Roy Harold Scherer Jr., later known as Rock Hudson, was born on November 17, 1925, in Illinois. While he would eventually become one of Hollywood’s most iconic stars, his journey started modestly. After meeting Hollywood agent Henry Wilson, his destiny changed. Wilson, who also represented several other budding talents, saw potential in Scherer and decided to rebrand him. This decision birthed the name Rock Hudson. Mark Griffin, the author of Hudson’s biography, once remarked, “And then, you have to groom the person to match the name, as it were.” This exemplifies the magnitude of Hudson’s transformation, not just in name but in persona and style.
Did Rock Hudson Have Any Iconic Movie Roles?
The 1950s were a defining period for Hudson. He captured audiences worldwide with his roles in films such as Magnificent Obsession in 1954, where he starred alongside Jane Wyman. His performance in 1956’s Giant, with Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean, further solidified his position in Hollywood. Collaborating with Doris Day in three films, Hudson’s stardom only continued to ascend. His nuanced performances, undeniable charm, and magnetic screen presence made him a household name.
Who Was Rock Hudson Married To?
Rock Hudson’s personal life was a topic of significant interest and speculation. In 1955, he married Phyllis Gates, who was Henry Wilson’s secretary. However, the marriage was short-lived, and they divorced in 1958. Following this, Hudson secretly dated Lee Garlington, a stockbroker. Due to societal pressures and the taboo surrounding same-sex relationships at the time, their relationship was kept discreet. Recalling their bond, Garlington once said, “We couldn’t take any pictures together, it was too dangerous.” The two even vacationed together in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, in 1963. Despite the secrecy, Garlington cherishes the memories and describes Hudson as “the kindest man I ever met.”
What Ended Rock Hudson’s Life?
Rock Hudson’s life took a tragic turn in the mid-’80s. In 1984, Hudson was diagnosed with AIDS, a disease about which little was known at the time. In a groundbreaking moment, Hudson’s team publicly announced the diagnosis in July 1985. Hudson felt a responsibility towards his past sexual partners and sent them anonymous letters to inform them about his condition. His physician, Dr. Michael Gottlieb, reminisced about Hudson’s noble decision, highlighting his wish to “do the right thing.” Unfortunately, Hudson succumbed to complications related to AIDS and passed away on October 2, 1985, at the age of 59.
What Legacy Did Rock Hudson Leave Behind?
Rock Hudson’s journey from Roy Harold Scherer Jr. to a cinematic legend is a testament to his resilience, talent, and determination. Despite facing myriad challenges, both professionally and personally, Hudson remained steadfast. As Griffin eloquently summarized, Hudson “overcame obstacles and challenges that would have defeated anybody else.” In an era where discussions around sexuality and diseases like AIDS were stigmatized, Hudson’s story brought them to the forefront. He remains an emblem of determination, courage, and authenticity, both on and off the screen.