Barbara Hale

Active - 1943 - 1995  |   Born - Apr 18, 1922 in DeKalb, Illinois  |   Died - Jan 26, 2017   |   Genres - Mystery, Crime, Comedy, Western

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Biography by Hal Erickson

According to her Rockford, Illinois, high-school yearbook, Barbara Hale hoped to make a career for herself as a commercial artist. Instead, she found herself posing for artists as a professional model. This led to a movie contract at RKO Radio, where she worked her way up from "B"s like The Falcon in Hollywood (1945) to such top-of-the-bill attractions as A Likely Story (1947) and The Boy With Green Hair (1949). She continued to enjoy star billing at Columbia, where among other films she essayed the title role in Lorna Doone (1952). Her popularity dipped a bit in the mid-1950s, but she regained her following in the Emmy-winning role of super-efficient legal secretary Della Street on the Perry Mason TV series. She played Della on a weekly basis from 1957 through 1966, and later appeared in the irregularly scheduled Perry Mason two-hour TV movies of the 1980s and 1990s. The widow of movie leading man Bill Williams, Barbara Hale was the mother of actor/director William Katt. Hale died in 2017, at age 94.

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