Emmy Award winning actress Barbara Hale died January 26 at her Los Angeles home at the age of 94. An official cause of death was not given but her son noted that she died peacefully and surrounded by family.
While she appeared in over 100 film and television productions, she is best known for her role as Della Street – Perry Mason’s secretary in the crime drama “Perry Mason” and its various films.
She made her television debut in 1952 on the “Ford Theater”. Along with appearing in a number of theater of the week programs, Hale’s appearances included “Climax”, “Custer”, “Lassie”, “Ironside”, “Adam-12”, “Marcus Welby, M.D.”, and “The Greatest American Hero”.
But it was in 1943 in an uncredited role in “Gildersleeve’s Bad Day. Her first credited role came several films later with “Higher and Higher”. Other film roles include “West of the Pecos”, “And Baby Makes Three”, “A Lion in the Streets”, “Airport”, and the numerous “Perry Mason” productions.
Along with her film and television work, Hale also appeared on a number of radio programs including “This is Hollywood”, “Family Theater”, “Hollywood Calling”, and “Lux Radio theater”.
She was born April 18, 1922 in DeKalb, Illinois but was raised in Rockford from the time she was four years old. While she took dance lessons and participated in local theater, Hale never intended to make acting her career; she wanted to be an artist.
Predeceased by her husband Bill; Hale is survived by her children Nita, William, and Jody; six grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
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