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What price Hollywood? was the title of an early George Cukor film, but it's a question every closeted movie star has asked themselves. In 1930, the top box office star was a gay man, William "Billy" Haines. Billy lived with his partner, Jimmie Shields. Unlike other closeted stars then and now, Haines never posed on the red carpet with a beard on his arm. By 1933, Billy's his Hollywood career was over. However, by 1936, Billy Haines had become hugely successful in an entirely new line of work as an interior decorator.
Watch the video, Out of the Closet, Off the Screen: The Life of William Haines, below.
This 2001 documentary details the extraordinary life of Billy Haines, the only matinee idol who ever decided that Hollywood’s price was too high and walked away from film stardom.
Narrated by actress Stockard Channing
Written by Gabriel Rotello
Produced and directed by Fenton Bailey & Randy Barbato
WATCH VIDEO: William Haines - Hollywood's Forgetten Gay Movie Star
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