Emmy award-winning actress Barbara Hale has passed away at the age of 94 in her Los Angeles home.
Hale was best known for her role as Della Street in Perry Mason.
Her son, who starred in The Greatest Hero, announced his mother’s death via Facebook saying, "We’ve all been so lucky to have her for so long," William Katt wrote. "She was gracious and kind and silly and always fun to be with. A wonderful actress and smart businesswoman, she was most of all a treasure as a friend and mother!"
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hale was quick to accept the role in Perry Mason and received two Emmy nominations for the role and even snagged a win in 1959.
In 1985, co-star Raymond Burr and Hale reunited for a telefilm version titled, Perry Mason Returns. Hale said, Della "was to a great degree, a woman who knew what everybody was thinking,” during an interview with the Chicago Tribune in 1993.
"She was informed and very observant of everything that went on. That was my challenge as an actress — to be a necessary part of the office without being too aggressive. Della was quietly overpowering: She knew when to speak and when to keep her mouth closed."
Hale was born in April of 1922 in DeKalb, Illinois. After graduating high school, she went on to study art and drawing at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and later modeled for a comic strip called Ramblin’ Bill. After moving to Los Angeles, she met with casting director Dick Stockton.
"As I was shaking hands with him, the phone rang," she explained in the same Tribune story. "He took the call and as he listened, he started looking at me. 'Yeah, yeah, yeah, just a minute.' He turned to me and asked, 'Honey, can you say a line?' I said, 'I don't know.' "
"He said into the phone, 'There's a kid in the office right now. I think she'll work. I'll send her right over.' He told his assistant, 'Take her to wardrobe, take her to makeup, take her to Stage 6. One of the kids is sick. We've got to have a girl there immediately,' " she recalled.
"It hit every paper the next day. Cinderella story. First day on the lot, she gets … of course they said a starring part. I had one line, but you know about those things," she said.
Hale met RKO player Williams (real Name: Herman Katt) while on the set of West of the Pecos in 1945 where the two later married and stayed together until his death in 1992. Hale appeared in a number of roles during her time including, The First Time, The Oklahoman, The Houston Story, and Airport.
"We’re all a little lost without her," her son wrote on Facebook, "but we have extraordinary stories and memories to take with us for the rest of our lives."
Originally posted on Womanista.com.
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