- NAME: Rock Hudson
- OCCUPATION: Film Actor
- BIRTH DATE: November 17, 1925
- DEATH DATE: October 02, 1985
- EDUCATION: New Trier High School
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Winnetka, Illinois
- PLACE OF DEATH: Beverly Hills, California
- Originally: Roy Harold Scherer Jr.
- AKA: Roy Harold Fitzgerald
- AKA: Rock Hudson
- AKA: Roy Harold Scherer
- AKA: Roy Scherer
- AKA: Roy Fitzgerald
Best Known For
Noted for his exceptional good looks and comedic film performance, Rock Hudson was an iconic actor who, later in life, contracted and died from the AIDS virus.
Elizabeth Taylor - Giant (2:33)
Elizabeth Taylor starred alongside Rock Hudson and James Dean in one of her most unforgettable roles in George Steven’s epic film "Giant."
After Elizabeth Taylor’s close friend Rock Hudson was diagnosed with AIDS, she began a lifelong devotion to the fight against AIDS.
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He paired with Day in a number of later films, including Lover Come Back (1961) and Send Me No Flowers (1964). In 1966, the actor took a chance and accepted a role that was well out of his now-normal spectrum: He starred in John Frankenheimer's Seconds, a sci-fi thriller that wasn't well-received by audiences.
In 1971, Rock Hudson joined the cast of the popular television investigative series Macmillin and Wife. In the '80s, he appeared on the show Dynasty.
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.
In June 1984, Hudson went to visit a doctor about an irritation on his neck. The irritation turned out to be a lesion and a sign of Kaposi sarcoma, a cancerous tumor that affects AIDS patients. Rock Hudson was diagnosed with AIDS on June 5, 1984. A year later, on Jul 25, 1985, he publicly announced that he was suffering from the disease—becoming one of the first celebrities to do so, as well as one of the first to disclose his homosexuality. His openness was a catalyst for public awareness of the worldwide epidemic.
Hudson spent the remainder of his life surrounded by friends and family. He died from AIDS-related complications on October 2, 1985, at the age of 59, in Beverly Hills, California. He was the first major celebrity to die from an AIDS-related illness. Today, Rock Hudson is remembered not only for his legacy as a talented screen actor, but for his courageous choice to go public about his AIDS diagnosis.
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