Born in 1900 in Staunton, Virginia, William Haines ran away from home at age fourteen with his first boyfriend. He soon found his way to Greenwich Village, free from southern constraints.
Winning a national talent search, Haines signed on at Goldwyn Studios and was off to Hollywood. His sly, devil-may-care persona garnered him top box office star status in 1930. By then, Haines was living openly with Jimmy Shields as a couple. Hollywood legend has it that MGM insisted that Haines choose between his film career or homosexuality.
In 1934, his contract was not renewed. But he parlayed his fame into a highly-successful interior design business.
His relationship with Shields endured until Haines' death in 1973. His close friend, Joan Crawford, called it, "Hollywood's only successful marriage.
This Rainbow Minute was read by Garth Ellis.
“The Rainbow Minute” is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and can be heard every weekday at 3:59am, 7:59am, 9:59am, 12:29pm and 2:59pm on WRIR – 97.3fm in Richmond, Virginia, and webcast at wrir.org. It’s also heard internationally on over 200 stations.