Actress Barbara Hale

Celebrities, Celebrity Q&A, People
on June 27, 2004

Whatever happened to Barbara Hale from the Perry Mason show?

—Virgene S., Oregon

She’s 82 and still working, though her last TV appearance, a Perry Mason mystery with Hal Halbrook, was in 1995. As the legal eagle’s brainy secretary Della Street, Hale defined the smart but lady-like female sidekick. She and the late Raymond Burr were such fast friends that Burr, who cultivated flowers, even named an orchid for her. Ironically, Hale originally turned the role down. “Then the producer said, ‘But Barbara! Raymond Burr is going to do it and you know him.’ I said, ‘I’ll do it!'” The mother of three, including actor William Katt, lives in California.