Who Is Robert Blake? Jimmy Kimmel Jokes About Late Actor at 2023 Oscars
During the 2023 Oscars ceremony Sunday night (March 12), host Jimmy Kimmel made a joke about late actor Robert Blake, which one Twitter user claimed would "go over so many people's heads."
"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 hang up, or text that to your mother if you'd like. Message and data rates may apply," Kimmel joked of the controversial actor.
Blake, who died at age 89 on March 9, was infamous for his fall from grace after the murder of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, in 2001. The couple shared one daughter, Rose, together.
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On May 4, 2001, Blake and Bakley were out going to dinner at Vitello's Italian Restaurant in Studio City, Calif., when Bakley was shot and killed while sitting in Blake's vehicle.
Along with his longtime bodyguard, Blake was arrested in 2002 for the crime and the trial soon overshadowed his prolific acting career.
After denying he committed the murder, Blake was tried and acquitted of the shooting in 2004. However, he was ordered to pay Bakley's family $30 million, which left him bankrupt.
Robert Blake was once a celebrated actor and Emmy winner, known for his roles in the film adaptation of Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, as well as the 1970s television series Baretta. The show was responsible for the popular saying, "Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time."
In 1993, he won an Emmy award for playing the titular role of a murderer in Judgment Day: The John List Story.
Blake died of heart disease while surrounded by family, according to The Associated Press.