Actress Barbara Hale, a native of DeKalb, Ill., made a guest appearance at the Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival May 8-11 at the Palm Springs Cultural Center, Palm Springs, Calif. Hale parlayed a successful modeling career into a contract with RKO Studios in 1943, and appeared in eight films her first year in Hollywood.
After playing opposite Frank Sinatra in Higher and Higher, she landed leading roles in The Falcon in Hollywood, West of the Pecos, First Yank into Tokyo and Lady Luck. Barbara co-starred with her husband, actor Bill Williams, in A Likely Story and The Clay Pigeon. When mogul Howard Hughes eventually released The Window in August 1949, it had been nearly two years since Barbara starred in the film and 10 months after she left RKO for better opportunities.
Barbara signed on with Columbia opposite Larry Parks in Jolson Sings Again. Subsequent starring roles included: And Baby Makes Three, The Jackpot with James Stewart, Lorna Doone, Seminole and A Lion is in the Streets opposite James Cagney.
Barbara Hale defined the iconic character of Della Street in the long-running TV series Perry Mason, which aired from 1957 to 1966. She reprised the character that made her a perennial favorite of millions of viewers with an incredible 30 made-for-television Perry Mason Mysteries between 1985 and 1995.
From the July 16-22, 2014, issue