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. Movie reviewer Leonard Maltin said of him: "Droopy-eyed, dark, and suavely handsome, this extremely versatile actor was one of the most respected stage performers of his generation.". They were interred side by side in the Woodlawn Memorial Cemetery. His body was flown back to Puerto Rico where he was given a state funeral attended by thousands. Shields committed suicide soon after. He died eight days later at the age of only 54. Haines died from lung cancer in Santa Monica, California. On October 16, 1994, a few days before his last movie, Street Fighter, was finished, Juliá suffered a stroke in his New York City apartment and fell into a coma.

Joan Crawford, a lifelong friend described them as "the happiest married couple in Hollywood". In 1993 he was diagnosed with cancer, but Juliá kept on acting, creating one of his most memorable roles as Brazilian rainforest activist Chico Mendez in The Burning Season (1994), for which he posthumously won a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award. Haines and Shields remained together for the rest of their lives. In the popular two Addams Family movies, Juliá played Gomez Addams. Gloria Swanson extended him a personal invitation to appear with her in the film Sunset Boulevard (1950) but he refused. In Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985), he played a passionate political prisoner, and in Romero (1989) he played the Salvadoran Archbishop Óscar Romero. Haines never returned to films. In 1983, he starred in a spectactularly disastrous made-for-TV adaptation of John Varley's short story Overdrawn at the Memory Bank.

The couple finally settled into the Hollywood community in Malibu, and their business prospered until their retirement in the early 1970s. Although he never became a major film star, Juliá had notable dramatic and comic roles in a number of films and made-for-TV-movies. 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. In the early 1980s, Juliá was invited to join Francis Ford Coppola's Zoetrope Studios company and appeared in One From the Heart (1982). Crawford, along with other stars such as Claudette Colbert, Kay Francis and Charles Boyer urged the men to report this to the police. The stage successes led to his film debut in The Organization (1971) starring opposite Sidney Poitier. 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. Juliá went on to enjoy great success on the musical stage, winning four Tony Awards for his roles in Two Gentlemen of Verona (1972), Where's Charley? (1975), as Mack the Knife in The Threepenny Opera (1977), and in the Fellini-inspired Nine (1982).

Among their early clients were friends such as Joan Crawford and Carole Lombard, Marion Davies and William Randolph Hearst. His Shakespearean roles included Edmund in King Lear in 1973 and the title role of Othello in 1979. Haines and Shields began a successful career as interior designers and antique dealers. In 1966, Juliá hooked up with theater impresario Joseph Papp and the New York Shakespeare Festival. Haines chose Shields and Mayer terminated his contract, quickly recasting Robert Montgomery in roles that had been planned for Haines. He soon found work in off-Broadway theater. 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. Juliá moved to New York City in 1964 and began studying drama with Wynn Handman.

Studio publicists were able to keep this information from the press, however studio head Louis B. He first came to attention while performing in a nightclub by actor Orson Bean who encouraged him to come to the United States. Haines lived openly as a homosexual man, and from 1926 lived with Jimmy Shields, whom he had met during the production of a film. Juliá was born and grew up in San Juan. 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 career spanned stage and screen, and included dramatic, comic, and musical roles. He was cultivated as a romantic leading man, and his combination of good looks and flair for comedy won him many fans. Raúl Rafael Juliá y Arcelay (March 9, 1940 - October 24, 1994) was a Puerto Rican actor who lived and worked for many years in the United States.

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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