Richard Hale

Richard Hale (born James Richards Hale; November 16, 1892 – May 18, 1981) was an American opera and concert singer and later a character actor of film, stage and television. Hale's appearance usually landed him roles as either Middle Eastern or Native American characters.

Richard Hale
Actor Richard Hale in 1946 Western film Abilene Town.jpg
Hale in Abilene Town (1946)
James Richards Hale

(1892-11-16)November 16, 1892
DiedMay 18, 1981(1981-05-18) (aged 88)
  • Actor
  • Narrator
  • Singer
Years active1914–1978
Spouse(s)Fiona O'Shiel Hale

Life and careerEdit

Born in Rogersville, Tennessee, Hale attended Columbia University on a singing scholarship.[1] Upon graduation in 1914, he turned down an offer to join Columbia's English department, choosing instead to join Minnie Maddern Fiske's theater group.[1] Hale's 1921 debut at Aeolian Hall began a successful career in opera as a baritone;[2][3] he toured Europe and the United States. The 1927 New York Times film review of The Unknown credits "Richard Hale, baritone" as singing "The Pirate's Frolic".[4] During the 1930s, Hale performed at the Berkshire Playhouse in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Hale also narrated Peter and the Wolf for Sergei Prokofiev, at Tanglewood, with Koussevitsky conducting. Hale was also the narrator for Arthur Fiedler's 1953 RCA recording of the same music with the Boston Pops.

Hale and Ann Dvorak in Abilene Town (1946)

In later life, he turned more and more to acting. His most notable role was in the 1956 film Friendly Persuasion, starring Gary Cooper. He was also notable as the Soothsayer who warns "Beware the Ides of March!" in the Shakespeare film Julius Caesar (1953). In All the King's Men his character's name was Richard Hale. Hale also appeared in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) as the sinister neighbour Nathan Radley. He was also known for his portrayal of Father Manuel Ferreira in The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima. He made four guest appearances on Perry Mason, including murder victim George Lutts in 1957 in the show's third episode, "The Case of the Nervous Accomplice," and general store owner Robert Tepper in the 1960 episode, "The Case of the Violent Village." He also appeared in television programs such as Maverick (as Judge Hookstratten in the episode "Bolt from the Blue" written and directed by Robert Altman and starring Roger Moore in which the "hanging judge" sings a mournful ballad near the opening and again at the closing of the episode), Cheyenne, Rawhide, Daniel Boone, Green Acres, Petticoat Junction, Bonanza, Gunsmoke, The Wild Wild West (as Sedgewick in the fourth-season episode "The Night of the Sedgewick Curse"), Star Trek (as Goro in the third-season episode "The Paradise Syndrome"), Harry O (as Jud Kane in the second-season episode "Victim"), Adam-12, and as Uncle Gilbert on an episode of The Munsters.

His death, aged 88, was due to problems relating to cardiovascular disease.

Partial filmographyEdit


  1. ^ a b "Richard Hale, Baritone, Appears" (PDF). The New York Times. April 8, 1922.
  2. ^ "Richard Hale, Baritone, Pleases" (PDF). The New York Times. April 13, 1921.
  3. ^ "In the World of Concerts and Opera: Singers Who Will Appear in Recitals During the Week". New York Tribune. April 10, 1021.; including image captioned Richard Hale, Baritone
  4. ^ Mordaunt Hall (June 13, 1927). "The Unknown (1927): The Armless Wonder". The New York Times.

External linksEdit