Barbara Hale is an American actress best known for her role as Della Street on the long running Perry Mason show.
Hale was born in DeKalb, Illinois, to Luther Ezra Hale, a landscape gardener, and his wife Wilma Colvin. She is of mainly Scottish and Irish ancestry. Hale graduated from high school in Rockford, Illinois, and then attended the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, planning to become an artist. Her performing career began in Chicago when she started modeling to pay for her education. She moved to Hollywood in 1943, and made her first screen appearances playing small parts. Hale was under contract to RKO Radio Pictures through the late 1940s. She appeared in Higher and Higher with Frank Sinatra, Lady Luck opposite Robert Young and Frank Morgan, the The Window, and Jolson Sings Again, with Larry Parks playing Al Jolson and Hale as Jolson’s wife, Ellen Clark. She played the title role in Lorna Doone and was Julia Hancock in The Far Horizons with Charlton Heston.
Hale had a featured role in the movie Airport, playing the wife of the pilot. In 1967, she guest starred on the ABC series Custer.