The Tragic Death Of Batman Actor Jean Hale

Jean Hale, an actor in the original "Batman" series and the one-time wife of Dabney Coleman, has died at age 89. Hale's family told The Hollywood Reporter she died on August 3 of natural causes in Santa Monica. While Hale's most well-known for her appearances in the iconic ABC "Batman" series and a supporting role in the spy spoof "In Like a Flint," she starred in more than 60 film and TV productions. However, the Salt Lake City native may not have become the screen veteran she is today if it wasn't for a bit of luck. 

Hale was born in Salt Lake City but was raised in Darien, Connecticut. Her father, Stanton G. Hale, was a major corporate leader of Mormon heritage and her great grandfather, Soloman Hale, owned a ranch with Brigham Young. Prior to studying theater, she attended the University of Utah and majored in ballet before going to Skidmore College in New York. After college, she became accustomed to being in front of the camera, as she modeled while also studying at the prestigious Neighbourhood Playhouse School of Theater. Some of her teachers included filmmakers Sydney Pollack and Martha Graham and her classmates included James Caan, Jerry Weintraub, Jessica Walter, Christopher Lloyd, Brenda Vaccaro and her then-future husband.

But it wasn't until in the early '60s when her life changed forever. While strolling down Fifth Avenue in New York City, Sandra Dee's agent, Len Luskin, spotted her. This chance meeting led to a seven-figure contract at 20th Century Fox.

Jean Hale was working on a script up about a criminal who impersonated her

Jean Hale may not have reached the fame her former husband had, but she was well-known enough to have impersonators. Prior to stardom, however, she married Dabney Coleman in New York in 1961, per Deadline. They had three children, Kelly, Randy, and Quincy, before divorcing in 1984. Just a few years into their marriage, Hale made her film debut with the horror film "Violent Midnight" and then a slew of offers came her way including "In Like Flint" opposite James Coburn. Hale starred in other films like "Taggart," and "The St. Valentine's Day Massacre" with Jason Robards and George Segal. On television, she made appearances on "Perry Mason," "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour," "The Fugitive" and "Hawaii Five-O," per New York Post. Memorably, she played Polly — the accomplice of Batman's nemesis the Mad Hatter — in two episodes of the ABC series starring Adam West. Her on-screen career started to slow down by the mid-80s when she decided to start her own production company. 

Despite nearing 90, Hale never stopped working — in fact, she was in the process of writing a semi-autobiographical script. The Hollywood Reporter says Hale was working on "Being Jeannie," based on the true story of a woman who impersonated her in the 1960s, married 10 men across Texas and Oklahoma and stole their money. Wild right? Fingers crossed the script is continued in her honor and we get to see this one-of-a-kind story on screen.