QUEERO: WILLIAM “BILLY” HAINES (PICS & 1990’s doc)
What price Hollywood? was the title of an early George Cukor film, but is a question every closeted movie star has probably asked himself. In 1930, the top box office star was a gay man. Billy Haines lived with his lover, Jimmie Shields, and never posed on the red carpet with a beard on his arm. By 1933, he was washed up in show business; and by 1936, he had become hugely successful in an entirely new line of work-interior decorator. Out of the Closet, Off the Screen: the Life of William Haines 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.