Barbara Hale

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Barbara Hale
Barbara Hale in Jolson Sings Again trailer.jpg
Barbara Hale in Jolson Sings Again, 1949.
Born (1922-04-18) April 18, 1922 (age 92)
DeKalb, Illinois, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1943–2000
Known for Perry Mason
Spouse(s) Bill Williams
(1946–92; his death; 3 children)
Children Jodi Katt (b. 1947)
William Katt (b. 1951)
Juanita Katt (b. 1953)

Barbara Hale (born April 18, 1922) is 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.

Biography[edit]

Hale was born in DeKalb, Illinois, to Luther Ezra Hale, a landscape gardener, and his wife, Wilma Colvin.[1] She is of Scots-Irish ancestry.[2] 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.

Acting Career[edit]

Barbara Hale with Raymond Burr in Perry Mason, 1958.

Hale moved to Hollywood in 1943, and made her first screen appearances playing small parts (often uncredited). She 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 as legal secretary, Della Street in the Television series Perry Mason starring Raymond Burr as the titular character. The show ran from 1957 to 1966, and she reprised the role in several television movies. Her last performance to date 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).

Spokesperson[edit]

Barbara Hale also is remembered as a spokesperson for Amana, makers of Radarange microwave ovens, memorably intoning, "If it doesn't say Amana, it's not a Radarange."[3]

Private Life[edit]

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 of The 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 herself is a cancer survivor, and a grandmother. She is a follower of the Bahá'í Faith.[4]

Tributes[edit]

Hale was recognized with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on February 8, 1960. She won an Emmy Award in 1959 and was nominated a second time in 1961.

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1943 Gildersleeve's Bad Day Girl at Party Getting Peavey to Donate Uncredited
Mexican Spitfire's Blessed Event Girl at Airport Uncredited
The Seventh Victim Subway Passenger Uncredited
The Iron Major Sarah Cavanaugh Uncredited
Gildersleeve on Broadway Stocking Salesgirl Uncredited
Government Girl Girl in Hotel Lobby Uncredited
Around the World Barbara Hale Uncredited
Higher and Higher Katherine Keating
1944 Prunes and Politics Short Film
The Falcon Out West Marion Colby
Goin' To Town Patty
Heavenly Days Angie
The Falcon in Hollywood Peggy Callahan
1945 West of the Pecos Rill Lambeth
First Yank into Tokyo Abby Drake
1946 Lady Luck Mary Audrey
1947 A Likely Story Vickie North
1948 The Boy with Green Hair Miss Brand
1949 The Clay Pigeon Martha Gregory
The Window Mrs. Mary Woodry
Jolson Sings Again Ellen Clark
And Baby Makes Three Jacqueline 'Jackie' Walsh
1950 The Jackpot Amy Lawrence
Emergency Wedding Dr. Helen Hunt
1951 Lorna Doone Lorna Doone
1952 The First Time Betsey Bennet
Castle in the Air Barbara Hale Uncredited
Rainbow 'Round My Shoulder is the original title.
1953 Last of the Comanches Julia Lanning
Seminole Revere
The Lone Hand Sarah Jane Skaggs
A Lion Is in the Streets Verity Wade
1955 Unchained Mary Davitt
The Far Horizons Julia Hancock
1956 The Houston Story Zoe Crane
7th Cavalry Martha Kellogg
1957 The Oklahoman Anne Barnes
Slim Carter Allie Hanneman
1958 Desert Hell Celie Edwards
1968 Buckskin Sarah Cody
1970 Airport Sarah Demerest
The Red, White and Black Mrs. Alice Grierson
1975 The Giant Spider Invasion Dr. Jenny Langer
1978 Big Wednesday Mrs. Barlow

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1952- 1956 The Ford Television Theatre Marta Linden, Nora White Episodes: The Divided Heart, Remember to Live, Behind the Mask
1953 Footlights Theater Katherine Charles Episode: Change of Heart
1953- 1955 Schlitz Playhouse of Stars Episodes: Vacation for Ginny, Tourists-Overnight
1955 Studio 57 Ruth Episode: Young Couples Only
General Electric Theater Ellen Newman Episode: The Windmill
Screen Director's Playhouse June Waters Episode: Meet the Governor
Celebrity Playhouse Episode: He Knew All About Women
Climax! Mamie Eunson Episode: The Day They Gave Babies Away
Science Fiction Theatre Nancy Stanton, Pat Hastings Episodes: Conversations With an Ape, The Hastings Secret
1956 The Loretta Young Show Bill's Wife Episode: The Challenge
Damon Runyon Theater Wendy Longfield Episode: The Good Luck Kid
Crossroads Jane Sherman Episode: Lifeline
The Millionaire Kathy Munson and Marian Munson Episode: The Kathy Munson Story
1956- 1957 Playhouse 90 Mrs. Julia Wiley, Ann Barnes, Allie Hanneman Episodes: The Country Husband, The Blackwell Story, The Oklahoman, Slim Carter
1957- 1966 Perry Mason (TV Series) Della Street Credited in all 271 episodes.
1959 General Electric Theater Lorraine Episode: Night Club
1960 Here's Hollywood Herself
1963 Stump the Stars Herself 2 episodes
1967 Custer Melinda Terry Episode: Death Hunt
1969 Insight Mom Episode: A Thousand Red Flowers
Lassie Sarah Caldwell Episode: Lassie and the Water Bottles
1970 The Most Deadly Game Episode: Model for Murder
1971 Ironside Marsha Connell Episode: Murder Impromptu
Adam-12 Bonnie Jessup Episode: Pick-up Her husband, Bill Williams, also appeared in the episode.
1972 The Doris Day Show Thelma King Episode: Doris' House Guest
1973- 1978 Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color Mrs. Belle Kincaid, Mrs. Hanson, Mrs. Ogle, Mrs. Barlow Episodes: Chester, Yesterday's Horse, Flight of the Grey Wolf, Parts 1 and 2, The Young Runaways, Big Wednesday
1974 Marcus Welby, M.D. Marjorie Episode: The Faith of Childish Things
1976 Dinah! Herself
1982 The Greatest American Hero Paula Hinkley Episode: Who's Woo in America
1985 Perry Mason Returns Della Street Perry Mason TV movie.
1986 The Case of the Notorious Nun Della Street Perry Mason TV movie.
The Case of the Shooting Star Della Street Perry Mason TV movie.
1987 The Case of the Lost Love Della Street Perry Mason TV movie.
The Case of the Sinister Spirit Della Street Perry Mason TV movie.
The Case of the Murdered Madam Della Street Perry Mason TV movie.
The Case of the Scandalous Scoundrel Della Street Perry Mason TV movie.
1988 The Case of the Avenging Ace Della Street Perry Mason TV movie.
The Case of the Lady in the Lake Della Street Perry Mason TV movie.
1989 The Case of the Lethal Lesson Della Street Perry Mason TV movie.
The Case of the Musical Murder Della Street Perry Mason TV movie.
The Case of the All-Star Assassin Della Street Perry Mason TV movie.
1990 The Case of the Poisoned Pen Della Street Perry Mason TV movie.
The Case of the Desperate Deception Della Street Perry Mason TV movie.
The Case of the Silenced Singer Della Street Perry Mason TV movie.
The Case of the Defiant Daughter Della Street Perry Mason TV movie.
1991 The Case of the Ruthless Reporter Della Street Perry Mason TV movie.
The Case of the Maligned Mobster Della Street Perry Mason TV movie.
The Case of the Glass Coffin Della Street Perry Mason TV movie.
The Case of the Fatal Fashion Della Street Perry Mason TV movie.
1992 The Case of the Fatal Framing Della Street Perry Mason TV movie.
The Case of the Reckless Romeo Della Street Perry Mason TV movie.
The Case of the Heartbroken Bride Della Street Perry Mason TV movie.
1993 The Case of the Skin-Deep Scandal Della Street Perry Mason TV movie.
The Case of the Telltale Talk Show Host Della Street Perry Mason TV movie.
The Case of the Killer Kiss Della Street Perry Mason TV movie.
The Case of the Wicked Wives Della Street Perry Mason TV movie.
The Defense Rests: A Tribute to Raymond Burr Herself
1994 The Case of the Lethal Lifestyle Della Street Perry Mason TV movie.
The Case of the Grimacing Governor Della Street Perry Mason TV movie.
1995 The Case of the Jealous Jokester Della Street Perry Mason TV movie.
2000 Biography: Raymond Burr, The Case of the TV Legend Herself

References[edit]

External links[edit]