Sonnie Hale

John Robert Hale-Monro (1 May 1902 – 9 June 1959), known as Sonnie Hale, was an English actor, screenwriter, and director.[2][3]

Sonnie Hale
Actor & director Sonnie Hale.jpg
Cigarette card, 1934
John Robert Hale-Monro[1]

(1902-05-01)1 May 1902
London, England
Died9 June 1959(1959-06-09) (aged 57)
London, England
  • Actor
  • screenwriter
  • director
(m. 1926; div. 1930)

(m. 1931; div. 1944)

Mary Kelsey
(m. 1947; div. 1957)
Children5, including Joanna Monro
RelativesBinnie Hale (sister)

Early lifeEdit

John Robert Hale-Monro was born in Kensington, London, the son of Belle Reynolds and actor Robert Hale. His sister, Binnie Hale, was also an actress. Hale was educated at Beaumont College.[4]


He worked chiefly in musical and revue theatre, but also acted in several films with occasional screenwriting or directing credits.[3] He first performed on stage at the London Pavilion in 1921 in the chorus of the revue Fun of the Fayre.[4] 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!”

His play The French Mistress premiered at Wimbledon Theatre in 1955. It later enjoyed a long West End run before being adapted into the film A French Mistress.

Personal lifeEdit

He was married three times:

He left his first marriage to Evelyn Laye for actress Jessie Matthews, an action which received backlash among the British and caused a scandal.

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 Joanna Monro (born 1956) from a subsequent relationship with the actress Frances Bennett.

He died on 9 June 1959 in London from myelofibrosis, aged 57.

Selected theatre performancesEdit





  1. ^ "Sonnie Hale - Oxford Reference". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ "Sonnie Hale".
  3. ^ a b "Sonnie Hale - Biography & History - AllMusic". AllMusic.
  4. ^ a b "Mr. Sonnie Hale." Times [London, England] 10 June 1959: 14. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 19 August 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

External linksEdit