William Haines

Actor, Interior decorator, Dance hall owner
An energetic male lead of the late silent and early talkie era, and one of MGM's most bankable stars, actor William Haines used his boy-next-door looks and charm to play young collegiates or military recruits in a ... Read more »
Born: 01/02/1900 in Staunton, Virginia, USA

Filmography

Actor (8)

The Marines Are Coming 1933 (Movie)

Lt. William 'Wild Bill' Traylor (Actor)

A Man's Man 1928 (Movie)

(Actor)

Show People 1927 (Movie)

Billy Boone (Actor)

West Point 1927 (Movie)

Brice Wayne (Actor)

Brown of Harvard 1926 (Movie)

Tom Brown (Actor)

Slide, Kelly, Slide 1926 (Movie)

(Actor)

Spring Fever 1926 (Movie)

Jack Kelly (Actor)

Circe the Enchantress 1923 (Movie)

(Actor)

Biography

An energetic male lead of the late silent and early talkie era, and one of MGM's most bankable stars, actor William Haines used his boy-next-door looks and charm to play young collegiates or military recruits in a number of successful pictures. Haines first made his name in a number of supporting roles in the mid-1920s with movies like "Three Wise Fools" (1923), "The Gaiety Girl" (1924) and "Circe, the Enchantress" (1924), before becoming a star in his own right with his breakthrough picture, "Brown of Harvard" (1926). His brash, wisecracking persona proved to be a big hit and Haines went on to star in a series of movies like "Spring Fever" (1927), "West Point" (1928), and "Telling the World" (1928), where he was often paired opposite Joan Crawford or Anita Page. Haines transitioned over to talkies with "Alias Johnny Valentine" (1928), but like so many of his silent era contemporaries, he failed to last long in the sound era. Making matters worse was his refusal to hide his homosexuality, which at the time was a major taboo and proved to be his ultimate downfall. After making his last movie with "The Marines Are Coming" (1934), Haines was effectively banished from making movies by censor William Hays, but soon launched a highly successful second career as an interior decorator with lifelong partner, James Shields, who was with him up till the very end.

Relationships

George Adam Haines Jr

Brother
born in 1908

Ann Fowkes Haines Langhorne

Sister
born on February 3, 1906 died in July 1986

Lillion Juliet Haines Stone

Sister
born on December 11, 1902 died on September 29, 1993

George Haines

Father
born c. 1874 married Haines' mother in 1896 died on September 22, 1950

Laura Haines

Mother
born in 1878 married Haines' father in 1896 converted to Christian Science before her death on July 17, 1932

Henry Haines

Brother
born in November 1917

Barbara La Marr Actor

Companion

James Shields

Companion
together from c. 1925 until Haines' death committed suicide on March 6, 1974

EDUCATION

Robert E Lee High School

Staunton, Virginia

Milestones

2001

Was subject of the documentary "Out of the Closet, Off the Screen: The William Haines Story", produced and directed by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato; aired on AMC in 2002

1939

Was attacked by anti-gay lynch mob, along with 15 other gays living in Manhattan Beach, California

1934

Last film, "The Marines Are Coming" (Mascot Studios)

1932

Last MGM film, "Fast Life"

1929

First talking film, "Alias Jimmy Valentine" (part-talkie)

1926

Breakthrough role, "Brown of Harvard"

1922

Film debut, "Brothers Under the Skin"

1920

Worked as bookkeeper for SW Straus

Signed with Goldwyn

Signed with newly-formed MGM

Ran away from home at age 14

Ran William Haines, Inc., an interior decorating firm

Bonus Trivia

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In his lifetime, Haines always claimed to have been born on January 1, 1900. While no birth certificate exists, biographer William Mann found his baptismal record at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Staunton, VA where the date of birth was entered as January 2, 1900. Social Secuirty records also support this date.

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