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. His role in The Fugitive won him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. They were interred side by side in the Woodlawn Memorial Cemetery. In the 1990s, movies such as The Fugitive costarring Harrison Ford and Men in Black with Will Smith brought him tens of millions of dollars and made him one of the top actors of Hollywood. Shields committed suicide soon after. In 1983 he received an Emmy for Best Actor for his performance as Gary Gilmore in The Executioner's Song. Haines died from lung cancer in Santa Monica, California. Mark Toland on the ABC soap opera, One Life to Live, then he played the role of an escaped convict that was hunted down by the police in Jackson County Jail (1976).

Joan Crawford, a lifelong friend described them as "the happiest married couple in Hollywood". Between 1971 and 1975, he portrayed Dr. Haines and Shields remained together for the rest of their lives. He started acting on Broadway and he made his debut in Love Story. Gloria Swanson extended him a personal invitation to appear with her in the film Sunset Boulevard (1950) but he refused. He then moved to New York City to become an actor. Haines never returned to films. in English literature and graduated cum laude in 1969.

The couple finally settled into the Hollywood community in Malibu, and their business prospered until their retirement in the early 1970s. Mark's School of Texas, he attended Harvard on a scholarship, where he was a roommate of the future Vice President Al Gore at Dunster House and there he received a B.A. 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. A graduate of the St. Crawford, along with other stars such as Claudette Colbert, Kay Francis and Charles Boyer urged the men to report this to the police. Tommy Lee Jones (born September 15, 1946) is an American actor and director from San Saba, Texas. 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. One Life to Live, (1968).

Among their early clients were friends such as Joan Crawford and Carole Lombard, Marion Davies and William Randolph Hearst. Love Story, (1970). Haines and Shields began a successful career as interior designers and antique dealers. Life Study, (1973). Haines chose Shields and Mayer terminated his contract, quickly recasting Robert Montgomery in roles that had been planned for Haines. Eliza's Horoscope, (1975). 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. Charlie's Angels, (1976) (TV).

Studio publicists were able to keep this information from the press, however studio head Louis B. Smash-Up on Interstate 5, (1976) (TV). Haines lived openly as a homosexual man, and from 1926 lived with Jimmy Shields, whom he had met during the production of a film. Jackson County Jail, (1976). 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. The Amazing Howard Hughes, (1977) (TV). He was cultivated as a romantic leading man, and his combination of good looks and flair for comedy won him many fans. Rolling Thunder, (1977).

By 1925 he was MGM's most important male star, and his films were very profitable for the studio. The Betsy, (1978). 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. Eyes of Laura Mars, (1978). Born in Staunton, Virginia, Haines left his home while in his teens and moved to New York City. Coal Miner's Daughter, (1980). 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. Barn Burning, (1980) (TV).

Back Roads, (1981). The Executioner's Song, (1982) (TV). The Rainmaker, (1982) (TV). Nate and Hayes, (1983).

The River Rat, (1984). Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, (1985) (TV). The Park Is Mine, (1986) (TV). Black Moon Rising, (1986).

Yuri Nosenko, KGB, (1986) (TV). Broken Vows, (1987) (TV). The Big Town, (1987). Stranger on My Land, (1988) (TV).

April Morning, (1988) (TV). Stormy Monday, (1988). Gotham, (1988) (TV). Lonesome Dove, (1989).

The Package, (1989). Fire Birds, (1990). JFK, (1991). Under Siege, (1992).

Heaven & Earth, (1993). House of Cards, (1993). The Fugitive, (1993). Blown Away, (1994).

The Client, (1994). Natural Born Killers, (1994). Blue Sky, (1994). Cobb, (1994).

The Good Old Boys, (1995) (TV). Batman Forever, (1995). Volcano, (1997). Men in Black, (1997).

Marshals, (1998). U.S. Small Soldiers, (1998) (voice). Double Jeopardy, (1999).

Rules of Engagement, (2000). Space Cowboys, (2000). Men in Black II, (2002). The Hunted, (2003).

The Missing, (2003).

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