Jean Hale Coleman, who held over 60 appearances on TV staples of the ’60s and ’70s, has died of natural causes in her Santa Monica home on Aug. 3. She was 82. Her family confirmed the news of her death to The Hollywood Reporter on Monday.
Known for her notable performances on both the big and silver screens, Hale played a major character in James Coburn’s spy flick In Like Flint and also took on the role of David Wayne’s Mad Hatter hatcheck accomplice on the TV version of Batman. Her credits also include Taggart, The Oscar and The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre as well as TV’s Perry Mason, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Bonanza, The Fugitive, Hawaii Five-O, McHale’s Navy, My Favorite Martian, Hogan’s Heroes, The Wild Wild West, and Mod Squad.
After having met Dabney Coleman while studying acting at New York’s Neighborhood Playhouse, she married him. From 1961 to 1984, the couple were married. During their marriage, Coleman and Hale had three children: Quincy, Randy, and Kelly.
Born Dec. 27, 1938 in Salt Lake City. Hale grew in Darien in Connecticut as a Mormon child. Stanton G. Hale her father was a well-known Mormon corporate leader. Her great-great-grandfather Solomon Hale owned a ranch with Brigham Young. She studied ballet at the University of Utah and then transferred to Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs.
After working as a model for the Conover Agency, she was offered a job at Huntington Hartford Agency. She then decided to pursue acting. Hale began acting classes with her husband Dabney Coleman and James Caan. She also studied with Jerry Weintraub. Jessica Walter, Christopher Lloyd, Jerry Weintraub, Jerry Weintraub, Jessica Walter and Brenda Vaccaro. She was influenced by Martha Graham and Sydney Pollack. After being spotted by Sandra Dee’s agent Len Luskin on Fifth Avenue in New York, she was awarded her big break. Following her divorce from Coleman she founded Coleman-Tanasescu Entertainment. She worked alongside Gino Tanasescu as her business partner until 2000 when she started her own production company.