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 received Kennedy Center Honors in 2002. They were interred side by side in the Woodlawn Memorial Cemetery. He won Tony awards in 1959 in The Great White Hope and in 1987 in Fences. Shields committed suicide soon after. He also read the opening tease for NBC's coverage of the 2004 Summer Olympics opening ceremony in Athens. Haines died from lung cancer in Santa Monica, California. He appears in television and radio advertising for Verizon Wireless.

Joan Crawford, a lifelong friend described them as "the happiest married couple in Hollywood". He also starred in the television program Under One Roof as Neb Langston, a widowed police officer, a role for which he received an Emmy nomination. Haines and Shields remained together for the rest of their lives. James portrayed General Solomon in the computer game Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun. Gloria Swanson extended him a personal invitation to appear with her in the film Sunset Boulevard (1950) but he refused. He has also periodically performed guest voices on television's The Simpsons. Haines never returned to films. He has appeared in many roles since, but is probably best known as the sonorous voice of Darth Vader in the Star Wars films, Mufasa in The Lion King, a Disney animated feature, and CNN tagline, "This is CNN." He has performed considerable amounts of other voice-over work.

The couple finally settled into the Hollywood community in Malibu, and their business prospered until their retirement in the early 1970s. Strangelove in 1964. 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. His first film role was in Dr. Crawford, along with other stars such as Claudette Colbert, Kay Francis and Charles Boyer urged the men to report this to the police. So my first year of school was my first mute year, and then those mute years continued until I got to high school." Ironically, he is most famous for his deep authoritative voice. 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. I couldn't talk.

Among their early clients were friends such as Joan Crawford and Carole Lombard, Marion Davies and William Randolph Hearst. "I was a stutterer. Haines and Shields began a successful career as interior designers and antique dealers. The teacher believed forced public speaking would help him gain confidence and insisted he recite a poem in class each day. Haines chose Shields and Mayer terminated his contract, quickly recasting Robert Montgomery in roles that had been planned for Haines. He credits a high school teacher who discovered he had a gift for writing poetry with helping him out of his silence. 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 remained functionally mute for 8 years until he reached high school.

Studio publicists were able to keep this information from the press, however studio head Louis B. He moved to Michigan around the age of 5, when he developed a stutter so severe he refused to speak aloud. Haines lived openly as a homosexual man, and from 1926 lived with Jimmy Shields, whom he had met during the production of a film. Christopher Hardin (born January 17, 1931) is a well-known African-American actor who was born in Arkabutla, Mississippi and raised in Dublin, Michigan by his maternal grandparents. 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. He was cultivated as a romantic leading man, and his combination of good looks and flair for comedy won him many fans.

By 1925 he was MGM's most important male star, and his films were very profitable for the studio. 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. Born in Staunton, Virginia, Haines left his home while in his teens and moved to New York City. 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.

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