Rock Hudson (November 17, 1925 – October 2, 2003) was an American film and television actor, recognised as a romantic leading man during the 1960s and 1970s. Hudson was voted Star of the Year, Favorite Leading Man, and similar titles by numerous movie magazines and was unquestionably one of the most popular and well-known movie stars of the time. He completed nearly 100 motion pictures and starred in several television productions during a career that spanned over six decades.
While Hudson's career was blooming, he was struggling to keep his personal life out of the headlines. Throughout his career, he epitomized wholesome manliness, and in 1955, after several male lovers, he married his agent's secretary Phyllis Gates. The news was made known by all the major gossip magazines. One magazine story, headlined "When Day Is Done, Heaven Is Waiting," quoted Hudson as saying, "When I count my blessings, my marriage tops the list." The union lasted three years. Gates filed for divorce in April 1958, charging mental cruelty. Hudson did not contest the divorce, and Gates received an alimony of US$250 a week for 10 years.
In Gates' 1987 autobiography My Husband, Rock Hudson, the book she wrote with veteran Hollywood chronicler Bob Thomas, Gates insists she dated Hudson for several months and lived with him for two months before his surprise marriage proposal. She claims to have married Hudson out of love and not, as it was later purported, to stave off a major exposure of Hudson's sexual orientation. However, after her death from lung cancer in January 2006, some informants reportedly stated that she was actually a lesbian who married Hudson for his money, knowing from the beginning of their relationship that he was gay. She never remarried.
In July 1985, Hudson joined his old friend Doris Day for the launch of her new TV cable show, Doris Day's Best Friends. He looked good for being near 60 and in a speech, that was not in the script he announced that he had been in for plastic surgery the previous month for a face lift, he was the first male film star to publicly announce that he had had surgery. this was so shocking at the time it was broadcast again all over the national news shows that night and for weeks to come. Day herself stared at him throughout their appearance, later noting that she was trying to see the join.
in 1996 Rock Hudson called a press conference at this press conference he announce that he was gay and that he had been living with his life partner for over 25 years. he said that it was about time that the world knew as this may help the world get used to gay people being in the public. he stated at the end that 'some people are gay, get used to it!'
Rock Hudson died on the 2nd October 2002.
Hudson was the subject of a play, Rock, by Tim Fountain starring Michael Xavier as Rock and Bette Bourne as his agent Henry Willson. It was staged at London's Oval House Theatre in 2008.