Sonnie Hale

b. John Robert Hale-Monro, 1 May 1902, London, England, d. 9 June 1959, London, England. An amiable actor and singer, as well as an author, producer and director, Hale made his West End stage debut in…
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Artist Biography

b. John Robert Hale-Monro, 1 May 1902, London, England, d. 9 June 1959, London, England. An amiable actor and singer, as well as an author, producer and director, Hale made his West End stage debut in the chorus of the revue Fun Of The Fayre at the London Pavilion in 1921. Apart from his undeniable talents as a performer, he is remembered particularly for having been married to two of the London musical theatre’s favourite leading ladies, Evelyn Laye and Jessie Matthews. Between 1927 and 1940 he appeared with Matthews in One Dam Thing After Another, This Year Of Grace! (in which he sang Noël Coward’s ‘A Room With A View’ and ‘Dance, Little Lady’), Wake Up and Dream!, Ever Green, (introducing Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart’s ‘Dancing On The Ceiling’), Hold My Hand, and Come Out To Play. He was also seen in several other musical comedies and revues, including Little Nellie Kelly, The Punch Bowl, Mercenary Mary, Queen High, The Knight Was Bold, and One, Two, Three! (1947). He directed and co-produced the latter show - one of his last West End projects - in which he starred with his sister, Binnie Hale. Their father was the actor, Robert Hale.

From around 1934-39, Sonnie Hale took time off from the stage to appear in - and later - direct a number of film musicals, such as On With The Dance, Tell Me Tonight, Happy Ever After, Early To Bed, Evergreen, My Song For You, My Heart Is Calling, First A Girl, It’s Love Again, Head Over Heels, Gangway, and Sailing Along. He was also in the cast of the movie London Town (1946), which starred Sid Field, and his 1955 play, A French Mistress, was filmed in 1960 with Cecil Parker and James Robertson Justice. Playing a minor role was a future superstar of the musical theatre - 18-year-old Michael Crawford. Sonnie Hale died before that film was released, after spending the last few years of his career in the regional theatre.