SHERMAN OAKS (CBSLA.com) — Barbara Hale, the actress who played Perry Mason’s trusted legal secretary, has died..
She was 94.
Her son, actor William Katt — perhaps best known for playing the title role in the 80’s hit “Greatest American Hero” — made the announcement on his Facebook page.
Funeral services are pending.
“Lost my beautiful mom Barbara Hale yesterday (Thursday) afternoon,” Katt wrote. “She left peacefully at her home in Sherman Oaks surrounded by close family and dear friends. We’ve all been so lucky to have her for so long.”
Hale began her career as a model, but she made dozens of film appearances beginning in the mid-1940’s before moving to the small screen. In the 1950’s, she appeared on programs such as “Science Fiction Theatre,” “Schlitz Playhouse,” “Playhouse 90” and “The Millionaire.”
She became a star with `”Perry Mason,” which ran from 1957 to 1966.
Hale appeared in more than 260 episodes of the drama series, playing the resourceful secretary to Burr’s unbeatable Los Angeles defense attorney. She won a supporting-actress Emmy for the role in 1959.
In many episodes, the hard-working Street would race into the courtroom at the 11th hour with a clue that would help Mason win the case .
Hale continued making regular television appearances after the show’s run ended, including a guest spot portraying Katt’s mother on “The Greatest American Hero.”
She reprised her role of Della Street in more than two dozen Perry Mason television movies (1985-95), including some that featured Katt portraying Mason’s private investigator, Paul Drake Jr.
Hale and her husband, Bill Williams, had three children. He died in 1992.
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