhouse interview to Barbara Walters. Uncontent with simply breaking into tears, he interrupted the interview for a visit to the jail vending machine, where he got a Snickers that he ate during the interview.

And then the coup de gras. After his acquittal on criminal charges in March, Blake was asked what he would do. He said he'd go "cowboying:"
Cowboying is when you get in a motor home or a van and you just let the air blow in your hair. And you wind up in some little bar in Arizona someplace, and you shoot a game of one-hand nine-ball with some 90-year-old Portuguese woman that beats the hell out of you. And the next day you wind up in a park someplace playing chess with somebody, and you go see a high school play where they're doing "West Side Story." And you just roam around and get some revitalization, that there are human beings in the world, that there are people living their lives that have no agenda.
So what's next? Unclear. But if you're a one-armed Portuguese woman, please watch out.


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