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Barbara Hale

Barbara Hale

Show Count: 6
Series Count: 0
Role: Old Time Radio Star
Born: April 18, 1922
Old Time Radio, DeKalb, Illinois, U.S
An American actress best known for her role as legal secretary Della Street on more than 250 episodes of the long-running Perry Mason television series and later reprising the role in 30 made-for-TV movies.

Hale was born in DeKalb, Illinois, to Luther Ezra Hale, a landscape gardener, and his wife, Wilma Colvin. She is of Scots-Irish ancestry. Hale graduated from high school in Rockford, Illinois, then attended the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, planning to become an artist. Her performing career began in Chicago when she started modeling to pay for her education. She moved to Hollywood in 1943, and made her first screen appearances playing small parts (often uncredited).

Hale was under contract to RKO Radio Pictures through the late 1940s. She appeared in Higher and Higher (1943) with Frank Sinatra; played leading lady to Robert Mitchum in West of the Pecos(1945); enjoyed top billing in both Lady Luck (1946) opposite Robert Young and The Window (1949) with Arthur Kennedy; and co-starred in Jolson Sings Again (1949), with Larry Parks playing Al Jolson and Hale as Jolson's wife, Ellen Clark. She played the top-billed title role in Lorna Doone (1951) and portrayed Julia Hancock in The Far Horizons (1955) with Fred MacMurray and Charlton Heston.

Her flourishing movie career more or less ended when Hale accepted her best known role, Della Street, secretary to attorney Perry Mason, in the TV series with Raymond Burr. The show ran from 1957 to 1966, and she reprised the role in several television movies. Her last performance was in 2000 at age 78. In 1967 she guest starred on the ABC series Custer. Hale also had a featured role in the 1970 ensemble film Airport, playing the wife of a jetliner pilot (Dean Martin).

Barbara Hale also is remembered as a spokeswoman for Amana, makers of Radarange microwave ovens, memorably intoning, "If it doesn't say Amana, it's not a Radarange."

In 1945 during the filming of West of the Pecos, Hale met actor Bill Williams. They married the following year and became the parents of two daughters, Jodi and Juanita, and a son, actor William Katt. Katt played detective Paul Drake, Jr., with her in several made-for-television Perry Mason movies. She also guest-starred as the mother of Ralph Hinkley (played by Katt) in an episode ofThe Greatest American Hero (Episode 29, "Who's Woo in America"), and appeared as his mother in the movie Big Wednesday (1978).

Bill Williams died of cancer in 1992, after 46 years of marriage. Hale is a cancer survivor, and is now a grandmother; she is retired and is a follower of the Bahá'í Faith.

Hale has been recognized with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She won an Emmy Award in 1959 and was nominated a second time in 1961. [Source: Wikipedia]

Broadcast: 20th September 1950
Added: Jul 10 2011
Broadcast: 22nd May 1950
Added: May 23 2010
Broadcast: August 29, 1951
Added: Sep 07 2014
Broadcast: 18th March 1953
Added: Mar 25 2012