Rock Hudson Biography
Rock Hudson was born Roy Harold Scherer Jr on November 17, 1925 died on October 2, 1985 was an American actor, generally known for his turns as a leading man during the 1950s and 1960s. He was viewed as a prominent “heartthrob” of the Hollywood Golden Age, and he achieved stardom with roles in films such as Magnificent Obsession 1954, All That Heaven Allows 1955, and Giant 1956, for which he received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor.
He found continued success with a string of romantic comedies co-starring Doris Day in Pillow Talk 1959, Lover Come Back 1961, and Send Me No Flowers 1964. He appeared in films including Seconds 1966, Tobruk 1967, and Ice Station Zebra 1968 during the late 1960s, then began a second career in television through the 1970s and 1980s, starring in the popular mystery series McMillan & Wife and the primetime ABC soap opera Dynasty.
Rock Hudson Age
Born on November 17, 1925, in Winnetka, Illinois, and died on October 2, 1985 at the age of 60 years
Rock Hudson Early Life
Rock Hudson was born Roy Harold Scherer Jr. on November 17, 1925, in Winnetka, Illinois, and would go on to become an immensely popular actor, recognized widely for his good looks. During the Great Depression, his father, Roy Harold Scherer, lost his job as an auto mechanic and left the family. When Hudson was eight years old, his mother, Katherine Wood, remarried and the actor took the surname of his stepfather, Wallace Fitzgerald. Growing up, Hudson did not excel academically but had a certain charisma that made him popular among classmates.
Rock Hudson Career
Rock Hudson began his career as a heartthrob, recognized widely for his good looks. Critics acknowledged his acting talent in Giant 1956, which also starred heavy-hitters Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean.
He co-starred with Doris Day in many hit films, including Pillow Talk (1959), Lover Come Back (1961) and Send Me No Flowers (1964). In 1984, Hudson was diagnosed with AIDS. The following year, he became one of the first celebrities to disclose both his homosexuality and AIDS diagnosis. Hudson was the first major celebrity to die from an AIDS-related illness, on October 2, 1985, at age 59, in Beverly Hills, California.
Rock Hudson Personal Life
Hudson married Phyllis Gates, an aspiring actress, in 1955. Unbeknownst to Phyllis, the marriage was arranged by her employer, Hudson’s agent, Henry Wilson, to keep up appearances. A gay man, Hudson was not outward about his homosexuality due to the social stigma surrounding the topic at the time; he feared that publicly discussing it would be negative for his career. The marriage lasted for only three years; while Hudson was in Italy filming 1957’s A Farewell to Arms, the couple divorced.
Throughout his career, Rock Hudson’s public image remained untarnished, but his private life was somewhat torturous. He had a number of homosexual lovers, but continued to keep his sexuality a secret.
Rock Hudson Illness and death
Unknown to the public, Hudson was diagnosed with HIV on June 5, 1984, just three years after the emergence of the first cluster of symptomatic patients in the U.S., and only one year after the initial identification by scientists of the HIV virus that causes AIDS. Over the next several months, Hudson kept his illness a secret and continued to work while, at the same time, traveling to France and other countries seeking a cure – or at least treatment to slow the progress of the disease.
On July 16, 1985, Hudson joined his old friend Doris Day for a Hollywood press conference announcing the launch of her new TV cable show Doris Day’s Best Friends in which Hudson was videotaped visiting Day’s ranch in Carmel, California, a few days earlier. He appeared gaunt and his speech was nearly incoherent; during the segment, Hudson did very little speaking, with most of it consisting of Day and Hudson walking around as Day’s recording of “My Buddy” played in the background, with Hudson noting he had quickly tired out.
His appearance was enough of a shock that the reunion was broadcast repeatedly over national news shows that night and for days to come. Media outlets speculated on Hudson’s health. Day later acknowledged: “He was very sick. But I just brushed that off and I came out and put my arms around him and said, ‘Am I glad to see you.
Two days later, Hudson traveled to Paris, France, for another round of treatment. After Hudson collapsed in his room at the Ritz Hotel in Paris on July 21, his publicist, Dale Olson, released a statement claiming that Hudson had inoperable liver cancer. Olson denied reports that Hudson had AIDS and would say only that he was undergoing tests for “everything” at the American Hospital of Paris.But, four days later, July 25, 1985, Hudson’s French publicist Yanou Collart confirmed that Hudson did in fact have AIDS. He was among the first mainstream celebrities to have been diagnosed with the disease.
Hudson flew back to Los Angeles on July 30. He was so weak that he was removed by stretcher from the Air France Boeing 747 he had chartered, and on which he and his medical attendants were the only passengers.He was flown by helicopter to UCLA Medical Center, where he spent nearly a month undergoing further treatment. He was released from the hospital in late August 1985 and returned to his home, “The Castle”, in Beverly Hills, California, for private hospice care.
At around 9:00 a.m. on the morning of October 2, 1985, Hudson died in his sleep from AIDS-related complications at his home in Beverly Hills at age 59, less than seven weeks before what would have been his 60th birthday. Hudson requested that no funeral be held. His body was cremated hours after his death and a cenotaph was later established at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Cathedral City, California. His ashes were scattered in the channel between Wilmington and Santa Catalina Island.
The disclosure of Hudson’s AIDS diagnosis provoked widespread public discussion of his homosexual identity. In Logical Family: A Memoir, gay author Armistead Maupin, who was a friend of Hudson’s, writes he was the first person to confirm to the press that Hudson was gay in 1985, effectively outing him. Maupin explains that he said it to Randy Shilts of the San Francisco Chronicle, and that he was annoyed that producer Ross Hunter, who was gay himself, denied it. In its August 15, 1985, issue, People magazine published a story that discussed his disease in the context of his sexuality.
The largely sympathetic article featured comments from show business colleagues such as Angie Dickinson, Robert Stack, and Mamie Van Doren, who claimed they knew about Hudson’s homosexuality and expressed their support for him. At that time, People had a circulation of more than 2.8 million, and, as a result of this and other stories, Hudson’s homosexuality became fully public. Hudson’s revelation had an immediate impact on the visibility of AIDS, and on the funding of medical research related to the disease.
Shortly after Hudson’s press release disclosing his infection, William M. Hoffman, the author of As Is, a play about AIDS that appeared on Broadway in 1985, stated: “If Rock Hudson can have it, nice people can have it. It’s just a disease, not a moral affliction. At the same time, Joan Rivers was quoted as saying: “Two years ago, when I hosted a benefit for AIDS, I couldn’t get one major star to turn out. … Rock’s admission is a horrendous way to bring AIDS to the attention of the American public, but by doing so, Rock, in his life, has helped millions in the process.
What Rock has done takes true courage.Morgan Fairchild said that “Rock Hudson’s death gave AIDS a face. In a telegram Hudson sent to a September 1985 Hollywood AIDS benefit, Commitment to Life, which he was too ill to attend in person, Hudson said: “I am not happy that I am sick. I am not happy that I have AIDS. But if that is helping others, I can at least know that my own misfortune has had some positive worth.
Shortly after his death, People reported: “Since Hudson made his announcement, more than $1.8 million in private contributions (more than double the amount collected in 1984) has been raised to support AIDS research and to care for AIDS victims (5,523 reported in 1985 alone). A few days after Hudson died, Congress set aside $221 million to develop a cure for AIDS.
Organizers of the Hollywood AIDS benefit, Commitment to Life, reported after Hudson’s announcement that he was suffering from the disease, it was necessary to move the event to a larger venue to accommodate the increased attendance. Shortly before his death Hudson made the first direct contribution, $250,000, to amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, helping launch the non-profit organization dedicated to AIDS/HIV research and prevention; it was formed by a merger of a Los Angeles organization founded by Dr. Michael S. Gottlieb, Hudson’s physician, and Elizabeth Taylor, his friend and onetime co-star, and a New York-based group.
However, Hudson’s revelation did not immediately dispel the stigma of AIDS. Although then-president Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy were friends of Hudson, Reagan made no public statement concerning Hudson’s condition.However, Reagan did in fact phone Hudson privately in his Paris hospital room where he was being treated in July 1985 and released a condolence statement after his death.
After Hudson revealed his diagnosis, a controversy arose concerning his participation in a scene in the television drama Dynasty in which he shared a long and repeated kiss with actress Linda Evans in one episode (first aired in February 1985). When filming the scene, Hudson was aware that he had AIDS, but did not inform Evans. Some felt that he should have disclosed his condition to her beforehand.
At the time, it was thought that the virus was present in low quantities in saliva and tears, but there had been no reported cases of transmission by kissing. Nevertheless, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had warned against exchanging saliva with members of groups perceived to be at high risk for AIDS.
According to comments given in August 1985 by Ed Asner, then president of the Screen Actors Guild, Hudson’s revelation caused incipient “panic” within the film and television industry. Asner said that he was aware of scripts being rewritten to eliminate kissing scenes. Later in the same year, the Guild issued rules requiring that actors be notified in advance of any “open-mouth” kissing scenes, and providing that they could refuse to participate in such scenes without penalty. Linda Evans herself appears not to have been angry at Hudson, and asked to introduce the segment of the 1985 Commitment to Life benefit that was dedicated to Hudson
Rock Hudson Net Worth
Rock Hudson net worth: Rock Hudson was an American actor who had a net worth of $10 million at the time of his death in 1985, which is the same as around $23 million today. Rock Hudson was born in Winnetka, Illinois in November 1925 and passed away in October 1985. He had 75 acting credits to his name and starred as Stewart McMillan on the television series McMillan & Wife from 1971 to 1977. Hudson starred as Brian Devlin on the TV series The Devlin Connection in 1982 and starred as Daniel Reece on the series Dynasty from 1984 to 1985.
He starred in several films including Undertow, Peggy, Winchester ’73, Air Cadet, The Fat Man, Iron Man, Bend of the River, Here Come the Nelsons, Scarlet Angel, Has Anybody Seen My Gal?, The Lawless Breed, Seminole, The Golden Blade, Captain Lightfoot, Never Say Goodbye, Giant, Written on the Wind, Send Me No Flowers, Strange Bedfellows, The Ambassador, and more.
Hudson won 20 awards including Golden Globe Awards for World Film Favorite – Male in 1959, 1960, 1961, and 1963. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for Giant in 1957 and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6116 Hollywood Blvd. He was married to Phyllis Gates from 1955 to 1958. Rock Hudson passed away on October 2, 1985 at 59 years old from AIDS-related complications.
Rock Hudson Filmography
|1949||Undertow||Detective||Credited as Roc Hudson|
|1950||Peggy||Johnny “Scat” Mitchell|
|1950||Winchester ’73||Young Bull|
|1950||The Desert Hawk||Captain Ras|
|1951||Air Cadet||Upper classman|
|1951||The Fat Man||Roy Clark|
|1951||Iron Man||Tommy “Speed” O’Keefe (Kosco)|
|1952||Bend of the River||Trey Wilson|
|1952||Here Come the Nelsons||Charles E. “Charlie” Jones|
|1952||Scarlet Angel||Frank Truscott (Panama)|
|1952||Has Anybody Seen My Gal?||Dan Stebbins|
|1952||Horizons West||Neil Hammond|
|1953||The Lawless Breed||John Wesley Hardin|
|1953||The Golden Blade||Harun|
|1953||Gun Fury||Ben Warren|
|1953||Back to God’s Country||Peter Keith|
|1954||Taza, Son of Cochise||Taza|
|1954||Magnificent Obsession||Bob Merrick|
|1954||Bengal Brigade||Capt. Jeffrey Claybourne|
|1955||Captain Lightfoot||Michael Martin|
|1955||One Desire||Clint Saunders|
|1955||All That Heaven Allows||Ron Kirby|
|1956||Never Say Goodbye||Dr. Michael Parker|
|1956||Giant||Jordan “Bick” Benedict, Jr.||Nominated – Academy Award for Best Actor|
|1956||Written on the Wind||Mitch Wayne|
|1957||Battle Hymn||Col. Dean Hess|
|1957||Something of Value||Peter|
|1957||The Tarnished Angels||Burke Devlin|
|1957||A Farewell to Arms||Lt. Frederick Henry|
|1958||Twilight for the Gods||Captain David Bell|
|1959||This Earth Is Mine||John Rambeau|
|1959||Pillow Talk||Brad Allen|
|1961||The Last Sunset||Dana Stribling|
|1961||Come September||Robert L. Talbot|
|1961||Lover Come Back||Jerry Webster|
|1962||The Spiral Road||Dr. Anton Drager|
|1963||A Gathering of Eagles||Col. Jim Caldwell|
|1964||Man’s Favorite Sport?||Roger Willoughby|
|1964||Send Me No Flowers||George|
|1965||Strange Bedfellows||Carter Harrison|
|1965||A Very Special Favor||Paul Chadwick|
|1966||Blindfold||Dr. Bartholomew Snow|
|1966||Seconds||Antiochus “Tony” Wilson|
|1967||Tobruk||Maj. Donald Craig|
|1968||A Fine Pair||Capt. Mike Harmon|
|1968||Ice Station Zebra||Cdr. James Ferraday|
|1969||The Undefeated||Col. James Langdon|
|1970||Darling Lili||Major William Larrabee|
|1970||Hornets’ Nest||Captain Turner|
|1971||Pretty Maids All in a Row||Michael “Tiger” McDrew|
|1976||Embryo||Dr. Paul Holliston|
|1980||The Mirror Crack’d||Jason Rudd|
|1981||The Star Maker||Danny Youngblood||made-for-television|
|1982||World War III||President Thomas McKenna||made-for-television|
|1984||The Ambassador||Frank Stevenson|
|1984||The Vegas Strip War||Neil Chaine||made-for-television|
|1954–1955||The Colgate Comedy Hour||Himself||2 episodes|
|1955||I Love Lucy||Himself||Episode: “In Palm Springs”|
|1962||The Jack Benny Program||Himself||Episode: “Rock Hudson Show”|
|1968–1969||Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In||Himself||3 episodes|
|1970||The Jim Nabors Hour||Himself||1 episode|
|1971–1977||McMillan & Wife||Police Commissioner Stewart “Mac” McMillan||40 episodes|
|1975–1977||The Carol Burnett Show||Himself||3 episodes|
|1980||The Martian Chronicles||Col. John Wilder||Miniseries|
|1980||The Beatrice Arthur Special||Himself||TV special|
|1982||The Devlin Connection||Brian Devlin||13 episodes|
|1984–1985||Dynasty||Daniel Reece||9 episodes; final role|
|1956||Photoplay Awards||Most Popular Male Star||Himself|
|1957||Photoplay Awards||Most Popular Male Star||Himself|
|1958||Laurel Awards||Top Male Star||Himself|
|1959||Bambi Awards||Best Actor – International||This Earth is Mine|
|1959||Golden Globe Award||World Film Favorite – Male||Himself|
|1959||Laurel Awards||Top Male Star||Himself|
|1959||Photoplay Awards||Most Popular Male Star||Himself|
|1960||Bambi Awards||Best Actor – International||Pillow Talk|
|1960||Golden Globe Award||World Film Favorite – Male||Himself|
|1960||Laurel Awards||Top Male Star||Himself|
|1961||Bambi Awards||Best Actor – International||Come September|
|1961||Golden Globe Award||World Film Favorite – Male||Himself|
|1962||Bambi Awards||Best Actor – International||The Spiral Road|
|1963||Golden Globe Award||World Film Favorite – Male||Himself|
|1963||Laurel Awards||Top Male Star||Himself|
|1964||Bambi Awards||Best Actor – International||Man’s Favorite Sport?|
|1967||Bambi Awards||Best Actor – International||Seconds|
|1977||TP de Oro||Best Foreign Actor (Mejor Actor Extranjero)||McMillan & Wife|
Rock Hudson Facebook
Rock Hudson Interview
Q: Why do you hate to be interviewed so much?
A: I have been misquoted so many times over 40 years that I get uptight at the idea of yet another interview. I worry about what would be printed. I enjoy playing the game with press of how my answers are interpreted. (I guess Rock would have such a time with the present fake news debate) I like to keep my secrets to myself. I guess they will die with me. I like to keep journalists puzzled. The charm is in guessing.
Q. How would you describe to someone your best trait?
A. Stubbornness. I guess I am very determined and I will go after what I want no matter what it takes.
Q. What is your worst trait?
A. Well… I guess I don’t lose my temper enough.
Q. You’ve costarred with many beautiful women-Elizabeth Taylor, Doris Day, Jane Wyman, Linda Evans, Claudia Cardinale and so many others. Claudia says you’ve left a strong impact on her. But, who is THE woman for you? Who impacted you?
A. I will say Katherine Hepburn. I admire her tremendously. The woman is more than a star. She is a legend. Her personalist is, by itself, a talent. As an actress, she is able to express her emotions and carry the character that she’s portraying on the screen, in a breathtaking way that leaves a certain impact. This ability is the main element in making a star.
Hudson’s publicist had requested not to ask health oriented questions-such as what might have caused his rapid weight loss but inquiries about his bypass surgery weren’t out of bounds. And, so I did.
Q. Any major revelations while on the operating table?
A. No. I looked at it as a fait-accompli. I only wanted the doctors to hurry up. Cut and do what you need to do and then get me out of there. My survivalist nature helped me deal with it. (I didn’t know at the time how these words would be so haunting.)
Q. Does that mean that you don’t plan for the future?
A. I stay away from planning and projecting or dwelling on the future. I just love to enjoy the moment and watch life progress and unfold.”
Q. After 40 years in Hollywood, have seen it change?
A. Definitely. There aren’t any good scripts anymore. Before, studios contracted staff writers who put out the best. You were so inspired as an actor. The character came alive. The system worked. Also, the studios trained you as an actor. Now, sadly none of that place. I can’t see how actors can afford to undergo training since studios don’t offer it them anymore. So, the entire medium suffers.
Q. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything?
A. No. Everything would stay the same. However, if I didn’t have acting as a choice, I would have become a gardener. I love to watch things grow and bloom. (I still remember that answer to this day! Not, the answer you’d expect from someone who was adored by so many and had fame and fortune.)
Q. How do you feel about all recent drug addiction scandals in Hollywood?
A. I really don’t understand it and can’t explain it. I feel the problem isn’t limited to Hollywood but is everywhere. Hollywood does have the tendency to overblow the problem because the people with the addictions are in the public eye.