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Billy Haines Birthplace

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Mid-19th century. 419 N. New St.

Film actor and, later, interior designer William “Billy” Haines grew up in this house. Son of a Staunton cigar manufacturer, he ran away from home when he was fourteen. By his twenties, the witty and handsome Haines was one of Hollywood's highest-paid actors and the town's first openly gay movie star. He appeared in more than fifty films with such stars as Mary Pickford and Lionel Barrymore. In the following decades, he became more famous as the first of the great Hollywood decorators, with his partner, James Shields. His clients ranged from movie actress Joan Crawford to Nancy and Ronald Reagan. Haines's childhood home is a far cry from the glamour of the rich and famous. The neat three-bay, two-story frame house on a high basement has a one-story centered porch and a hipped roof with deep eaves.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Anne Carter Lee
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Citation

Anne Carter Lee, "Billy Haines Birthplace", [Staunton, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/VA-02-AU19.

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