Robert Blake, who earned dozens of screen credits during his long Hollywood career, died this year at 89; but producers Sunday’s Oscar ‘In Memoriam’ segment. In fact, host Jimmy Kimmel actually made a joke at Blake’s expense prior to the segment.
Blake was found not guilty of murdering his wife in 2001 but was still omitted from the ‘In Memoriam’ where the Academy highlights the various talents lost in the year prior.
“Everybody please get out your phones, even at home, it’s time to vote: If you think Robert Blake should be part of the In Memoriam montage, text GIMME-A-Blake to the number on your screen, or to any number,” Kimmel quipped. “Text that to your mother if you like. Message and data rates may apply.”
Blake enjoyed an illustrious show business career decades ago, overshadowed in later years by his legal battles. He made films including 1967’s In Cold Blood, 1948’s Treasure of the Sierra Madre, and 1997’s Lost Highway.
Authorities charged Blake in 2002 with fatally shooting his spouse, Bonnie Lee Bakley, in order to gain custody of their young daughter. He allegedly tried to solicit others to kill his wife, as well. He was acquitted of the crime. However, a civil jury found him guilty and ordered him to pay $30 million to the family, which sent him into bankruptcy.
Blake was known as one of the most difficult Hollywood stars to work with and he would later admit to tremendous struggles with alcohol and drug addiction.