If you’re a fan of old movies, you’ve probably seen Amanda Blake in one of the many films she appeared in over the course of her career. Blake was known for her beauty and her talent as an actress. She was also a very charitable lady. She donated to a number of charities throughout her life and even helped to create an animal refuge after her death. Sadly, she did not have any children and died at the age of 60 in 1989.
In her last years, she suffered from a variety of health issues including diabetes and heart disease. She died of AIDS-related complications on August 16, 1989 at Mercy General Hospital in Sacramento, California. She had been in poor health for the past year and was battling hepatitis. Her doctor, Lou Nishimura, cited AIDS as the cause of her death.
Despite the fact that Blake was diagnosed with AIDS shortly before her death, Nishimura would not confirm or deny whether or not she had contracted the disease from a blood transfusion. He said that he treated the actress for about a year before her death and she never told him how she got infected. He did, however, tell the Associated Press that she contracted hepatitis from Mark Spaeth, who had died of AIDS at the age of 45.
Blake was a heavy smoker and had undergone surgery for oral cancer in February 1977. She had been a regular on Gunsmoke for 19 years before she left in 1974. In her final TV appearance, she played Kitty Russell in the 1985 movie Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge.
She was a member of the board of directors for the Humane Society of the United States and also founded the Amanda Blake Memorial Wildlife Refuge in 1997 at Rancho Seco Park in Herald, California. The refuge provides sanctuary for free-ranging African hoofed animals that were previously destined for exotic animal auctions and hunting ranches.
Blake was a woman of great faith and her Christian beliefs were evident in her charity work. She was a longtime supporter of the American Cancer Society, appearing at fundraisers throughout the country. She was also an activist for animal rights and bequeathed her ranch-style home to PAWS, the Progressive Welfare Animal Welfare Society, in her will. The organization has used the property to house rescued cheetahs. In addition, the center has educated people about hepatitis C and other diseases. It also has provided financial aid to needy families and children. The center is open to the public and visitors are welcome at any time. They can also donate money to help with the costs of running the facility. The donation amounts are tax-deductible. The center also hosts a variety of educational and cultural events for the public. For more information, visit the PAWS website. You can also follow them on Facebook to keep up with their latest updates. They are always looking for volunteers to help them run the shelter.