30 Facts About William Haines


Charles William Haines was an American actor and interior designer.


William Haines's career gained momentum when he received favorable reviews for his role in The Midnight Express.


William Haines was cast in the 1926 film Brown of Harvard and his performance solidified his screen persona as a wisecracking, arrogant leading man.


William Haines' acting career was cut short by the studios in the 1930s due to his refusal to deny his homosexuality.


William Haines quit acting in 1935 and started a successful interior design business with his life partner Jimmie Shields, and his work was widely patronized by friends in Hollywood.


William Haines died of lung cancer in December 1973 at the age of 73.


William Haines had four younger siblings: Lillian, born in 1902; Ann, born in 1907; George, Jr.

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William Haines was baptized at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Staunton at the age of eight, where he later sang in the choir.


William Haines became fascinated with stage performance and motion pictures at an early age, spending hours watching early silent films in local theatres.


William Haines ran away from home at the age of 14, accompanied by an unidentified young man whom William Haines referred to as his "boyfriend".


William Haines did not return home with them, remaining instead in Hopewell and sending money back home to help support the family.


William Haines worked a variety of jobs and was for a time the kept man of an older woman before becoming a model.


William Haines' career began slowly, as he appeared in extra and bit parts, mostly uncredited.


William Haines attracted positive critical attention and the studio began building him up as a new star.


The offer was refused and William Haines continued in bit roles for Goldwyn.


William Haines scored his first big personal success with Brown of Harvard opposite Jack Pickford and Mary Brian.


William Haines returned repeatedly to that formula for the next several years.


William Haines convinced Shields to move to Los Angeles, promising to get him work as an extra.


William Haines found box-office success with Little Annie Rooney, costarring Mary Pickford, and Show People, costarring Marion Davies.


William Haines was a top-five box-office star from 1928 to 1932.


William Haines made a successful transition into "talkies" in the part-talking film Alias Jimmy Valentine.


In 1933, William Haines was arrested in a YMCA with a sailor he had picked up in Los Angeles' Pershing Square.


William Haines chose Shields and they remained together in a private relationship for 47 years.


William Haines made a few minor films at Poverty Row studios and soon retired from acting.


The couple finally settled in the Hollywood community of Brentwood and their business prospered until their retirement in the early 1970s, except for a brief interruption when William Haines served in World War II.

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William Haines and Ted Graber designed the interiors of Walter and Leonore Annenberg's "Sunnylands" estate in Rancho Mirage.


On December 26,1973, William Haines died from lung cancer in Santa Monica, California, at the age of 73.


William Haines Designs remains in operation, with main offices in West Hollywood and an additional showroom in New York.


William Haines's designs are the subject of Peter Schifando and Haines associate Jean H Mathison's 2005 book Class Act: William Haines Legendary Hollywood Decorator.


World of Wonder produced Out of the Closet, Off the Screen: The Life of William Haines, which aired on American Movie Classics in 2001.