Barbara Hale considered herself ''lucky'' because of her schedule on Perry Mason

Hale was all gratitude and no attitude during her time on the hit series.

The Everett Collection

Barbara Hale was known to millions of people as Della Street during her time on Perry Mason from 1957 to 1966. Hale even studied for the role as if she was about to take the bar exam herself. Her dedication gained the respect of many and impressed just about anyone watching. 

Not only was she dedicated to the role, but she also felt a responsibility to Raymond Burr, who played Perry Mason, to make the series the best it could be. The actress considered herself "lucky" to be on the hit series and sharing the spotlight with a leading man like Burr.

According to a 1962 interview with The Buffalo News, Hale said she counted her blessings daily and approached her job on Perry Mason with gratitude. 

She not only devoted long hours to the fictional office, but also balanced raising three kids, a marriage and her daily tasks at home. How did she do it? With a little bit of "luck," she said.

"With any other series, it would be almost impossible," Hale said. "There's no temperament on this one, all the way down from the star, Ray Burr, to the lowliest prop boy. There's no woman alive who could stand the double strain of problems at home and problems at her office."

Luckily for Hale, her schedule on Perry Mason allowed her some free time in order to get everything done. According to the interview, the series rarely filmed out of town and hardly ever took her away from her family. 

"That's luck again," Hale said. 

Prior to her role on Perry Mason, Hale was a freelance film actress who had a schedule that was hard to lock down. She said she never knew when or where her next role would come from. 

"I was adjusting and re-adjusting my home life like a yo-yo, a most nerve-wracking experience very much like that of a traveling salesman who keeps his bags packed because he doesn't know how long he'll stay in one town," Hale said. "With this series, I'm settled into a rock like routine where I know exactly how much time I give to work and how much time I give to my family."

At the time, Hale had three children. She said she appreciated her schedule on Perry Mason because it allowed her to plan for things both with her family and by herself. 

"I don't believe any child completely accepts a working mother, but a child also never completely accepts the fact that he can't have three ice cream cones before dinner," Hale said. 

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5 Comments

Runeshaper 11 days ago
I'm happy that Hale had time for the series and for her family. She was AWESOME!
justjeff 14 days ago
For those of you who did not know this: She is the mother of William Katt who starred in "The Greatest American Hero"...
ChrisAnn justjeff 14 days ago
William Katt also played Paul Drake, Jr. in some of the Perry Mason TV movies.
justjeff ChrisAnn 13 days ago
Yes, in some of the earlier productions...
teire 14 days ago
Great ice cream cone comment. Fan of Della and of Barbara.
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