Barbara Hale, who is remembered for her nine season stint as Perry Mason’s (Raymond Burr) loyal secretary Della Street on the 1957-66 legal drama, died on Thursday at her home in Los Angeles. She was 94.
Born on April 18, 1992 in DeKalb, Illinois, Hale made her first on screen appearance in theatrical “Gildersleeve’s Bad Day” in 1943. She was under contract to RKO Radio Pictures through the late 1940s, and appeared in films like “Higher and Higher” with Frank Sinatra, “West of the Pecos” with Robert Mitchum, and “Lady Luck” with Robert Young. She received the Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for “Perry Mason” in 1959, and reunited with Raymond Burr for 30 “Perry Mason” made-for television movies.
Hale continued to work in films and TV through the 1970s and early 1980s, including 1970 theatrical “Airport” and episodes of “Adam-12,” “Marcus Welby, M.D.,” “Lassie,” “Ironside,” “The Doris Day Show” and “The Greatest American Hero,” the latter opposite her son William Katt.
The final “Perry Mason” television movie, “A Perry Mason Mystery: The Case of the Jealous Jokester” in 1995, was her final screen credit.