Robert Blake, who earned an Emmy this year (1975) for his portrayal of detective Tony Baretta in ABC's Baretta series, comes by his stalwart physique honestly.
Some years ago, seeking to alleviate chronic backaches, he began a regimen of exercises, including weight lifting, at a gym near his home.
In the frenetic entertainment industry, just keeping up with the pace can be a problem. Actors and actresses take up yoga, meditation, bicycling, diets of all sorts - take up anything that will keep them in shape and just keep them moving.
Robert Blake, Emmy-winning star of the ABC Television Network's Baretta series, finds that hanging upside down helps him.
Several years ago Blake wanted exercises to curb his backaches. He went to Vince Gironda, who has owned Vince's Gym on Ventura Boulevard near Blake's Studio City, California, home for 29 years.
Vince, to whom patients needing exercises closely tied in with physiotherapy are often referred, gave Blake a personalized program, watched the effects closely, and altered the routine where needed so that the backaches became almost non-existent.
As a side effect, Blake developed a chest and arms which lady fan letter writers are fond of mentioning. He has worked up to bench pressing more than 200 pounds of weights and doing some of the exercises hanging upside down from a bar.
The actor finds the exercises done upside down have a two fold benefit - increasing the flow of blood to the head and changing circulation as well as almost doubling the effects of the exercises on the muscles.
"They also keep me less tense, less irritable, and able to sleep, work and operate better," he comments.
In the fall, Blake's Baretta will move to a new 9 to 10 p.m. time slot on Wednesdays.