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Barbara Hale, ‘Perry Mason’ Star, Dies at 94

Actress’ son, ”The Greatest American Hero“ star William Katt, says she died Thursday at her home in Sherman Oaks

Barbara Hale, who played legal secretary Della Street on the long-running legal drama “Perry Mason,” died Thursday, her son William Katt said Friday. She was 94.

“Lost my beautiful wonderful mom Barbara Hale yesterday afternoon. She left peacefully at her home in Sherman Oaks Ca surrounded by close family and dear friends,” Katt, known for his starring role on “The Greatest American Hero,” wrote on Facebook. “We’ve all been so lucky to have her for so long.”

“She was gracious and kind and silly and always fun to be with. A wonderful actress and smart business woman she was most of all a treasure as a friend and mother!” the actor continued. “We’re all a little lost without her but we have extraordinary stories and memories to take with us for the rest of our lives.”

According to the Washington Post, Hale died of complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Hale, who starred opposite Raymond Burr in more than 270 episodes of “Perry Mason,” was born in DeKalb Ill., in 1922, moving to Hollywood in 1943. She landed a contract with RKO Radio Pictures, appearing in films such as 1943’s “Higher and Higher” with Frank Sinatra and 1945’s “West of the Pecos” with Robert Mitchum.”

Hale’s other credits included the title role in 1951’s “Lorna Doone” and a co-starring role in “The Jackpot” the same year.

Moving to television, Hale took up the role of Della Street on “Perry Mason” in 1957. The series ran until 1966, and Hale reprised the role of Street in numerous “Perry Mason” TV movies in the ’80s and ’90s.

Hale married actor Bill Williams in 1946, remaining married to him until his death in 1992.

In addition to William Katt, Hale leaves behind two other children, daughters Jodi and Juanita Katt.