“It was the night of the Titanic all over again, with women grabbing the wrong children and Louis B. Mayer singing ‘Nearer My God to Thee.'” — William Haines talking about the arrival of talking pictures.
If you don’t recognize the Ambassador Hotel offhand, it is the French room redecorated to resemble a Parisian Cafe.
The occasion was a welcome home party thrown for Marion Davies after she returned from a three-month trip to Europe. The year is 1928.
Standing, left to right, Lorraine Eddy, Matt Moore, Aileen Pringle, Louis B. Mayer, Gloria Swanson, Harry D’Arrast, Marion Davies, Louella Parsons, Ricardo Cortez, Charles Chaplin, Norma Shearer, Irving Thalberg, Harold Lloyd and Robert Z. Leonard. Seated in foreground are Harry Crocker, left, and William Haines.
“The wisecrack is my shell, my protection. At heart, I am not a wisecracker. William Haines, the wisecracker, came into being in Hollywood.” — William Haines
From Wisecracker: The Life and Times of William Haines, Hollywood’s First Openly Gay Star, by William J. Mann
Fast Life (1932). With Madge Evans.