Barbara Hale, 'Perry Mason' Star, Dies At 94

Barbara Hale 'Perry Mason's' Secretary Died at Home in Sherman Oaks

Barbara Hale, 'Perry Mason' Star, Dies At 94

Hale was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960.

Hale was mostly known for her role as the legal secretary, Della Street, in the "Perry Mason" television series during nine seasons.

Hale had a thriving movie career in the '40s and '50s, but became most closely associated with her role on "Perry Mason".

Actress Barbara Hale in a promo shot for the movie "First Yank Into Tokyo" circa 1945.

It was later revived in a series of television films throughout the 80s and 90s. The perpetually stymied adversary was the district attorney played by William Talman. She received an Emmy Award in 1959 as the best-supporting actress. "She has an instinct for doing exactly the right thing when it is needed". Among her later film roles were Airport and Big Wednesday. "Perry Mason" TV movies aired from 1985 to 1995, the last installment featuring Hale's final performance. This was the full message from her son William.

Barbara Hale 'Perry Mason's' Secretary Died at Home in Sherman Oaks
Barbara Hale, 'Perry Mason' Star, Dies At 94

She was the only cast member to appear in every one of the roughly 300 "Perry Mason" shows. They tended to accent the personal, thoroughly platonic bond between Mason and Street far more than the old series.

The on-air chemistry between Hale and Burr and the affection their characters had for each other helped endear the show to viewers for decades. Hale as Street and Hal Holbrook playing a defense lawyer named "Wild Bill" McKenzie.

Born in DeKalb, Illinois in 1922, Hale was the second child of Willa and Luther Hale. She graduated from Rockford Highschool in 1940 and then she went to Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, where she started her modeling career to pay her studies. She was in "Higher and Higher" (1943) where she sang with Frank Sinatra. "And Raymond was the man", Hale told the Los Angeles Times in 1993, adding that Burr had "the greatest sense of humor of any person I ever met". In "A Lion Is in the Streets" (1953), she was the sweet-natured wife to Cagney's rabid political demagogue. Her first starring role was "lady luck" (1946).

"Lost my attractive wonderful mom Barbara Hale yesterday afternoon", Katt, star of the television series "The Greatest American Hero", wrote Friday. He died in 1992. Along with William, the couple had two daughters, Johanna Katt and Juanita King, who survive her. A wonderful actress and a smart business woman she was most of all a treasure as a friend and mother!

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