Perry Mason's ''Candy Queen'' was in Barbara Hale's first-ever movie decades earlier

Hale and Nancy Gates have a history together going back to their youth.

Barbara Hale's career trajectory as an actor involved a lot of luck and being in the right place at the right time. The Chicago girl moved to Hollywood in 1943 — and landed a film role within 24 hours! Within her first day in Tinseltown, the former model was whisked onto the set of Gildersleeve's Bad Day

The movie was a sequel to The Great Gildersleeve film series, a hit comedy based on a popular NBC radio program. One of the earliest spin-offs, The Great Gildersleeve expanded upon Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve, a character from Fibber McGee and Molly. A sort of predecessor to Family Affair (not to mention Melissa & Joey and The Mick as two recent knockoffs), the plot revolved around Gildersleeve taking care of his orphaned niece and nephew, Marjorie and Leroy Forrester.

Anyway, Gildersleeve's Bad Day featured a newly arrived Hale. Alas, she did not play Marjorie. She was uncredited, a mere "Girl at Party" alongside Marjorie. Hale had one line in the movie, but it was enough to launch her career.

Hale (left) and Gates (right) in 'Gildersleeve's Bad Day'

Here's where it gets interesting. Nancy Gates portrayed Majorie. The teenager's first credited role had been as Majorie in The Great Gildersleeve. She had recently turned 17 when the flick hit theaters. Hale was 21 at the time. Jump forward two decades and you will find Gates and Hale together again. They reteamed on Perry Mason, of course.

Perry Mason represented Gates three times as a client! You can find her seeking legal help in "The Case of the Crooked Candle," "The Case of the Woeful Widower" and "The Case of the Candy Queen." As Della Street, Hale was right alongside to help prove Gates' characters' innocence every time.

The funny thing is, Gildersleeve's Bad Day had been a courtroom comedy with the title character on jury duty. It all comes back to the courtroom.

That is not the only weird parallel between Gates and Hale. 

After her slim screen debut in Gildersleeve's Bad Day, Hale immediately landed a far meatier role. Months later in 1943, she scored a huge gig next to Frank Sinatra in Higher and Higher. That would be her first credited screen role, cuddling up with Ol' Blue Eyes.

Well, Gates also played the female lead in a Sintra film, 1954's Suddenly. From the courtroom to the Chairman of the Board to the courtroom again — Gates and Hale likely had stories to share.

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Sandra45 43 months ago
My favorite show. The really sad thing is B. Hale Is in an unmarked grave.
iloveoldtvshows 43 months ago
MeTV hasn’t shown the new schedule and Labor Day is tomorrow
Muleskinner 44 months ago
I try to never miss a PM episode on MeTV. 📺
ssglick 44 months ago
Perry Mason is one of my favorites. So reading any background info is entertaining. Thanks for the trivia.
iloveoldtvshows 44 months ago
does anyone know when metv will change schedule to fall schedule2020?
UTZAAKE iloveoldtvshows 44 months ago
MeTV's fall schedule debuts on Labor Day. It's released a few weeks in advance, so be on the lookout on this website later this month.
Hilary 44 months ago
Barbara Hale and Raymond Burr made a perfect pairing on Perry Mason. Even though ESG did not want any flirtation between the two- their eyes, conversation and physicality defied it-tv’s perfect couple.
MrsPhilHarris Hilary 44 months ago
Oh I agree.
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