LOS ANGELES — Barbara Hale, a movie actress who found her most famous role on television as steadfast secretary Della Street in the long-running “Perry Mason” series, has died.

She was 94.

Hale was surrounded by family when she died Thursday at her Los Angeles area home, said Jaqueline Stander, an agent for Hale’s son, actor William Katt. Stander declined to provide the cause of death.

Hale appeared in “Perry Mason” on CBS from 1957 to 1966, winning an Emmy as best actress in 1959. When the show was revived in 1985 on NBC as an occasional TV movie, she again appeared in court at the side of the ever-victorious lawyer played by Raymond Burr.

She continued her role after Burr died in 1993 and was replaced by Hal Holbrook for the movies that continued into 1995.

Hale was born in DeKalb, Illinois, originally wanted to be a nurse or journalist.

When her ambition turned to art she studied at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, where she was often sought as a model. Her work for a modeling agency prompted an offer for a routine contract at the RKO studio in Hollywood.

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When she reported to the casting director, he was speaking on the phone to someone who needed an immediate replacement for an actress who was sick.

The movie was a quickie, “Gildersleeve’s Bad Day,” but she went on to appear with Pat O’Brien in “The Iron Major” and Frank Sinatra in “Higher and Higher.”

Another co-star was actor named Bill Williams (real name: William Katt), with whom she appeared in “West of the Pecos” and “A Likely Story.” They had met over coffee in the studio commissary and married in Rockford in 1946. The couple had three children.

After her RKO contract ended, Hale worked at other studios, usually as the adoring wife of the leading man. She played opposite Larry Parks in “Jolson Sings Again,” James Stewart in “Jackpot” and James Cagney in “A Lion Is in the Streets.”

In 1957, she joined the memorable cast of “Perry Mason” that included Burr as the defense attorney who solved his cases in the courtroom, William Hopper as investigator Paul Drake, William Talman as prosecutor Hamilton Burger and Ray Collins as police lieutenant Arthur Tragg.

“When we started, it was the beginning of women not working at home,” Hale said in the 1993 interview. “I liked that she was not married. My husband, Bill, didn’t have to see me married to another man, and our children didn’t have to see me mothering other children.”

In the early 1970s, Hale took on another widely recognized role, touting Amana Radarange microwave ovens in TV commercials and print ads. Burr and Hale were the only original cast members when the show resumed on NBC in 1985 in the movie format. Her son, William Katt, appeared in nine of the two-hour shows, as the investigator son of Paul Drake.