William Haines

William Haines (January 2, 1900 - December 26, 1973) was a US film actor who was one of the most successful film stars of the silent era.

Born in Staunton, Virginia, Haines left his home while in his teens and moved to New York City. After winning a talent contest he moved to Hollywood where he played bit parts for several years until MGM Studios began casting him in more prominent roles.

By 1925 he was MGM's most important male star, and his films were very profitable for the studio. He was cultivated as a romantic leading man, and his combination of good looks and flair for comedy won him many fans.

He appeared in successes such as Sally, Irene and Mary (1926 with newcomers Joan Crawford and Constance Bennett), West Point (1927 also with Crawford), and scored his biggest personal success with Show People (1928), opposite Marion Davies.

Haines lived openly as a homosexual man, and from 1926 lived with Jimmy Shields, whom he had met during the production of a film. Studio publicists were able to keep this information from the press, however studio head Louis B. Mayer pressured Haines to end his relationship with Shields and marry. He made a successful transition into talking pictures and maintained his star status until 1934 when Mayer finally delivered him an ultimatum, and forced him to choose between Shields and his career. Haines chose Shields and Mayer terminated his contract, quickly recasting Robert Montgomery in roles that had been planned for Haines.

Haines and Shields began a successful career as interior designers and antique dealers. Among their early clients were friends such as Joan Crawford and Carole Lombard, Marion Davies and William Randolph Hearst. Their lives were disrupted in 1936 when homophobic neighbours, dressed in sheets and wearing hoods to hide their faces, dragged the two men from their home and beat them. Crawford, along with other stars such as Claudette Colbert, Kay Francis and Charles Boyer urged the men to report this to the police. Marion Davies asked Hearst to use his influence to ensure the neighbours were prosecuted to the full extent of the law, but ultimately Haines and Shields chose not to report the incident. The couple finally settled into the Hollywood community in Malibu, and their business prospered until their retirement in the early 1970s.

Haines never returned to films. Gloria Swanson extended him a personal invitation to appear with her in the film Sunset Boulevard (1950) but he refused.

Haines and Shields remained together for the rest of their lives. Joan Crawford, a lifelong friend described them as "the happiest married couple in Hollywood". Haines died from lung cancer in Santa Monica, California. Shields committed suicide soon after. They were interred side by side in the Woodlawn Memorial Cemetery.

William Haines has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions to Motion Pictures, at 7012 Hollywood Boulevard.


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William Haines has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions to Motion Pictures, at 7012 Hollywood Boulevard. He nursed long-time partner Myfanwy prior to her death in 1995 after a long battle with cancer and then found happiness again with current partner Gill, with whom he has a daughter who was born in 2001. They were interred side by side in the Woodlawn Memorial Cemetery. Jason has never married. Shields committed suicide soon after. He has also worked as a voice artist for Cosgrove Hall on a number of children's television productions, providing voices for Dangermouse, Count Duckula and Toad from The Wind in the Willows, as well as several other cartoon voice-overs and advertising work. Haines died from lung cancer in Santa Monica, California. In the 1970's he did some work for radio, appearing in Week Ending (regularly satirising such figures as then UK Foreign Secretary Dr David Owen), and was the original "B Ark Captain" in the sixth episode of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Joan Crawford, a lifelong friend described them as "the happiest married couple in Hollywood". Bates novel). Haines and Shields remained together for the rest of their lives. E. Gloria Swanson extended him a personal invitation to appear with her in the film Sunset Boulevard (1950) but he refused. He soon earned acclaim for a string of serious roles, for example as Detective Jack Frost in the TV series A Touch Of Frost and acted with Catherine Zeta-Jones in the rural Kentish tale The Darling Buds of May (based on the H. Haines never returned to films. In this role David popularised some slang words; examples being the mild insults "dipstick" and "plonker" and the celebratory "lovely jubbly".

The couple finally settled into the Hollywood community in Malibu, and their business prospered until their retirement in the early 1970s. This was followed by his most enduring and popular role, that of Del Boy in Only Fools and Horses, a wide-boy who makes a dubious living in Peckham, south London, trading in shoddy and counterfeit goods with the assistance of his brother Rodney (played by Nicholas Lyndhurst) and Grandad (played by Lennard Pearce) or, latterly, Uncle Albert, played by Buster Merryfield. Marion Davies asked Hearst to use his influence to ensure the neighbours were prosecuted to the full extent of the law, but ultimately Haines and Shields chose not to report the incident. He also took the lead role in ITV sitcom A Sharp Intake Of Breath. Crawford, along with other stars such as Claudette Colbert, Kay Francis and Charles Boyer urged the men to report this to the police.
Jason was recruited to play Dithers, the hundred-year old gardener to Barker and co-worker of a maid played by Josephene Tewson, in Hark At Barker, then Blanco in Porridge, a prison-based comedy also starring Barker, then junior employee Granville in Open All Hours, starring Barker as the miserly proprietor of a general store. Their lives were disrupted in 1936 when homophobic neighbours, dressed in sheets and wearing hoods to hide their faces, dragged the two men from their home and beat them. His eye-catching performances would also attract the attention of Ronnie Barker, who would become a mentor to Jason in the next era of his career.

Among their early clients were friends such as Joan Crawford and Carole Lombard, Marion Davies and William Randolph Hearst. This was of course in an era when British performers such as Peter Cook, Marty Feldman, Tony Hancock, Benny Hill and Kenneth Horne were all regularly demonstrating superb timing skills to humorous effect. Haines and Shields began a successful career as interior designers and antique dealers. Humphrey Barclay, who recruited David to Do Not Adjust Your Set partly to offset the rather intellectual style of Idle, Jones and Palin, admired David's masterful sense of timing. Haines chose Shields and Mayer terminated his contract, quickly recasting Robert Montgomery in roles that had been planned for Haines. He was somewhat ahead of the Austin Powers and Johnny English film genre in an inventive TV series about an inept spy called The Secret Life of Edgar Briggs. Mayer pressured Haines to end his relationship with Shields and marry. He made a successful transition into talking pictures and maintained his star status until 1934 when Mayer finally delivered him an ultimatum, and forced him to choose between Shields and his career. He appeared, most notably, as a spoof super-hero Captain Fantastic, in Do Not Adjust Your Set, and co-starred with Denise Coffey in End of Part One.

Studio publicists were able to keep this information from the press, however studio head Louis B. He started his career at the same time as Michael Palin in At Last the 1948 Show and appeared in variety shows in support of stars such as Dick Emery. Haines lived openly as a homosexual man, and from 1926 lived with Jimmy Shields, whom he had met during the production of a film. He trained as an electrician after leaving school while negotiating his way into reperatory theatre. He appeared in successes such as Sally, Irene and Mary (1926 with newcomers Joan Crawford and Constance Bennett), West Point (1927 also with Crawford), and scored his biggest personal success with Show People (1928), opposite Marion Davies. David White (born February 2, 1940 in Edmonton, London), better known as David Jason, is a highly regarded British actor, admired equally for his dramatic work as for his comedy roles. He was cultivated as a romantic leading man, and his combination of good looks and flair for comedy won him many fans. The Odd Job.

By 1925 he was MGM's most important male star, and his films were very profitable for the studio. Royal Flash. After winning a talent contest he moved to Hollywood where he played bit parts for several years until MGM Studios began casting him in more prominent roles. The Bullion Boys. Born in Staunton, Virginia, Haines left his home while in his teens and moved to New York City. Porridge. William Haines (January 2, 1900 - December 26, 1973) was a US film actor who was one of the most successful film stars of the silent era. Open All Hours.

Only Fools and Horses. March in the Windy City. Lucky Feller. David Jason...In His Element.

The Darling Buds of May. Amongst Barbarians. All the King's Men. A Touch of Frost.

A Sharp Intake of Breath. A Bit of a Do. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Week Ending.

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