Jean Hale, a actress best known for her roles in The St. Valentine's Day Massacre, In Like Flint, and the Batman TV series, has passed away at the age of 82. The news was revealed in a statement from Hale's family (via The Hollywood Reporter), who confirmed that she died of natural causes in Santa Monica on Tuesday, August 3rd. In addition to her work onscreen, Hale also formed Coleman-Tanasescu Entertainment, a production company she started alongside Gino Tanasescu, before branching out on her own.
Born in Salt Lake City, Utah on December 27, 1938, Hale was raised in a devout Mormon family. After majoring in ballet for one semester at the University of Utah, she got into the world of acting while studying drama at New York's Skidmore College. Hale became a model and later studied at New York's Neighborhood Playhouse, where she would meet actor Dabney Coleman, who she later married from 1961 to 1984. Hale made small appearances in Naked City, The Dick Powell Theatre, and The Eleventh Hour, before making her film debut in 1963's Violent Midnight, the first film to come out of a seven-figure contract she signed with 20th Century Fox. The deal had come to fruition after Hale was spotted by talent agent Len Luskin while waking down New York's Fifth Avenue.
Hale would make appearances across the world of film and television, including in Taggart, Felicia, and episodes of Perry Mason, The Fugitive, and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. In 1967, Hale portrayed Polly, an accomplice of The Mad Hatter (David Wayne), on two episodes of the Batman television series — "The Contaminated Cowl" and "The Mad Hatter Runs Afoul." That same year, Hale starred as Lisa Norton, an operative who is attempting to brainwash women through subliminal messages in their salon hairdryers, in In Like Flint.
After declining to take part in the European publicity tour for In Like Flint, Hale departed 20th Century Fox. Her later roles would include appearances on The Survivors, Mod Squad, Hawaii Five-O, Bonanza, and Tarzan. Her last onscreen appearances were in the television movies Thanksgiving Day and Lies Before Kisses.
Outside of her acting career, Hale's celebrity would have a unique impact, after a woman impersonated her in 1965, to steal over $10,000 worth of merchandise from Los Angeles boutiques. Following her initial prison sentence, the woman continued to impersonate Hale, and married (and stole from) ten men across Texas and Oklahoma. Prior to her death, Hale was reportedly working on a script for an adaptation of the story, which would be called Being Jeannie.
Hale's survivors include her three children with Coleman; Kelly, Randy, and Quincy.
Our thoughts are with Hale's family, friends, and fans at this time.