The sad passing of Mary Tyler Moore earlier this week was quickly followed by the news that two more TV icons left us yesterday, Barbara Hale and Mike Connors.
Hale, the widow of Bill Williams, was best known as TV's Della Street on PERRY MASON, opposite Raymond Burr. After playing the role from 1957 to 1966, she and Burr returned to their roles in a series of TV-movies beginning in 1985, with her son, William Katt, in the cast as Paul Drake Jr.
Katt announced that his mother passed away yesterday. She was 94.
Obituaries have been published by Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and the Los Angeles Times.
I paid tribute to Hale at length on her birthday in 2015, and I encourage readers to visit it to learn more about her career. Hale's work in Westerns gave me special pleasure.
My friend Caftan Woman wrote a tribute to Hale in 2010.
Connors, who starred as TV's MANNIX from 1967-1975, died at 91.
I was aware of the title MANNIX as a child but was too young to watch it; I decided I should rectify that and ordered Season 1 of the series today! Connors participated in numerous extras for the set including introducing episodes.
Later I knew Connors from MAVERICK reruns, where he appeared in the episodes "Point Blank" and "The Naked Gallows," and from a Season 1 episode of LAWMAN, "Lady in Question." He appeared in countless other TV guest roles before hitting it big himself.
In recent years I've been more aware of Connors from a couple of early film roles, where he was billed as "Touch" Connors, such as a small part in William Wellman's ISLAND IN THE SKY (1953). Other early films included SUDDEN FEAR (1952) and FIVE GUNS WEST (1955).
According to Variety, Connors was diagnosed with leukemia just days before his passing.
While sad these wonderful actors have left us, I'm very grateful for the work they leave behind.