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LOS ANGELES – Actor Robert Blake, who starred in the television series “Baretta” and the film “In Cold Blood” and was later acquitted in a real-life murder case involving his wife, died Thursday. He was 89.

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The Emmy Award-winning actor died in Los Angeles from heart disease, his niece, Noreen Austin, told The Associated Press in a statement.

Blake was acquitted in 2005 in the shooting death of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, four years earlier, but was later found liable by a civil jury, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Bakley was fatally shot at point-blank range on May 4, 2001, in Studio City, California, while she sat in a car outside Vitello’s restaurant, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Blake told police that he had returned to the restaurant to retrieve a revolver he had left inside, the entertainment news outlet reported.

In 2005, Blake, who had spent a year in jail, was acquitted by a jury and was also found not guilty of soliciting a former stunt double to kill his wife, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Blake had to pay Bakley’s family $30 million, a civil lawsuit judgment that sent him into bankruptcy, the AP reported.

“If you want to know how to go through $10 million in five years, ask me how,” Blake told reporters after the verdict. “I was a rich man. I’m broke now.”

The actor was never able to move forward after the high-profile trial, according to the Times.

Blake, a former child actor, appeared in more than 40 of MGM’s “Our Gang” shorts, beginning in 1939, under the name of Mickey Gubitosi, Variety reported.

He was best known for his Emmy-winning role as an undercover police officer who owned a cockatoo in “Baretta,” which ran from 1975 to 1978, according to He won the Emmy in 1975 for portraying Tony Baretta, whose signature line was, “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.”

Blake also played murderer Perry Smith in the 1967 film adaptation of Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood,” the Times reported.

He also played lead roles in the films “Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here” (1969) and “Electra Glide in Blue” (1973), according to the Times. He also starred in the 1985 television series “Hell Town.” His last role was in the 1997 David Lynch movie “Lost Highway.”

Blake starred in several other films, including “PT 109″ (1963), and in 1965′s “The Greatest Story Ever Told,” Variety reported.

He also had a presence on television, appearing on “Wagon Train,” “Ben Casey” and “Rawhide.”