Barbara Hale was an American actress who portrayed legal secretary Della Street in the dramatic television series Perry Mason, earning her a 1959 Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.
23 Facts About Barbara Hale
Barbara Hale reprised the role in 30 Perry Mason made-for-television movies.
Barbara Hale was born in DeKalb, Illinois, to Wilma and Luther Ezra Hale, a landscape gardener.
Barbara Hale had one sister, Juanita, for whom Hale's younger daughter was named.
In 1940, Hale was a member of the final graduating class from Rockford High School in Rockford, Illinois, then attended the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, planning to be an artist.
Barbara Hale's performing career began in Chicago, when she started modeling to pay for her education.
Barbara Hale moved to Hollywood in 1943, and under contract to RKO Radio Pictures, made her first screen appearance in Gildersleeve's Bad Day.
Barbara Hale continued to make small uncredited appearances in films, until her first credited role alongside Frank Sinatra in Higher and Higher.
Barbara Hale received excellent notices for her co-starring performance opposite Larry Parks in the musical biography Jolson Sings Again.
The latter film, co-starring Joel McCrea, would mark Barbara Hale's last leading role in a motion picture.
Barbara Hale seldom appeared in film after this time, but was part of an all-star cast in the 1970 movie Airport, playing the wife of an airline pilot.
Barbara Hale was considering retirement from acting when she accepted her best known role, as legal secretary Della Street in the television series Perry Mason, starring Raymond Burr as the titular character.
Barbara Hale continued her role as Della in the four telefilms produced after Burr's death in 1993, subtitled A Perry Mason Mystery.
Barbara Hale is thus the only actor to feature in all 30 films.
Barbara Hale in turn guest-starred on Katt's series, The Greatest American Hero in which Katt played the title role, aka Ralph Hinkley; Barbara Hale played Hinkley's mother in the 1982 episode, "Who's Woo in America".
Barbara Hale played his mother in the 1978 movie Big Wednesday.
Barbara Hale guest-starred in "Murder Impromptu", a 1971 episode of Ironside, Burr's first post-Perry Mason series.
Barbara Hale's last on-screen appearance was a TV biographical documentary about Burr that aired in 2000.
In 1945, during the filming of West of the Pecos, Barbara Hale met actor Bill Williams.
Barbara Hale died at her home in Sherman Oaks, California, on January 26,2017, at age 94 of complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Barbara Hale was recognized as a Star of Television on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on February 8,1960.
Barbara Hale won the Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Dramatic Series in 1959 and was nominated for the Emmy for Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role by an Actor or Actress in a Series in 1961.
Barbara Hale was presented one of the Golden Boot Awards in 2001 for her contributions to western cinema.