Women’s History Month: Who was Barbara Hale?

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In celebration and recognition of Women's History Month, the Rockford Register Star has partnered with Midway Village Museum to bring readers a local women's history fact of the day.

Visit rrstar.com or the Rockford Register Star newspaper each day throughout the month of March to read about the women who played significant roles in Rockford history.

Barbara Hale
Barbara Hale

Born in 1922 in Dekalb, Barbara Hale was a member of the final graduating class from Rockford High School in 1940 before enrolling in the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts to pursue a performing career.

Her first credited role came opposite Frank Sinatra in 1943 in the film "Higher and Higher" where the 21-year old sang with the soon-to-be famous crooner.

Hale achieved stardom in the 1940s and left RKO to join Columbia Pictures in 1949. She appeared in "Lorna Doone," "The Jackpot" with Jimmy Stewart, "A Lion Is in the Streets" with James Cagney, "Seminole," and "The Oklahoman" in 1957.

The latter film would mark Hale's last leading role in a motion picture as she turned her talents to television opposite Raymond Burr in the series "Perry Mason." Barbara Hale died in 2017 in California.

Want to learn more about Barbara Hale? Visit Midway Village Museum online at midwayvillage.com or in person at 6799 Guilford Road, Rockford.

This article originally appeared on Rockford Register Star: Women’s History Month: Who was Barbara Hale?