William Haines was one of MGM's biggest stars in the late 1920s, playing cocky but sympathetic wise guys in movies such as Brown of Harvard. He was as self assured in real life, dropped by the studio in 1933 because he refused to hide his homosexuality, Haines became one of the world’s most successful interior designers.
Self taught as a decorator, Haines offered an alternative to the fashionable art deco interiors (made ever trendier by the films of the era), & giving birth to the California style we know today. The look became known as Hollywood Regency & represented a contrast to that decade’s stark minimal looks found in the modernist movement. With its roots in 19th century England, the style combined English, French Regency & Greek Revival with the glamour of Old Hollywood.
Beginning in 1926, Haines lived openly as a couple with Jimmy Shields (a former movie stand-in). The public relations "solution" for most acknowledged gay actors & actresses in the studios was the conspiratorial sham marriage affecting an outwardly "respectable" & straight facade. Haines, however, refused to give up Jimmy Shields for the sake of his film career & the relationship endured until Haines' death in 1973.