Actor. Born Roy Harold Scherer Jr., on November 25, 1925, in Winnetka, Illinois, a wealthy suburb of Chicago. His father abandoned Roy and his mother at age 4, and a young Roy spent a difficult childhood remaining anonymous. As an adult, Rock Hudson was a gregarious and warm member of the Hollywood social community, but many found that outgoing nature was a cover for a deeper secret. Throughout his career, Hudson was threatened with exposure of his homosexuality, but it was a secret the movie industry conspired to keep for 30 years.
Rock Hudson was a creation of the Hollywood studio system - the name was fake, the teeth were capped, and the voice was artificially lowered. Universal Pictures introduced the fledgling star in such films as Magnificient Obsession (1954) with Jane Wyman, and Rock's manly physique made him a box-office favorite for two decades. As Hudson matured as an actor, he strove to expand his repertoire in the late 60's with films like John Frankenheimer's cult-classic Seconds (1966), but the bulk of his career was spent playing the he-man. He moved to television in the 70's, in the popular mystery series McMillan and Wife (1971), and went on to appear in numerous TV miniseries. Hudson also dabbled in musical theater, playing the aging King Arthur in Camelot, despite having destroyed his vocal chords lowering his voice. His success in such roles was also an example of his audience's loyalty to him. When it was made public that Hudson was suffering from AIDS, the world was shocked to discover one of their ultra-masculine Hollywood icons had been secretly gay. Hudson died on October 2, 1985, at the age of 59. His death raised worldwide awareness of the disease. .
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Rock Hudson Biography
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