|Birthname||Leroy Harold Scherer, Jr.|
|born on||17 November 1925 at 02:15 (= 02:15 AM )|
|Place||Winnetka, Illinois, 42n06, 87w44|
|Timezone||CST h6w (is standard time)|
|Astrology data||24°28' 08°18 Asc. 01°29'|
American actor, a matinee idol whose name stood for the Hollywood Golden Age of wholesome heroics and light hearted romance. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor in "Giant" in 1957 and won the Golden Globe for Favorite Film Male four times.
Born above a Walgreen's drug store in a quiet mid-western town, he was the son of an auto mechanic and his mom, Kay, a housewife. His parents divorced when he was small and his mom remarried when he was seven. Roy took his step-dad's name, Fitzgerald, when he was eight although the man beat and verbally abused him. His relationship with his mom was very close; he loved her deeply and she was a major figure in his life. His mother is quoted as telling him, "Never make a fool of yourself and more importantly, never embarrass me." His schoolmates at New Trier High School saw him as a quiet young man having difficulty making friends and when he left to join the Navy he kept very few ties to his home town. He served in the Philippines as an aircraft mechanic in World War II and moved to Los Angeles in 1946 to be with his dad. He wanted to be an actor and while waiting to be discovered he drove a delivery truck.
Having had some homosexual contact while he was in the Navy, when he moved to Southern California he was happy to find an area where he could practice his chosen lifestyle in relative obscurity. His first lover in Los Angeles was Ken Hodge, a staff member of the Lux Radio Theater. They moved into a Hollywood apartment in 1948 and from that time on whenever he had a male roommate he had two phone lines and was the only one to answer them. He was always careful not to be photographed with another man. At a party Hudson met agent Henry Wilson, a notorious homosexual who was a shrewd judge of talent and brilliant at launching careers. As a novice actor he was a frequent target of ridicule. His unsuccessful first screen test was a standing Hollywood joke that became an instruction reel at 20th Century Fox, "How Not To Act." Due to his appealing dark good looks and his 6'4" frame he was signed by Universal in 1947 to do small parts. The studio changed his name to Rock Hudson, which at first he hated, but he grew to tolerate it and later named his production company Gibraltar. He promptly started lessons in acting, singing, dancing, horseback riding and fencing. His first film was "Fighter Squadron" in 1948.
Hudson was not merely a survivor of the studio system, he was a master of it. Universal had invested a lot in him and when the scandal sheet "Confidential" threatened to print a story about his sexual orientation, the company made a deal with them, Hudson stayed out of their magazine, but George Nader, a close friend of Hudson's, was "ousted." His career was always his determining factor. Hudson appeared on the cover of Life Magazine in the early 1950's with the story, "The Simple Life of a Busy Bachelor" and his popularity soared as women loved him and men envied him. A very romantic man, he enjoyed flirting with women and occasionally had affairs with them. One of his gay friends said he had fewer feminine traits and mannerisms than anyone he knew, even in private. A shallow man, despising introspection, he never grew emotionally past childhood. In four years Universal used his talents in 22 feature films. His big break came in 1954 when he played opposite Jane Wyman in "Magnificent Obsession." He took his mother to the premier. This film proved his talent and he was suddenly a star. In 1956 he was awarded the lead in "Giant," for which he received his only Oscar nomination. A hard worker and a master of illusion, he walled off his emotions and became a heavy drinker and smoker. Many said he lied on a regular basis. At the height of his career he was receiving 3000 pieces of fan mail per week playing macho parts on screen, but hiding his homosexuality by cracking jokes about "fairies" and "sissies." He could be very generous at times and at other times utterly heartless.
During the 60's he displayed a surprising gift for comedy playing opposite Doris Day in several films. He won his four Golden Globe Awards in 1959-'60-'61-'63. In 1966 Hudson made what he considered his best film, "Seconds," for which he became drunk to film a scene and allowed his emotional side to come out. He played a police commissioner in "McMillan and Wife," a very popular TV series costarring Susan St. James from 1971-77. His mother had a stroke in 1977, at age 77, and he refused to see her after that and she died soon after. Hudson started drinking more even as he did a three month national tour in the part of King Arthur in "Camelot." His friends thought he couldn't handle growing old. In 1981 Hudson had another TV series, "The Devlin Connection." In 1984-'85 he played a recurring role on "Dynasty."
He was diagnosed with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome June 1984, the dreaded AIDS, and hid this fact from all but a few close friends. By November 1984 his appearance had changed drastically, but he never missed a day of work. His biography, "Rock Hudson: His Story" by Rock Hudson and Sara Davidson paint a picture of a man who hid his true self from the world for so long that toward the end of his life there was little of substance left. Hudson had an unfailing sense of humor and loved his home and his four dogs; he was above all a private man. In his career he made over 62 films.
Hudson married Phyllis Gates, his agent's secretary, on 11/09/1955. Some say the marriage took place because the press was closing in again, but Phyllis said she married for love. Attracted to women but preferring to be with men, especially those who had slept with women, Hudson was drawn to blond, blue eyed men in their 20's. Once when Phyllis called one of his friends a silly little fruitcake Hudson slapped her face. He complained she changed after they were married, turning into a movie star's wife, always wanting new clothes. They lived together a little more than a year, separated and their divorce was final 8/13/1958. After their divorce he bought a large house overlooking Beverly Hills which he called the Castle.
Tom Clark, a publicist whose birthday was September 6, moved in and the two battled their way through a ten-year relationship, visiting their families on a regular basis. Hudson's mom lived in Arcadia, CA with her third husband during that time. Hudson dropped Clark in November 1983 and moved in a younger man, Marc Christian, who had the blond good looks and vitality that Hudson admired. Hudson had met Christian, who had changed his name from MacGinnis, at a charity party October 1982. Marc started out to be a rock musician, had done some modeling, but ended up bartending, and some say having sex for money. While Hudson was filming "The Ambassador" in Israel in early 1984, he wrote love letters to Christian never mentioning his diagnosis. Hudson had made a will in 1981 and amended it in 1984. Christian was left out of Hudson's will, the bulk of the estate, an estimated $27 million, going to Hudson's friends. Christian sued the estate for $14 million saying Hudson had put him at risk of AIDS because he wanted to continue their physical relationship. He lost the suit. When Hudson finally announced the news of his health, close friends George Nader, Mark Miller and Tom Clark, who bonded with Hudson once again, shielded him from the media blitz.
Hudson had two surgeries in 1981, cosmetic eyelid surgery and a quintuple heart bypass. He continued to smoke. By August 1983 he was suffering from fatigue and weight loss so he cut his drinks from 15 to two a day. On 5/24/84 Hudson was diagnosed with Kaposi's sarcoma, a skin lesion associated with AIDS. In November 1984 he flew to Paris for experimental drug treatments which he continued until his collapse 6/23/1985. By January 1985 he was covered with rashes, but couldn't have cortisone due to its adverse affect on the immune system. He suffered from Vincent's disease, an infection of the mouth, and his two front teeth were loose. He had impetigo, which is highly contagious, and his chest, back and legs were covered with itching sores. By summer 1985 he couldn't keep food down, weighing 170 pounds and losing three inches in height. Hudson collapsed in Paris on 6/21/1985. A press release was read disclosing his condition of AIDS. He flew by private jet back to Los Angeles entering UCLA Medical Center, leaving there on 8/24/1985 wishing to go home. Hudson was raised a Roman Catholic but had come to regard himself as an atheist. On 9/25/1985 a priest came to his home, heard his confession, gave him communion and last rites. He died of lymph cancer, a complication of AIDS, on 10/2/1985, 9:00AM, Hollywood, CA. There was a private memorial service in his home for 50 of his friends on 10/19/1985. His body was cremated. Hudson was credited with bringing the public's awareness to the severity of the AIDS crisis. Just before his death Elizabeth Taylor, Burt Lancaster and a number of other Hollywood celebrities had a fund raiser, a precursor of AMFAR. Hudson donated $250,000 and pledged the proceeds from his biography to the research. Very shortly after Hudson's death Congress signed a bill funding $221 million in AIDS research.
- friend relationship with Nader, George (born 19 October 1921)
- spouse relationship with Hudson, Phyllis (born 9 December 1925). Notes: Bitter
- Family : Change residence 1946 (Moved to Los Angeles, CA)
- Work : Contracts, agreements 1947 (Signed by Universal Studios, small parts)
- Family : Change residence 1948 (Moved into Hollywood0 apartment)
- Work : New Career 1948 (Film debut, "Fighter Squadron")
- Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1954 (Film, "Magnificent Obsession")
- Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1956 (Film, "Giant")
- Work : Prize 1959 (Golden Globe Award)
- Work : Prize 1960 (Golden Globe Award)
- Work : Prize 1961 (Golden Globe Award)
- Work : Prize 1963 (Golden Globe Award)
- Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1966 (Film, "Seconds")
- Work : Begin Major Project 1971 (TV series, "McMillan and Wife")
- Work : End Major Project 1977 (TV series, "McMillan and Wife")
- Work : Begin Major Project 1981 (TV series, "The Devlin Connection")
- Other Financial 1981 (Wrote will)
- Health : Medical procedure 1981 (Cosmetic eyelid surgery)
- Relationship : Meet a significant person October 1982 (Male companion, Marc Christian)
chart Placidus Equal_H.
- Relationship : End significant relationship November 1983 (Male companion, Tom Clark)
chart Placidus Equal_H.
- Work : Begin Major Project 1984 (TV series, "Dynasty")
- Other Financial 1984 (Amended will)
B.C. in hand from the Wilsons
- Traits : Body : Appearance gorgeous
- Traits : Body : Size (Height of 6' 4")
- Traits : Personality : Changeable (Generous, then heartless)
- Traits : Personality : Humorous, Witty (Unfailing sense of humor)
- Traits : Personality : Liar/ Fraud (Lied on a regular basis)
- Traits : Personality : Private (Above all, a private man)
- Diagnoses : Major Diseases : Aids
- Diagnoses : Major Diseases : Cancer (Lymph, terminal)
- Diagnoses : Body Part Problems : Heart (Heart disease, by-pass)
- Diagnoses : Body Part Problems : Skin (Lesions associated with AIDS)
- Diagnoses : Body Part Problems : Surgery (Quintruple heart by-pass)
- Diagnoses : Body Part Problems : Cosmetic surgery (Eyelid surgery)
- Diagnoses : Psychological : Abuse Alcohol (Heavy drinker)
- Family : Childhood : Abuse - Physical/ Verbal (By stepfather)
- Family : Childhood : Family close (Very close relationship with mother)
- Family : Childhood : Parent, Single or Step (Stepfather)
- Family : Childhood : Parents divorced
- Family : Relationship : Cohabitation more than 3 yrs (With Tom Clark)
- Family : Relationship : Marriage less than 3 Yrs (33 months)
- Family : Relationship : Mate - Same sex (Tom Clark, Marc Christian)
- Family : Relationship : Stress - Domestic violence (Slapped wife in face)
- Lifestyle : Financial : Philanthropist (AIDS charities)
- Lifestyle : Financial : Wealthy
- Lifestyle : Social Life : Animals, pets (Four dogs)
- Passions : Sexuality : Bi-Sexual (Closet)
- Passions : Sexuality : Extremes in quantity (Many lovers)
- Personal : Religion/Spirituality : Atheist
- Personal : Misc. : Changed name (Studio changed name to Rock Hudson)
- Vocation : Beauty : Sex-symbol
- Vocation : Business : Business owner (Production company)
- Vocation : Entertainment : Actor/ Actress (More than 62 films)
- Vocation : Entertainment : Comedy
- Vocation : Entertainment : TV series/ Soap star ("McMillan and Wife," others)
- Vocation : Military : Military service (Navy, aircraft mechanic)
- Vocation : Writers : Autobiographer
- Vocation : Misc. : Mechanic (Aircraft, Navy when young)
- Vocation : Misc. : Physical labor (Delivery truck driver when young)
- Notable : Awards : Oscar (Nominated)
- Notable : Awards : Vocational award (Golden Globe, favorite film male four times)
- Notable : Famous : Top 5% of Profession