Alec Baldwin made a heartfelt homage to Robert Blake and encouraged fans to remember his extraordinary career instead of his legal troubles. Following Blake’s death at age 89 on Thursday, Baldwin posted a video on social media. The footage was from Blake’s most impactful role, as troubled ex-convict Perry Smith in 1967’s In Cold Blood.
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“Robert Blake has died,” Baldwin wrote on Instagram alongside the video Thursday. “I realize that many people have had harsh feelings toward him. His life seemed to involve many dramatic legal entanglements,” the 30 Rock actor continued. “Today, I want [to] remember him as the incredibly gifted actor he was. A child actor who made countless films in the 40’s.”
Baldwin went on to note other hallmark performances in Blake’s prolific career but paused to sing out In Cold Blood. “Blake and Scott Wilson give two of the greatest performances of all time in the film based upon Truman Capote’s novel,” he added. “The brooding, baby-faced Blake had a difficult life. However, when you watch IN COLD BLOOD, you are transfixed and overwhelmed by his work in this masterpiece.”
On Thursday, Delinah Blake Hurwitz shared with CNN that her father passed away peacefully in the company of family. Noreen Austin, Robert Blake’s niece released the news of his death via a representative; he passed away in Los Angeles due to heart disease.
Baldwin’s defense of Blake comes after his own legal battles
Baldwin is referencing Blakes’s more recent legal issues that may be fresher to the public than his acting roles. In 2001, Blake faced a murder charge for his wife Bonny Lee Bakley’s death in the San Fernando Valley. Despite pleading not guilty and being acquitted of all criminal charges four years later, he lost a civil suit brought by her children concerning the case.
Balwin’s defense of Blake comes after his own recent legal troubles. In January, Baldwin entered a plea of not guilty for the two counts of involuntary manslaughter related to cinematographer Halyna Hutchins’ death. This was over a year after the deadly shooting that occurred on the set of Rust.
On Thursday, Baldwin’s lawyer claimed before a judge that the actor wants to have his day in court and asserted that the gun used in the fatal shooting of Rust was destroyed by state authorities. Heather Brewer, a spokesperson for the office of the New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney, has confirmed that the gun in question has not been destroyed by the state.
“The gun Alec Baldwin used in the shooting that killed Halyna Hutchins has not been destroyed by the state. The gun is in evidence and is available for the defense to review,” Brewer told Fox News.
In a major legal victory for Baldwin, the judge ruled to drop the firearms enhancement charge brought by prosecutors. His legal team argued that this was unconstitutional because of when it had been passed – after the fatal shooting incident. With their successful argumentation, they were able to overturn this ruling in favor of Baldwin’s case.