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Actress Barbara Hale (1922-2017)


jakeem
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The Emmy Award-winning actress Barbara Hale, who co-starred in the CBS drama series "Perry Mason" as the defense attorney's invaluable secretary Della Street, has died at the age of 94.

 

Hale was credited in all 271 episodes of the series, which ran from 1957 to 1966 and starred Raymond Burr as the title character. Beginning in 1985, she reprised the role of Della in a series of made-for-television films about Mason, headlined by Burr and Hale's son, actor William Katt. 

 

In May 1959, she won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress (Continuing Character) in a Dramatic Series. She was nominated for another Emmy two years later.

 

prodigalparent2.jpg

Hale co-starred with Burr in CBS' long-running "Perry Mason" (1957-1966)

 

Hale was married to the actor Bill Williams (real name: Herman August Wilhelm Katt) from 1946 until his death in 1992 at the age of 77. In addition to William Katt, they had two daughters.

 

William Katt achieved television notoriety in the 1980s as the star of the ABC comedy/drama "The Greatest American Hero." In the series, which aired from 1981 to 1983, an alien suit transformed his character Ralph Hinkley into a superhuman. 

 

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Hale with Burr and Katt during the '80s revival of the "Perry Mason" series

 

The Illinois-born Hale began her acting career in Hollywood in the early 1940s. Among her film roles: "Higher and Higher" (1943, with Frank Sinatra); "West of the Pecos" (1945, wiith Robert Mitchum); "Lady Luck" (1946, with Robert Young); "The Window" (1949, with Arthur Kennedy); and "Jolson Sings Again" (1949, with Larry Parks).

 
Among her other films: "The Jackpot" (1950, with James Stewart); "Lorna Doone" (1951, with Richard Greene); "A Lion Is in the Streets" (1953, with James Cagney); "Seminole" (1953, with Rock Hudson); and "The Far Horizons" (1955, the story of the Lewis and Clark expedition with Fred MacMurray, Charlton Heston and Donna Reed). 

 

In the 1970 blockbuster "Airport," Hale co-starred as the wife of a philandering airline pilot played by Dean Martin. Near the end of the film, her character learns about her husband's affair with a flight attendant (Jacqueline Bisset) in one of the worst ways possible.

 

 

 

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/barbara-hale-dead-perry-mason-893891

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Just watched Barbara and her husband Bill on a Perry Mason episode last night when he guest starred as the defendant.

 

Man, were there a lot of notable television personalities passing this week or what!

 

(...and in Barbara's case another actresses who as a kid, I had a little crush on)

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Man, were there a lot of notable television personalities passing this week or what!

 

(...and in Barbara's case another actresses who as a kid, I had a little crush on)

 

She certainly was stunning in "Lorna Doone" opposite the future television Robin Hood, Richard Greene. Has TCM ever aired this film?

 

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I was watching PERRY MASON late last night when during a commercial break, METV  put up a photo of Barbara with a nice frame around it and had just her name and "1922-2017" under it.

 

I jumped up in my chair excaliming, "They don't do THAT sort of thing unless somebody DIED!" I said to my wife.  So I came to the PC and googled.

 

Sure enough,  There was a link to an item about her dying.  WIKIPEDIA hadn't yet put her day of death on their  info yet.

 

Gorgeous lady.  And one of the few I ever used to use the word sultry to describe.  Aw, MAN!

 

Mary Tyler Moore, Mike Conners, Miguel Ferrer, Butch Trucks, and now Barbara Hale ,John Hurt. and William Blatty.

 

This year is already starting to suck.  :angry:

 

 

Sepiatone

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I was watching PERRY MASON late last night when during a commercial break, METV put up a photo of Barbara with a nice frame around it and had just her name and "1922-2017" under it.

 

I jumped up in my chair excaliming, "They don't do THAT sort of thing unless somebody DIED!" I said to my wife. So I came to the PC and googled.

 

Sure enough, There was a link to an item about her dying. WIKIPEDIA hadn't yet put her day of death on their info yet.

 

Gorgeous lady. And one of the few I ever used to use the word sultry to describe. Aw, MAN!

 

Mary Tyler Moore, Mike Conners, Miguel Ferrer, Butch Trucks, and now Barbara Hale ,John Hurt. and William Blatty.

 

This year is already starting to suck. :angry:

 

 

Sepiatone

 

I'm not much for most of the shows on ME TV-- a lot of them are dated and are pass their sale date. But the ones that are truly art I never miss, which would be the ones that created the genre to begin with.

 

I never miss Perry Mason in the evening and sometimes I am free to watch it in the mornings too. I'm also a sucker for those two hour shows. It's hard to believe that they made over 20 of those. They're getting ready to start them again on Hallmark this Sunday.

 

I was well aware that Barbara Hale was very advanced in age, yet she was still doing nostalgia shows several years ago. Since she was in the same age group as my mother, I was shocked that she was still alive. She's simply the last person standing on that TV show. So I can't say as her death was any shock to me. But, of course, it made me sad.

 

She was a consummate acting professional, but at the same time she never stopped being a wonderful wife and mother. It was beautiful to watch those two hours shows that she did with her son and to see how proud she was of him.

 

As great as she was as Della Street, I will never forget how much she enhanced the Al Jolson biopic movies. Barbara Hale in Technicolor is a sight to behold. I think she was responsible for the success of the sequel-- she really gave Larry Parks the support that he needed. In some ways I like the sequel Jolson Sings Again better than the original because of her.

 

However, in the entertainment industry and in the world she will always be remembered as Della Street - - the perfect secretary.

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I was surprised to learn that actor William Katt is her son.  Before the iNet, I usually got information like that from aticles in the news paper or the paper's TV book.  Which is how I learned Mike Conners was Armenian.  Before  he did that Shell Oil commercal in the '70's talking about how Christmas was recognized in Armenian culture.  Shell oil did a series of TV commercials in which celebrities of various ethnic backgrounds would tell how their culture of heritage celebrated Christmas.

 

But I was only familiar with Katt from the movie CARRIE and the TV show THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO .  But I didn't care for the TV show, so never bothered to read up on anything about it.  If I had, I might have known he was Hale's son long ago.

 

I never watched any of the PERRY MASON re-hashes, so never saw Katt and his mother work together either.

 

 

Sepiatone

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I could never forget her in "The Window" with Bobby Driscoll and Arthur Kennedy.

 

As Della Street in the long-running TV series, "Perry Mason", she was the very model of dependability and efficiency.

 

And she was always perfectly coiffed and dressed, too.

 

And she never had an unkind word for anybody, including the hard-working Paul Drake (William Hopper).

 

Nor the never-ending list of "defendants", who were always claiming Perry Mason's undivided attention.

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I was surprised to learn that actor William Katt is her son.  Before the iNet, I usually got information like that from aticles in the news paper or the paper's TV book.  Which is how I learned Mike Conners was Armenian.  Before  he did that Shell Oil commercal in the '70's talking about how Christmas was recognized in Armenian culture.  Shell oil did a series of TV commercials in which celebrities of various ethnic backgrounds would tell how their culture of heritage celebrated Christmas.

 

But I was only familiar with Katt from the movie CARRIE and the TV show THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO .  But I didn't care for the TV show, so never bothered to read up on anything about it.  If I had, I might have known he was Hale's son long ago.

 

I never watched any of the PERRY MASON re-hashes, so never saw Katt and his mother work together either.

 

 

Sepiatone

When Bob Fosse's huge Broadway smash, "Pippin", was transferred to film, William Katt, who was NOT in the Broadway production, secured the lead role and did quite well for a non-dancing, non-singing actor in a musical.

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But I was only familiar with Katt from the movie CARRIE and the TV show THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO .  But I didn't care for the TV show, so never bothered to read up on anything about it.  If I had, I might have known he was Hale's son long ago.

 

Katt also starred with Susan Dey in Joan Darling's bittersweet college romance "First Love" (1977) and in John Milius' "Big Wednesday" (1978), a surfing film with Jan-Michael Vincent and Gary Busey.

 

In Richard Lester's 1979 prequel "Butch and Sundance: The Early Days," Katt took over the role that made Robert Redford a superstar 10 years earlier. Tom Berenger co-starred as Butch Cassidy.

 

 

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I was surprised to learn that actor William Katt is her son. Before the iNet, I usually got information like that from aticles in the news paper or the paper's TV book. Which is how I learned Mike Conners was Armenian. Before he did that Shell Oil commercal in the '70's talking about how Christmas was recognized in Armenian culture. Shell oil did a series of TV commercials in which celebrities of various ethnic backgrounds would tell how their culture of heritage celebrated Christmas.

 

But I was only familiar with Katt from the movie CARRIE and the TV show THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO . But I didn't care for the TV show, so never bothered to read up on anything about it. If I had, I might have known he was Hale's son long ago.

 

I never watched any of the PERRY MASON re-hashes, so never saw Katt and his mother work together either.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

Sep--

 

 

The Perry Mason 2 hour shows were not rehashes. In my opinion they were better than the original shows. They were all on the level of a made-for-tv movie and you saw every top TV professional and many movie stars in the shows.

 

I just cannot forget how impressed I was when Debbie Reynolds starred in one, and of course she did some musical numbers.

 

Recently I saw one that Eddie Fisher's 2nd wife, Connie Stevens, starred in. Connie also did a musical number. LOL

 

You really missed out if you didn't get to see these color two-hour shows, but as I said previously they're on Hallmark and ME TV occasionally.

 

I saw them originally on primetime NBC, but when I lived in France they were showing them there on TV once a week because people loved the show in Europe.

 

After William Katt left the two-hour Perry Mason, they replaced him with the very good Falcon Crest veteran William R Moses, who by the way was the first husband of Tracy Nelson, Ricky Nelson's daughter.

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After William Katt left the two-hour Perry Mason, they replaced him with the very good Falcon Crest veteran William R Moses, who by the way was the first husband of Tracy Nelson, Ricky Nelson's daughter.

 

Don't get me started about the extended family of the Nelsons and the Harmons.  :)

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Don't get me started about the extended family of the Nelsons and the Harmons.   :)

 

Oh, don't worry about THAT, jakeem. That's the LAST thing I wanna get you started on again.

 

Yep, I STILL remember that time you got on this subject and got SO wound-up and on a roll that you started doin' your rendition of "Hello Mary Lou"!

 

(...and you've ruined that song for me ever since, ya know)  

 

;)

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One of my favorite actresses.  We have the entire PM DVD set and watch an episode every 3-4 nights.  Paul and Della are my favorites in the cast, but all of the casts are good.

 

Have watched the movies and recorded a couple.  They are different than the one hour TV shows. The movies allowed for more development (time) of some areas and also coverage of more topics.  

Movies are worth watching if never seen before and occasionally thereafter, but not the same as the original series.  And of course the times were different.  No Paul Drake and no Hamilton Burger.

Still much prefer the B&W TV series.  One was in color, but they went back to B&W.    

 

Barbara Hale was also in two of the Falcon movies: The Falcon Goes West and The Falcon in Hollywood, both with Tom Conway.  Hollywood is probably a little better of the two, but both are excellent.

 

The two hour movies are available on DVD, or at least used to be.

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One of my favorite actresses. We have the entire PM DVD set and watch an episode every 3-4 nights. Paul and Della are my favorites in the cast, but all of the casts are good.

 

Have watched the movies and recorded a couple. They are different than the one hour TV shows. The movies allowed for more development (time) of some areas and also coverage of more topics.

Movies are worth watching if never seen before and occasionally thereafter, but not the same as the original series. And of course the times were different. No Paul Drake and no Hamilton Burger.

Still much prefer the B&W TV series. One was in color, but they went back to B&W.

 

Barbara Hale was also in two of the Falcon movies: The Falcon Goes West and The Falcon in Hollywood, both with Tom Conway. Hollywood is probably a little better of the two, but both are excellent.

 

The two hour movies are available on DVD, or at least used to be.

I've got the first three seasons of Perry Mason on DVD.

 

But my favorite Perry Mason DVD is the 50th Anniversary DVD with 12 episodes starring-- Bette Davis, Robert Redford, Leonard Nimoy and other stars-- all introduced by Barbara Hale. This list also includes the one episode where Perry Mason actually lost a case, or so it appeared.LOL

 

Included on this DVD is the famous last episode, " The Final Fade-Out" where every member of the Perry Mason team made an appearance, which included Erle Stanley Gardner, the lawyer who created and wrote the Perry Mason Mysteries and Golden Era Actress, Gail Patrick, who was the executive producer of Perry Mason.

 

What they also have on this DVD are all kinds of screen tests for the show and classic TV appearances of the cast--for example the whole cast appears on a gameshow and an appearance of Raymond Burr on Person to Person.

 

But what I treasure the most on this DVD is an interview or more like reminiscing conversation between producer Arthur Marks and Perry Mason co-star Barbara Hale. You can just tell by the rapport that those two have that people working on the Perry Mason show did such a great job because they loved working together.

 

BTW-- Did I forget to tell you that the 50th Anniversary DVD also includes the first 2-hour show, "The Return of Perry Mason", which starred Patrick O'Neal and Richard Anderson.

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Sep--

The Perry Mason 2 hour shows were not rehashes. In my opinion they were better than the original shows. They were all on the level of a made-for-tv movie and you saw every top TV professional and many movie stars in the shows.

I just cannot forget how impressed I was when Debbie Reynolds starred in one, and of course she did some musical numbers.

Recently I saw one that Eddie Fisher's 2nd wife, Connie Stevens, starred in. Connie also did a musical number. LOL

You really missed out if you didn't get to see these color two-hour shows, but as I said previously they're on Hallmark and ME TV occasionally.

I saw them originally on primetime NBC, but when I lived in France they were showing them there on TV once a week because people loved the show in Europe.

After William Katt left the two-hour Perry Mason, they replaced him with the very good Falcon Crest veteran William R Moses, who by the way was the first husband of Tracy Nelson, Ricky Nelson's daughter.

Ok now, Connie Stevens was not Eddie Fisher's second wife. That distinction goes to a certain Liz Taylor, who dawdled with him until she went down the Nile,.and found greener pastures.
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Barbara Hale was another RKO contractee (Jane Greer another) who never got the breaks or the chance to shine due to Hughes taking over the studio and running it into the ground. The talent was there. At another studio she might have had a longer career. Thankfully TV gave her a second wind with Perry Mason (though she didnt have much to do in most episodes)...

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My older sister and I would watch the Perry Mason show all the time.  I remember her laughing at that little moment of "recognition" in the open sequence when Burr sort of smiles.  Burr, along with Hale and Hopper, were perfectly matched.  They each did their jobs efficiently, moved the plots along reliably and were all likeable.  You can't beat that trio!  And, I think I had a crush on Hale :-)

 

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Interesting take on Barbara Hale...she was born in DeKalb, which is home to Northern Illinois University.  The high school teams' nickname is "Barbs", as DeKalb was the first place in America to mass produce barbed wire in the 1870's.  Coincidence on why her parents named her Barbara?  Just makes me wonder.

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Ok now, Connie Stevens was not Eddie Fisher's second wife. That distinction goes to a certain Liz Taylor, who dawdled with him until she went down the Nile,.and found greener pastures.

Arturo,

 

Since there was very little or virtually no publicity concerning that second marriage that Eddie Fisher had with Liz Taylor, I guess it just must have skipped my mind.LOL

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