|Born||John Robert Hale-Monro
1 May 1902
Kensington, London, England, UK
|Died||9 June 1959
(aged 57) (myelofibrosis)|
London, England, UK
|Occupation||actor, director, screenwriter|
|Spouse(s)||Mary Kelsey (1945-1957)
Jessie Matthews (1931-1944)
Evelyn Laye (1926-1930)
Sonnie Hale (1 May 1902 – 9 June 1959) was an English theatre and cinema actor and director.
John Robert Hale-Monro, better known by his stage name, was born in Kensington, London, the son of Robert Hale and Belle Reynolds. His father, and his sister Binnie Hale, were actors. He was educated at Beaumont College, Old Windsor.
He worked chiefly in musical and revue theatre, but also acted in several films with occasional screenwriting or directing credits. He first performed on stage at the London Pavilion in 1921 in the chorus of the revue Fun of the Fayre. A major personal investment in a show to tour the country planned for late 1939 proved financially ruinous due to the outbreak of war and the subsequent closure of most theatres. His slight acquaintance Evelyn Waugh advised him against such an investment. His reply was reported to be the sardonic “War is good for business, don't you know!”
He was married three times:
- The actress Evelyn Laye (1926–1930).
- The actress and dancer Jessie Matthews (1931–1944).
- Mary Kelsey (1945–1957)
By his second marriage he had one son (died at birth) and one adopted daughter (born 1935); by his third marriage he had one son (born 1946) and a daughter. He also had a daughter (born 1956) from a subsequent relationship.
He died on 9 June 1959 in London from myelofibrosis, aged 57.
Selected theatre performances
- Little Nellie Kelly (London production) - 1923 ... as Sidney Potter
- Mercenary Mary - 1925 ... as Jerry Warner
- One Dam Thing After Another (revue) - 1927
- This Year of Grace (revue) - 1928
- Wake Up and Dream (revue) - 1929
- Ever Green - 1930 ... as Tommy Thompson
- Hold My Hand - 1931 ... as Pop Curry
- Come Out to Play (revue) - 1940
- Maid of the Mountains - 1942 ... as Tonio
- One, Two, Three (revue) - 1947
- The Perfect Woman - 1948 ... as Freddie Cavendish
- Rainbow Square - 1951 ... as Peppi
- Lady Be Good - 1955
- The French Mistress - 1959 ... as John Crawley
- Happy Ever After (1932)
- Tell Me Tonight (1932)
- Early to Bed (1933)
- Friday the Thirteenth (1933)
- Evergreen (1934)
- Wild Boy (1934)
- Are You a Mason? (1934)
- My Song for You (1934)
- Mon coeur t'appelle (1934)
- My Heart is Calling (1935)
- Marry the Girl (1935)
- First a Girl (1935)
- It's Love Again (1936)
- The Gaunt Stranger (1938)
- Let's Be Famous (1939)
- Fiddlers Three (1944)
- London Town (1946)
- "Mr. Sonnie Hale." Times [London, England] 10 June 1959: 14. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 19 Aug. 2016.
- "Oxford Companion to Popular Music" by Peter Grimmond - Publisher OUP 1991 - ISBN 0-19-280004-3
- "Who Was Who in the Theatre: 1912–1976", Vol. 2 D–H - Publisher Pitman London - ISBN 0-8103-0406-6