Blake’s wife to be subject of TV movie

From Associated Press

As jury selection continues for the trial of actor Robert Blake, production is about to begin on a TV movie about the murder of which he is accused. But “Dying for Stardom: The Absolutely Unbelievable True Story of Bonny Lee Bakley” does not attempt to answer the question of who killed Blake’s wife.

“Whether Robert Blake pulled the trigger or whether he had someone pull the trigger ... we leave that up to one’s own determination,” said producer Larry Thompson, a former manager of Blake in the early 1980s. “The point we’re trying to make in our movie is she desperately wanted respect, love and fame and she paid the ultimate price. Who killed Bonny Bakley isn’t as important as how she lived.”

The budgeted $6-million film, with Steve Railsback playing Blake, is scheduled to begin shooting Dec. 6 in Victoria, Canada. Thompson said he paid a “six-figure” amount last year to Bakley’s younger sister, Margerry Bakley, who lives in Tennessee, for the rights to the story.

Blake, 71, former star of the “Baretta” TV series, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Bakley, who was killed May 4, 2001.