Rock Hudson


Actor
Rock Hudson

About

Also Known As
Roy Harold Scherer Jr., Roy Fitzgerald, Roc Hudson
Birth Place
Winnetka, Illinois, USA
Born
November 17, 1925
Died
October 02, 1985
Cause of Death
Complications Resulting From Aids

Biography

With his urbane charm, dashing good looks, and virile masculinity, Rock Hudson epitomized Hollywood's classic matinee idol image - used to great effect in many a romantic comedy in which he was often paired with the equally magnetic Doris Day. One of the most popular movie stars of his time, Hudson's screen career spanned five decades and was a shining example of Hollywood's classical "s...

Photos & Videos

Pillow Talk - Movie Posters
All That Heaven Allows - Movie Posters
Horizons West - Movie Posters

Family & Companions

Phyllis Gates
Wife
Actor. Married in 1955; divorced in 1958.
Vera-Ellen
Companion
Actor. "dated" over a three year period.
Jack Coates
Companion
Tom Clark
Companion
Publicist. Had long-term relationship; published memoir about Hudson.

Bibliography

"Rock Hudson: A Bio-Bibliography"
Brenda Scott Royce, Greenwood Press (1995)
"My Husband, Rock Hudson: The Real Story of Rock Hudson's Marriage to Phyllis Gates"
Phyllis Gates and Bob Thomas, Doubleday (1987)
"Rock Hudson: His Story"
Rock Hudson and Sara Davidson
"Rock Hudson: Friend of Mine"
Tom Clark and Dick Kleiner

Notes

Hudson's boxoffice power is indicated by his unbroken streak of eight appearances in the annual exhibitors' poll of Hollywood's ten most popular stars. Hudson was voted #1 in 1957, #5 in 1958, #1 in 1959, #2 for 1960, 61 and 62, and #3 in 1963 and 64.

Biography

With his urbane charm, dashing good looks, and virile masculinity, Rock Hudson epitomized Hollywood's classic matinee idol image - used to great effect in many a romantic comedy in which he was often paired with the equally magnetic Doris Day. One of the most popular movie stars of his time, Hudson's screen career spanned five decades and was a shining example of Hollywood's classical "star system"-style career promotion - his early success coming as the result of careful cultivation and nurturing by major movie studios. Hudson was brilliant in George Stevens' 1956 epic, "Giant" for which he received an Academy Award nomination. Known for his easy-going demeanor off-screen, Hudson was well-liked by colleagues and seemed to enjoy a rich and happy life in the public eye. In truth, however, Hudson was a gay man who was, thanks to the times and the studio system, forced to live in the closet. Tragically, after contracting the HIV virus and dying of AIDS in 1985 - his private life now thrust public for the world to see - Hudson would become the first major Hollywood casualty of the misunderstood and widely feared disease. But he would not die in vain. His death not only opened people's eyes to the disease itself, it inspired his good friend and onetime co-star Elizabeth Taylor to begin her decades-long role as a prominent AIDS activist, raising millions in the fight against the deadly disease that had robbed her friend of his golden years.

Born Leroy (Roy) Harold Scherer, Jr. on Nov. 17, 1925, in Winnetka, IL, the future movie idol was the son of a hard-drinking auto mechanic, Roy, Sr. and a telephone operator named Katherine Wood. In 1930, at the height of the Great Depression, like many distraught dads of that time, Hudson's father abandoned the family. Fortunately, a year later, his mother remarried a man by the name of Wallace Fitzgerald, who adopted Roy, Jr. and gave him his last name. A poor student growing up, Hudson narrowly graduated from Winnetka's New Trier High School - the same alma mater as Ann-Margret and Charlton Heston - in the early 1940's. Far more enamored of movies than his school work, Hudson got a job as an usher at a local movie theater, where he developed a passion for acting. Eager to get started, Hudson tried out for roles in school plays but was rejected for never knowing his lines.

After a brief tour of duty in the U.S. Navy as an airplane mechanic during World War II, Hudson moved to Los Angeles. Determined as ever to make it in show business, Hudson applied to the University of Southern California's drama program, but was disqualified due to poor grades. To make ends meet, Hudson found a job as a delivery truck driver, but spent most of his working hours idling outside of studio gates, passing out his headshots. Hardly the way to go about breaking into show biz, to be sure - but in this case, persistence paid off. In 1948, the handsome young Hudson caught the eye of powerful Hollywood talent scout, Henry Willson. The rest, as they say, was history. According to author Robert Barrios's 2002 best-seller Screened Out: Playing Gay in Hollywood from Edison to Stonewall, the openly homosexual Willson almost single-handedly launched Hollywood's highly profitable "beefcake craze" of the 1950's, thanks to his knack for discovering and renaming young actors "whose visual appeal transcended any lack of ability." Among Willson's other discoveries were such nobodies-turned-Hollywood-golden-boys Arthur Gelien (a.k.a. Tab Hunter), Merle Johnson, Jr. (better known as Troy Donahue), and Bob Mosely (a.k.a. Guy Madison). According to Hollywood folklore, Willson changed Roy Fitzgerald's name to the more masculine sounding "Rock Hudson" by combining the Rock of Gibraltar and the Hudson River.

In preparation for his first film role in Raoul Walsh's "Fighter Squadron," the newly re-christened Hudson got caps put on his teeth and received intensive coaching in acting, singing, dancing, fencing and horseback riding. Still, according to legend, it took no less than 38 takes for Hudson to successfully deliver his one line. Nonetheless, as a contract player for a major Hollywood studio, Hudson enjoyed a degree of job security that would disappear along with the studio system decades later. Cared for and jealously protected as a valuable studio asset, Hudson was literally groomed for leading man status. Studio P.R. flacks used their pull to push magazine publishers into plastering Hudson's handsome mug across the covers of countless film magazines. At 29, Hudson earned his first professional recognition for his role as a bad boy redeemed in the mawkish romance "Magnificent Obsession" (1954) starring Jane Wyman. Hailed by Modern Screen Magazine as one of the best films of the year, the magazine also named Hudson the year's "most popular actor."

As Hudson's marquee value increased, however, so too did the pressure to hide his homosexuality. In 1955, as a pre-emptive measure, Henry Willson arranged a marriage of convenience between Hudson and his (Willson's) secretary, Phyllis Gates. Much to his credit, according to Hudson biographer, Sara Davidson, the actor made an earnest go at trying to make the sham marriage work. Unfortunately, the effort failed and the two subsequently divorced in 1958. In the meantime, however, with Hudson's heterosexuality firmly established in the public eye, his acting career soared to new heights. A year after his highly publicized nuptials, Hudson landed his biggest payday to date - $100,000 to star in "Giant"(1956), director George Steven's sprawling three and a half hour epic based on Edna Ferber's novel. Cast opposite two of Hollywood's other top rising young stars, Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean, Hudson delivered a powerful performance as Texas rancher, Bick Benedict. As a result of their searing performances, both Hudson and Dean were nominated for Best Actor Oscars at the 1957 Academy Awards.

Hudson closed out the decade with strong performances in a string of merely adequate vehicles. Two notable exceptions were director Richard Brook's sublime interracial drama, "Something of Value" (1957) and the overly long, but nevertheless effective adaptation of "A Farewell to Arms" (1957), based on the novel by Ernest Hemingway. In the late '50's, Hudson's career took another huge leap forward when he was cast opposite Doris Day in a string of light bedroom comedies - starting with 1958's "Pillow Talk." Audiences enjoyed the delightful chemistry between Hudson and Day so much that the pair reunited for two more outings, "Lover Come Back" (1961) and "Send Me No Flowers" (1964) - all big at the box office.

As he approached middle age, Hudson's career began slowing down. Losing out on choice roles to younger men must have surely been a blow to his ego. Nevertheless, the actor continued churning films out at a steady pace. Perhaps not surprisingly, Hudson's best work of the period came in a film where he played a character forcibly confronted with his own mortality and the grim realities of age in John Frankenheimer's engrossing science-fiction/fantasy thriller, "Seconds" (1966). In it, Hudson gave a first-rate performance as a middle-aged man who is given a younger body, only to discover too late that he has made a Faustian bargain that has robbed him of both his sanity and his trust in humankind.

Still, roles like the one in "Seconds" were increasingly far and few between. Lured by the financial incentives and displeased with the feature scripts he was receiving, Hudson reluctantly agreed to do television. One of TV's last major matinee holdouts, Hudson still commanded enough clout to at least get first choice of projects. In 1971, Hudson signed on to do a 90-minute made-for-TV movie of the week called "Once Upon a Dead Man" (NBC, 1971). A light mystery in the vein of 1934's "The Thin Man," "Once Upon a Dead Man" would eventually serve as a backdoor pilot for the highly successful series "McMillan and Wife" (NBC, 1971-77). Modeled after the comic adventures of husband-and-wife sleuthing team Nick and Nora Charles, "McMillan and Wife" starred Hudson as San Francisco Police Commissioner Stewart McMillan and pretty newcomer Susan Saint James as his flighty (but sporadically helpful) wife, Sally.

Hudson's career hit a low in the early 1980's. With his years of heavy smoking and drinking beginning to take its toll on his health, Hudson could no longer play leading man roles. His last high-profile gig was as the star of the short-lived series, "The Devlin Connection" (NBC, 1982), about a reluctant father-and-son detective team. Premiering as a mid-season replacement in the winter of 1982, "The Devlin Connection" started out strong in the ratings; only to have its momentum interrupted when Hudson suffered a massive heart attack during filming. As Hudson recovered from quintuple heart bypass surgery, production on "Devlin" shut down for nearly a year. While Hudson bounced back, the long delay proved fatal to the health of the show. By the time it returned to the airwaves, viewers had lost interest. The show's final episode aired on Christmas Day, 1982.

Over the next two years, Hudson's health continued to deteriorate. At first, this was attributed to the star's lingering heart problems, but before long, other whispers and rumors began to spread. In 1985, Hudson signed on to play his last major role as Daniel Reece, the love interest of Linda Evans' character, Krystal Carrington, on the hit primetime drama, "Dynasty" (ABC, 1981-89). Although the role of Reece was originally conceived to become a major character, Hudson's rapidly declining health dictated that the storyline be revised. When producers noticed Hudson looking increasingly frail and steadily losing weight over the course of the season, they began to worry and kept their fingers crossed. The final straw came, though, when Hudson's speech started to become affected, preventing him from delivering his lines. Left with no other option, the Daniel Reece character was written out after 14 episodes. Though Hudson kept it a secret, in reality, the actor was aware of the severity of his condition, having been diagnosed with AIDS in June of 1984.

After months of seclusion, Hudson resurfaced in July of 1985 to join his old friend and co-star, Doris Day, for the launch of her new cable show, "Doris Day's Best Friends" (CBN, 1985-86). In his final public appearance, a skeletally gaunt and incoherent Hudson confirmed the awful truth - he was knocking at death's door. The shocking image of the once robust dreamboat withering away to nothingness was broadcast again all over the national news shows that night and for weeks to come. But at the end of the day, it was Doris Day's devastated stunned silence that seemed to sum it up best.

No longer able to deny the obvious, Hudson and his doctors released a statement shortly after his appearance, stating that the actor had terminal liver cancer. A week later, however, Hudson came clean and publicly confirmed that he was dying of AIDS. How the actor contracted the deadly disease was unclear, but Hudson speculated that he may have contracted the HIV virus from infected blood he had received as part of his numerous heart bypass procedures (At the time of his operation, blood was not tested for the then-unknown HIV antibody). Hudson died on Oct. 2, 1985 of complications from AIDS. As per his instructions, he was cremated and his ashes buried at sea.

By this point, the question of whether or not Hudson was secretly gay seemed all but moot; most of his colleagues knew and it had long been an open secret in Hollywood's gay underground. Nevertheless, the details of Hudson's lifestyle became startlingly public following the funeral when Hudson's longtime partner, Marc Christian, sued the actor's estate on grounds of "intentional infliction of emotional distress." Although he himself tested negative for the disease, according to Christian, Hudson continued having sex with him for a year after he had been diagnosed. In 1991, Christian reached a settlement with Hudson's estate.

As the first high-profile Hollywood celebrity to die from AIDS, Hudson's greatest legacy may have come in death. Casually dismissed for far too long as just a "gay disease" by the public, AIDS research had traditionally held a low priority among the medical establishment. After Hudson put a recognizable face on the disease, however, public awareness of AIDS increased dramatically. Hudson's death also galvanized the Hollywood community for the first time to take a stance against the plight, helping to raise money and erase some of the stigma attached with the disease - typified best by his good friend Elizabeth Taylor's activism, done in honor of her doomed friend. Had it not been for Hudson, it is unknown when, if ever, Hollywood would have come around to embrace this tradition of compassion and awareness regarding AIDS.

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

The Ambassador (1985)
The Vegas Strip War (1984)
An Act of Love: The Patricia Neal Story (1981)
Himself
The Mirror Crack'd (1980)
Avalanche (1978)
Embryo (1976)
Showdown (1973)
Pretty Maids All in a Row (1971)
[Michael] Tiger [McDrew]
Once Upon a Dead Man (1971)
Darling Lili (1970)
Maj. William Larrabee
Hornets' Nest (1970)
Captain Turner
A Fine Pair (1969)
Capt. Mike Harmon
The Undefeated (1969)
Col. James Langdon
Ice Station Zebra (1968)
Comdr. James Ferraday
Tobruk (1967)
Maj. Donald Craig
Seconds (1966)
Antiochus Wilson
Blindfold (1966)
Dr. Bartholomew Snow
Strange Bedfellows (1965)
Carter Harrison
A Very Special Favor (1965)
Paul Chadwick
Send Me No Flowers (1964)
George Kimball
Man's Favorite Sport? (1964)
Roger Willoughby
A Gathering of Eagles (1963)
Col. Jim Caldwell
Marilyn (1963)
Narrator
The Spiral Road (1962)
Dr. Anton Drager
Come September (1961)
Robert Lawrence Talbot
Lover Come Back (1961)
Jerry Webster
The Last Sunset (1961)
Dana Stribling
This Earth Is Mine (1959)
John Rambeau
Pillow Talk (1959)
Brad Allen [also known as Rex Stetson]
Twilight for the Gods (1958)
Captain David Bell
The Tarnished Angels (1958)
Burke Devlin
A Farewell to Arms (1957)
Lt. Frederic Henry
Battle Hymn (1957)
Dean Hess
Written on the Wind (1957)
Mitch Wayne
Something of Value (1957)
Peter [McKenzie]
Giant (1956)
Jordan "Bick" Benedict, II
All That Heaven Allows (1956)
Ron Kirby
Never Say Goodbye (1956)
Dr. Michael Parker
Captain Lightfoot (1955)
Michael [Martin, also known as Captain Lightfoot]
One Desire (1955)
Clint Saunders
Taza, Son of Cochise (1954)
Taza
Bengal Brigade (1954)
Capt. Jeffrey [Steven] Claybourne
Magnificent Obsession (1954)
Bob Merrick [also known as Robbie Robinson]
The Lawless Breed (1953)
John Wesley Hardin, also known as J. Swain
Sea Devils (1953)
Gilliatt
Seminole (1953)
Lance Caldwell
The Golden Blade (1953)
Harun
Gun Fury (1953)
Ben Warren
Back to God's Country (1953)
Peter Keith
Bright Victory (1952)
Dudek
Here Come the Nelsons (1952)
Charlie Jones
Horizons West (1952)
Neal Hammond
Scarlet Angel (1952)
Capt. Frank Truscott
Has Anybody Seen My Gal (1952)
Dan Stebbins
Bend of the River (1952)
Trey Wilson
Air Cadet (1951)
Upper classman
Iron Man (1951)
Tommy "Speed" O'Keefe
Tomahawk (1951)
Burt Hanna
The Fat Man (1951)
Roy Clark [also known as Ray Chevlin]
Shakedown (1950)
I Was a Shoplifter (1950)
Si Swanson
Winchester '73 (1950)
Young Bull
Peggy (1950)
Johnny Mitchell
The Desert Hawk (1950)
Captain Ras
Undertow (1949)
Detective
Fighter Squadron (1948)
Lieutenant

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

An Act of Love: The Patricia Neal Story (1981)
Other

Cast (Special)

George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey (1984)
Himself
Circus of the Stars (1980)
The Beatrice Arthur Special (1980)
The Olivia Newton-John Show (1976)
Hollywood: The Selznick Years (1961)

Misc. Crew (Special)

George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey (1984)
Other

Cast (Short)

The Man Who Makes the Difference (1968)
Himself

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

World War III (1982)
The Star Maker (1981)
Arthur Hailey's "Wheels" (1978)

Life Events

1948

Film acting debut in "Fighter Squadron"

1954

Achieved top star status opposite Jane Wyman in director Douglas Sirk's remake of "Magnificent Obsession"

1957

First appearance in the annual exhibitors' poll of top ten boxoffice stars; placed first

1959

First teaming with Doris Day, "Pillow Talk"

1964

Last of eight consecutive appearances in the annual poll of top ten boxoffice stars; placed third

1971

Played one of the title roles, police commissioner Stewart McMillan, in the popular ABC-TV detective series, "McMillan and Wife"

1984

Last acting role in a feature film, "The Ambassador"

1985

Appeared in the feature documentary, "George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey"

Photo Collections

Pillow Talk - Movie Posters
Pillow Talk - Movie Posters
All That Heaven Allows - Movie Posters
All That Heaven Allows - Movie Posters
Horizons West - Movie Posters
Horizons West - Movie Posters
Horizons West - British Front-of-House Stills
Horizons West - British Front-of-House Stills
Horizons West - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Horizons West - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Come September - Movie Posters
Come September - Movie Posters
Man's Favorite Sport? - Movie Posters
Man's Favorite Sport? - Movie Posters
Sea Devils - Movie Poster
Sea Devils - Movie Poster
The Last Sunset - Movie Poster
The Last Sunset - Movie Poster
Send Me No Flowers - Movie Posters
Send Me No Flowers - Movie Posters
Giant - Wardrobe Stills
Here are several rare wardrobe stills taken for George Stevens' Giant (1956). Such test stills were taken prior to principal photography to approve the look and design of costumes. (Images courtesy Warner Bros.)
Written on the Wind - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for Written on the Wind (1957). One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
Giant - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are several photos taken during production and post-production of Giant (1956). Look for director George Stevens, source novel author Edna Ferber, and stars James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor, and Rock Hudson.
Ice Station Zebra - Movie Posters
Here are a few movie posters from Ice Station Zebra (1968), starring Rock Hudson, Jim Brown, Ernest Borgnine, and Patrick McGoohan.
Something of Value - Scene Stills
Here are a few scene stills from Something of Value (1957), starring Rock Hudson and Sidney Poitier.
Lover Come Back - Movie Posters
Here are a few original release American movie posters for Lover Come Back (1961), starring Doris Day and Rock Hudson.
Taza, Son of Cochise - Behind-the-Scenes Stills
Taza, Son of Cochise - Behind-the-Scenes Stills
Taza, Son of Cochise - Publicity Stills
Taza, Son of Cochise - Publicity Stills
Taza, Son of Cochise - Scene Stills
Taza, Son of Cochise - Scene Stills
Taza, Son of Cochise - Publicity Illustrations
Here in black-and-white are finished illustrations from Universal Pictures' Taza, Son of Cochise (1954), starring Rock Hudson. Originally prepared by the studio publicity department for movie posters, such art was often photographed for stills and made available for newspaper and magazine reproduction.
Captain Lightfoot - Lobby Cards
Here are a few Lobby Cards from Captain Lightfoot (1955), directed by Douglas Sirk and starring Rock Hudson, Barbara Rush, and Jeff Morrow. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Captain Lightfoot - Publicity Stills
Here are a few Publicity Stills from Universal Pictures' Captain Lightfoot (1955), starring Rock Hudson, Barbara Rush, and Jeff Morrow. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, taken for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
Captain Lightfoot - Scene Stills
Here are several scene stills from Universal Pictures' Captain Lightfoot (1955), directed by Douglas Sirk and starring Rock Hudson, Barbara Rush, and Jeff Morrow.
Captain Lightfoot - Movie Posters
Here are some original-release movie posters from Universal Pictures' Captain Lightfoot (1955), directed by Douglas Sirk and starring Rock Hudson, Barbara Rush, and Jeff Morrow.
Taza, Son of Cochise - Movie Posters
Taza, Son of Cochise - Movie Posters
Captain Lightfoot - Behind-the-Scenes Stills
Here are a few photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of Universal Pictures' Captain Lightfoot (1955), directed by Douglas Sirk and starring Rock Hudson, Barbara Rush, and Jeff Morrow.
The Tarnished Angels - Lobby Cards
Here are a few Lobby Cards from The Tarnished Angels (1957), directed by Douglas Sirk and starring Rock Hudson, Robert Stack, and Dorothy Malone. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
The Tarnished Angels - Publicity Stills
Here are a few Publicity Stills from Universal Pictures' The Tarnished Angels (1957), starring Rock Hudson, Dorothy Malone, and Robert Stack. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, taken for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
The Tarnished Angels - Scene Stills
Here are several scene stills from Universal Pictures' The Tarnished Angels (1957), directed by Douglas Sirk and starring Rock Hudson, Robert Stack, and Dorothy Malone.
The Tarnished Angels - Behind-the-Scenes Stills
Here are some photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of Universal Pictures' The Tarnished Angels (1957), directed by Douglas Sirk and starring Rock Hudson, Robert Stack, and Dorothy Malone.
The Tarnished Angels - Movie Posters
Here are several original-release movie posters from Universal Pictures' The Tarnished Angels (1957), directed by Douglas Sirk and starring Rock Hudson, Robert Stack, and Dorothy Malone.
Giant - Movie Poster
Here is the American One-Sheet Movie Poster for Giant (1956), directed by George Stevens. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
Taza, Son of Cochise - Pressbook
Here is the original campaign book (pressbook) for Taza, Son of Cochise (1954). Pressbooks were sent to exhibitors and theater owners to aid them in publicizing the film's run in their theater.

Videos

Movie Clip

Ice Station Zebra (1968) - My First Name Is Captain At a Scottish naval base, American sub commander Ferraday (Rock Hudson) and crew (Ted Hartley, Sherwood Price) receive smug British agent Jones (Patrick McGoohan) who’s not explaining his mission, relating to a polar research outpost, in Ice Station Zebra, 1968, from an Alistair MacLean novel.
Ice Station Zebra (1968) - If You Must Have A Suspect British spy Jones (Patrick McGoohan), Russian defector Vaslov (Ernest Borgnine) and Commander Ferraday (Rock Hudson) discuss a submarine sabotage attempt in Ice Station Zebra, 1968, from the Alistair MacLean novel.
Ice Station Zebra (1968) - Now Now, Comrade! Commander Ferraday (Rock Hudson) surfaces to pick up Russian defector Vaslov (Ernest Borgnine), warmly greeted by British spy Jones (Patrick McGoohan) in John Sturges' Ice Station Zebra, 1968, from the Alistair MacLean novel.
Ice Station Zebra (1968) - I Measure An Officer's Weakness Commander Ferraday (Rock Hudson) has just met tough Marine captain Anders (Jim Brown), brought aboard his sub to command an untested combat team, taking over for junior Lt. Walker (Tony Bill), in writer Alistair MacLean’s Cold War espionage thriller Ice Station Zebra, 1968.
Fine Pair, A (1969) - Two Basic Requirements After credits in which she lands in New York from Rome, Claudia Cardinale is pretty convincing as a playful Italian jet-setter, inexplicably dropping in on businesslike police suit Rock Hudson, early in director Francesco Maselli's little-noticed A Fine Pair, 1969.
Fine Pair, A (1969) - You Want Two Rooms? Crossing the pond with Esmerelda (Claudia Cardinale), the now grown-up amateur criminal daughter of his late Italian colleague, New York police executive Harmon (Rock Hudson) is looking only semi-competent at helping her out of a jam, in the multi-national rom-com A Fine Pair, 1969.
Lover Come Back (1961) - It Looks Down On Madison Avenue Carol (Doris Day) has forced a hearing before the Madison Avenue ethics-enforcing “Advertising Council,” not knowing that her target, Jerry Webster (Rock Hudson, not seen) has tricked her witness, dishy model Rebel (Edie Adams) into hiding his dubious practices, in Lover Come Back, 1961.
Pillow Talk (1959) - Title Song Cute graphics, the leading lady with the title tune by Buddy Pepper and Inez James, to Doris Day in the blue negligee and leading man Rock Hudson introducing the premise and the graphic gimmick, off to a rollicking start in their first picture together, in Pillow Talk, 1959.
Lover Come Back (1961) - I Wish I Were A Man Right Now! Ad man Jerry (Rock Hudson) is managing his neurotic boss and buddy Peter (Tony Randall), legacy owner of the agency, who's worried that competitor Carol (Doris Day) has filed a complaint, director Delbert Mann using the split-screen phone gimmick from Pillow Talk, 1959, early in Lover Come Back, 1961.
Bend Of The River (1952) - Having A Little Trouble? Trail guide McClintock (James Stewart) visits Portland where his buddy Cole (Arthur Kennedy) has signed on with the saloon, along with would-be settler Laura (Julie Adams), but they re-unite when supplier Hendricks (Howard Petrie) makes trouble, gambler Wilson (Rock Hudson) offering backup, in Anthony Mann's Bend Of The River, 1952.
Giant (1956) - So Fascinating And Uncouth After maybe the biggest single leap in time, still before WWII, the Texan Benedict kids have grown up to be Carroll Baker as Luz II, and Dennis Hopper and Fran Bennett as twins Jordan and Judy (Earl Holliman her boyfriend), perplexing their parents Bick and Leslie (Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor), in Giant, 1956.
All That Heaven Allows (1955) - This May Be My Last Year Using the Universal backlot as suburban Connecticut, Agnes Moorehead as Sara conducts exposition regarding Jane Wyman (as "Cary,") at first hardly noticing the hunky gardener Ron (Rock Hudson), opening Douglas Sirk's celebrated All That Heaven Allows, 1955, produced by Ross Hunter.

Trailer

Winchester '73 - (Re-issue Trailer) A man (James Stewart) combs the West in search of his stolen rifle. Co-starring Shelley Winters. Directed by Anthony Mann.
Pretty Maids All in a Row - (Original Trailer) A young man's first sexual explorations are threatened by a string of murders in Pretty Maids All in a Row (1971) written by Gene Roddenberry, starring Rock Hudson and Angie Dickinson.
Darling Lili - (Original Trailer) A World War I flyer (Rock Hudson) falls for a beautiful enemy spy (Julie Andrews). Directed by Blake Edwards.
Bend of the River - (Original Trailer) A westerner (James Stewart) with a questionable past leads a wagon train into the Oregon territory in Bend of the River (1952) co-starring Rock Hudson and Arthur Kennedy, directed by Anthony Mann.
Last Sunset, The - (Original Trailer) A sheriff (Rock Hudson) finds the outlaw (Kirk Douglas) he's hunting leading a cattle drive and decides to help him before arresting him in Robert Aldrich's The Last Sunset (1961).
All That Heaven Allows - (Original Trailer) A lonely widow (Jane Wyman) defies small-town gossip when she falls for a younger man (Rock Hudson) in Douglas Sirk's All That Heaven Allows (1955).
Pillow Talk - (Original Trailer) Doris Day and Rock Hudson give each other interference on their shared telephone line in Pillow Talk (1959).
Farewell to Arms, A (1957) - (Original Trailer) A Farewell to Arms (1957), Ernest Hemingway's story of an affair between an English nurse an an American soldier on the Italian front during World War I.
Giant - (Original Trailer) A Texas ranching family fights to survive changing times in Giant (1956) starring James Dean, Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor.
Tarnished Angels, The - (Original Trailer) A newsman falls for the wife of a barnstorming pilot whose work he's covering in Douglas Sirk's The Tarnished Angels (1958) starring Rock Hudson.
Come September - (Original Trailer) A womanizing tycoon (Rock Hudson) ends up chaperoning a group of American girls who've rented his Italian villa in Come September (1961) with Sandra Dee and Bobby Darin.
Send Me No Flowers - (Original Trailer) Rock Hudson and Doris Day in their last co-starring movie, Send Me No Flowers (1964).

Promo

Family

Roy Harold Scherer
Father
Auto mechanic. Divorced from Hudson's mother c. 1929.
Katherine Wood
Mother
Telephone operator. Divorced from Hudson's father c. 1929; later married and divorced Wallace Fitzgerald who adopted her son.
Alice Scherer
Half-Sister
Adopted by Roy Scherer.

Companions

Phyllis Gates
Wife
Actor. Married in 1955; divorced in 1958.
Vera-Ellen
Companion
Actor. "dated" over a three year period.
Jack Coates
Companion
Tom Clark
Companion
Publicist. Had long-term relationship; published memoir about Hudson.
Armistead Maupin
Companion
Author. Had brief relationship.
Marc Christian
Companion
Sued Hudson's estate after his death.

Bibliography

"Rock Hudson: A Bio-Bibliography"
Brenda Scott Royce, Greenwood Press (1995)
"My Husband, Rock Hudson: The Real Story of Rock Hudson's Marriage to Phyllis Gates"
Phyllis Gates and Bob Thomas, Doubleday (1987)
"Rock Hudson: His Story"
Rock Hudson and Sara Davidson
"Rock Hudson: Friend of Mine"
Tom Clark and Dick Kleiner
"Rock Hudson: Public and Private"
Mark Bego
"Rock Hudson: The Story of a Giant"
Jeanette Friedman
"Idol: Rock Hudson: The True Story of an American Film Hero"
Jerry Oppenheimer and Jack Vitek

Notes

Hudson's boxoffice power is indicated by his unbroken streak of eight appearances in the annual exhibitors' poll of Hollywood's ten most popular stars. Hudson was voted #1 in 1957, #5 in 1958, #1 in 1959, #2 for 1960, 61 and 62, and #3 in 1963 and 64.