Sad news today, as +Jean Hale has died at age of 82. The actress was a staple of 60s and 70s television, appearing in over 60 series and movies, including playing Polly the hatcheck girl, the paramour of the Mad Hatter in the ABC, Adam West series of Batman, and fighting with James Coburn in the espionage parody In Like Flint. According to the family of the actress, who announced the news earlier today, she passed away in Santa Monica on August 3rd of natural causes.
Of the glamorous actresses who soared in popularity in the 1960s, Hale was one of the most prolific with appearances in the movies Oscar, The St Valentine’s Day Massacre and Taggart, as well as having guest roles in dozens of TV series such as The Wild Wild West, Perry Mason, Bonanza, The Fugitive, My Favorite Martian, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Hawaii Five-O, Mod Squad and many more.
Hale was born in 1938 in Salt Lake City, Utah, and was raised in Connecticut. She went to the University of Utah, majoring in ballet, before then attending Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York. She became a model for the Conover Agency and subsequently for the Huntington Hartford Agency while she was studying at the Neighborhood Playhouse. She attended the Playhouse at the same time as Christopher Lloyd, James Caan, Jerry Weintraub, Jessica Walter, Brenda Vaccaro and, the man who would become her husband in 1961, Dabney Coleman.
In the early 1960s, Hale was spotted walking down Fifth Avenue, New York, by the agent of Sandra Dee, who managed to land her a contract with 20th Century Fox worth seven figures. She made her feature film debut in the horror movie Violent Midnight in 1963 alongside Lee Phillips and Shepperd Strudwick. Her biggest movie role saw her playing Lisa Norton in In Like Flint in 1967 opposite James Coburn, as part of a female led organization that attempts to brainwash women of the world to overthrow the men who run it.
In the same year, she was seen aiding David Wayne’s Mad Hatter as he attempted to steal Batman’s cowl to add to his hat collection in the season two episodes The Contaminated Cowl and The Mad Hatter Runs Afoul of the ’60s Batman series. Almost all of her movie appearances were contained to the 1960s, although she did also star in a small number of TV movies in the late 80s and early 90s, including Lies Before Kisses in 1991, which was her last film role.
In 1984, the same year she divorced her husband, she set up the production company Coleman-Tanasescu Entertainment with Gino Tanasescu, and then struck out on her own in 2000. While she did not appear on screen again, Hale was still working behind the scenes at the time of her death. She was busy writing a script for a movie called Being Jeannie, which was based on the real life story of a woman who married 10 different men and stole their money in the 1960s all while impersonating Hale.
Hale never remarried following her divorce from Coleman, but is survived by their three children; Quincey Coleman, Randy Coleman and Kelly Johns. There will be a whole generation of fans who grew up watching Hale on screen who will be mourning the actress and thought are with them, as well as her family and friends at this time. This news originated at Deadline.