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. One of the top collectors of Modern American art, Hopper's collection is worth millions of dollars. They were interred side by side in the Woodlawn Memorial Cemetery. According to the Oracle of Bacon at Virginia (http://www.cs.virginia.edu/oracle/) Dennis Hopper has an average Bacon number of 2.679 making him third on the list of most suitable centres of the Hollywood universe. This calculation uses a modification of the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game. Shields committed suicide soon after. He recently contributed to the film 1 Giant Leap with provocative anecdotes on spirituality, unity and culture. Haines died from lung cancer in Santa Monica, California. He also co-starred in the 1994 blockbuster Speed with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock.

Joan Crawford, a lifelong friend described them as "the happiest married couple in Hollywood". He was nominated for an Emmy award for the 1991 HBO films Paris Trout and Doublecrossed (in which he played real life drug smuggler and DEA informant Barry Seal). Haines and Shields remained together for the rest of their lives. He has continued to be an important individual in Hollywood both as an actor, photographer and director. Gloria Swanson extended him a personal invitation to appear with her in the film Sunset Boulevard (1950) but he refused. In 1988, Hopper directed a critically acclaimed film about Los Angeles gangs called Colors. Haines never returned to films. Because I am Frank Booth!" (which raised a question for Lynch "That's great for the movie, but how are we gonna have lunch with him?") Hopper won critical acclaim and a slew of awards for this role and the same year won an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for Hoosiers.

The couple finally settled into the Hollywood community in Malibu, and their business prospered until their retirement in the early 1970s. After reading the script, Hopper called Lynch and told him "You have to let me play Frank Booth. 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. However, it was not until he portrayed the oxygen-huffing, obscenity-screaming Frank Booth in David Lynch's film Blue Velvet (1986) that his career truly revived. Crawford, along with other stars such as Claudette Colbert, Kay Francis and Charles Boyer urged the men to report this to the police. He gave powerful performances in Rumble Fish (1983) and The Osterman Weekend (1983). 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. In the early 1980s, Hopper entered a drug rehabilitation program and cured himself of his addictions.

Among their early clients were friends such as Joan Crawford and Carole Lombard, Marion Davies and William Randolph Hearst. However, Hopper did act in several films during this period such as Mad Dog Morgan (1976), Tracks (1976), The American Friend (1977), Apocalypse Now (1979) and he won acclaim for directing and acting in Out of the Blue (1980). Haines and Shields began a successful career as interior designers and antique dealers. Hopper had long been an alcoholic and drug abuser and it was at this point his addiction began to dominate his life. Haines chose Shields and Mayer terminated his contract, quickly recasting Robert Montgomery in roles that had been planned for Haines. Hopper wrote and directed another film that was released in 1971 called The Last Movie that was a box office failure and derailed his career for years. 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. Hopper won wide acclaim as the director of the film for his improvisational methods and stop action photography.

Studio publicists were able to keep this information from the press, however studio head Louis B. Although Hopper was able to resume acting in mainstream films including The Sons Of Katie Elder (1965) and True Grit (1969), in both of these films he had death scenes with John Wayne, it was not until he teamed with Peter Fonda and made Easy Rider that he really shook up the Hollywood establishment. This film became an anthem of sorts to the lost generation of the Vietnam war and to this day is one of the most successful independent film ever made. 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 also was very talented as a painter and a poet. 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. Hopper also became an accomplished professional photographer (he has had many exhibitions of his work). 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 over 140 episodes of television shows such as Bonanza, The Twilight Zone, The Defenders, The Big Valley, The Time Tunnel and Combat.

By 1925 he was MGM's most important male star, and his films were very profitable for the studio. Hopper moved to New York and studied at the famous Lee Strasberg acting school. 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. This infamous incident resulted in him being blacklisted from films for several years. Born in Staunton, Virginia, Haines left his home while in his teens and moved to New York City. Hopper refused directions for 80 takes over several days. 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. Dean's death in a 1955 car accident affected the young Hopper deeply and it was shortly afterwards that he got into a confrontation with veteran director Henry Hathaway on the film From Hell To Texas.

Hopper was then cast in two roles with James Dean (who he admired immensely) Rebel Without A Cause (1955) and Giant (1956). Hopper made his acting debut on an episode of the Richard Boone television show Medic in 1955 playing a young epileptic. He was especially fond of the plays of William Shakespeare. Born in Dodge City, Kansas, Hopper was voted most likely to succeed by his high school class and it was there he developed an interest in acting.

Dennis Hopper (born May 17, 1936) is an American actor and film-maker.

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