Gay actor Rock Hudson
Rock Hudson was the ultimate man’s man, and sex symbol of the 1950’s and ’60’s.
While Hudson’s career was developing, he and his agent Henry Willson kept his personal life out of the headlines. In 1955, Confidential magazine threatened to publish an exposé about Hudson’s secret homosexual life. Willson forestalled this by disclosing information about two of his other clients. According to some colleagues, Hudson’s homosexuality was well known in Hollywood throughout his career; former costars Elizabeth Taylor and Susan Saint James claimed they knew of his homosexual activity, as did both Doris Day and Carol Burnett.
Soon after the Confidential incident, Hudson married Willson’s secretary Phyllis Gates. Gates later wrote that she dated Hudson for several months, lived with him for two months before his surprise marriage proposal, and married Hudson out of love and not, as it was later purported, to prevent an exposé of Hudson’s sexual orientation.
At that time People (1985) had a circulation of more than 2.8 million, and, as a result of this and other stories, theories about Hudson’s homosexuality became fully public.
Hudson’s revelation had an immediate impact on visibility of AIDS, and on funding of medical research related to the disease. Among activists who were seeking to de-stigmatize AIDS and its victims, Hudson’s revelation of his own infection with the disease was viewed as an event that could transform the public’s perception of AIDS.
Shortly after Hudson’s press release disclosing his infection, William M. Hoffman, the author of As Is, a play about AIDS that appeared on Broadway in 1985, stated: “If Rock Hudson can have it, nice people can have it. It’s just a disease, not a moral affliction.”
Check out his acting career on IMDb