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. Holden was cremated; his ashes were scattered in the Pacific Ocean. They were interred side by side in the Woodlawn Memorial Cemetery.
. Shields committed suicide soon after. It is believed that Holden's death is mentioned in the song Tom's Diner by Suzanne Vega: "I open up the paper there's a story of an actor / Who had died While he was drinking it was no one I had heard of". Haines died from lung cancer in Santa Monica, California. He bled to death from this injury.

Joan Crawford, a lifelong friend described them as "the happiest married couple in Hollywood". Holden had been heavily intoxicated and slipped on a rug in his apartment gashing his head on a table. Haines and Shields remained together for the rest of their lives. He died of a fall at his home in Santa Monica, California in 1981 (his body was found on 16 November, but forensic evidence suggested he had died on 12 November). Gloria Swanson extended him a personal invitation to appear with her in the film Sunset Boulevard (1950) but he refused. Holden spent much of his time owning and managing an animal preserve in Africa. Haines never returned to films. The couple had two sons, and he adopted the daughter of his wife's first marriage.

The couple finally settled into the Hollywood community in Malibu, and their business prospered until their retirement in the early 1970s. Holden was married to Brenda Marshall from 1941 to 1971, when they divorced. 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. That led in turn to the last phase of his career, beginning with The Wild Bunch and ending with Network, in which Holden played the older version of the character he had perfected in the 1950s, now more jaded and aware of his own mortality. His last movie was S.O.B.. Crawford, along with other stars such as Claudette Colbert, Kay Francis and Charles Boyer urged the men to report this to the police. By the early 1960s he appeared to be sleepwalking through many of his roles. 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. Holden had for many years suffered from alcoholism and severe depression.

Among their early clients were friends such as Joan Crawford and Carole Lombard, Marion Davies and William Randolph Hearst. Holden also starred in more than his share of forgettable movies, forced by the studios that held his contract to keep him working. Haines and Shields began a successful career as interior designers and antique dealers. He also played a number of sunnier parts in light comedy with just as much success, such as the tutor in Born Yesterday and Humphrey Bogart's younger brother in Sabrina. Haines chose Shields and Mayer terminated his contract, quickly recasting Robert Montgomery in roles that had been planned for Haines. His career took off after he returned from World War II, as he played a series of roles that mixed his good looks and cynical detachment: the down at the heels screenwriter in Sunset Boulevard, the prisoner of war entrepreneur in Stalag 17, the dangerous wanderer in Picnic and the ill-fated prisoner in The Bridge on the River Kwai. 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. His first starring role was in 1939's Golden Boy, in which he played a boxer who wants to be a violinist.

Studio publicists were able to keep this information from the press, however studio head Louis B. His first role was in Prison Farm the following year. Haines lived openly as a homosexual man, and from 1926 lived with Jimmy Shields, whom he had met during the production of a film. In 1937, while still in college, he was signed to a movie contract. 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. His father was an industrial chemist and his mother a teacher. He was cultivated as a romantic leading man, and his combination of good looks and flair for comedy won him many fans. Born William Franklin Beedle Jr. in O'Fallon, Illinois, he moved with his wealthy family to Pasadena, California when he was three.

By 1925 he was MGM's most important male star, and his films were very profitable for the studio. William Holden (April 17, 1918 - November 12, 1981) was an American film actor. 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. For the California Lieutenant Governor by this name, please see William Holden (politician).. Born in Staunton, Virginia, Haines left his home while in his teens and moved to New York City. For the North Carolina Governor by this name, please see William Woods Holden. 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. Prison Farm (1938).

Golden Boy (1939). Invisible Stripes (1939). Our Town (1940). Those Were the Days (1940).

Arizona (1940). I Wanted Wings (1941). Texas (1941). The Fleet's In (1942).

The Remarkable Andrew (1942). Meet the Stewarts (1942). Young and Willing (1943). Blaze of Noon (1947).

Dear Ruth (1947). Rachel and the Stranger (1948). Apartment for Peggy (1948). The Dark Past (1948).

The Man from Colorado (1949). Streets of Laredo (1949). Miss Grant Takes Richmond (1949). Dear Wife (1949).

Father Is a Bachelor (1950). Sunset Boulevard (1950). Union Station (1950). Born Yesterday (1950).

Force of Arms (1951). Boots Malone (1952). Submarine Command (1952). The Turning Point (1952).

The Moon Is Blue (1953). Stalag 17 (1953). Forever Female (1953). Escape from Fort Bravo (1954).

Executive Suite (1954). Sabrina (1954). The Country Girl (1954). The Bridges at Toko-Ri (1955).

Love Is a Many Splendored Thing (1955). Picnic (1955). The Proud and Profane (1956). Toward the Unknown (1956).

The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957). The Key (1958). The Horse Soldiers (1959). The World of Suzie Wong (1960).

Satan Never Sleeps (1962). The Counterfeit Traitor (1962). The Lion (1962). Paris, When It Sizzles (1964).

The 7th Dawn (1964). Alvarez Kelly (1966). Casino Royale (1967). The Devil's Brigade (1968).

The Wild Bunch (1969). The Christmas Tree (1969). Wild Rovers (1971). The Revengers (1972).

Breezy (1973). Open Season (1974). The Towering Inferno (1974). Network (1976).

Damien: Omen II (1978). Fedora (1978). Ashanti (1979). When Time Ran Out (1980).

The Earthling (1980). S.O.B. (1981). Best Actor Nomination for Sunset Boulevard (1951). Best Actor Award for Stalag 17 (1954).

Best Actor Nomination for Network (1976).

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