Rock Hudson facts

Facts: Rock Hudson

Read facts you never knew about Rock Hudson:

Rock took 5 screen tests at different studios before signing with Universal. His screen test for Twentieth Century Fox was so bad, that the studio showed it to young actors for decades as an example of how bad you can start out and still become a star through hard work.

Universal Studios originally wanted his name to be spelled as Roc, but he fought tooth and nail to get the K back in.

Rock and Elizabeth Taylor are credited with inventing chocolate martini’s while filming Giant.

Rock Hudson Elizabeth Taylor

Around 1954 Confidential Magazine was planning an exposé on Rock liking men and women. His agent Henry Willson made a deal with them: they wouldn’t out Rock if he gave them dirt on two other stars. So he threw Rory Calhoun (ex-con) and Tab Hunter (arrested at a gay party) under the bus.

Rock turned down starring roles in Sayonara, The Bridge on the River Kwai and Ben Hur to star in A Farewell To Arms. To his regret, it turned out to be a huge flop, while the films he turned down were all hugely successful and critically acclaimed.

Though Rock hated politics, he indentified as a conservative Republican and was good friends with Ronald and Nancy Reagan.

One of Rock’s closest friends was actress Marilyn Maxwell. Their friendship even turned romantic for a moment and they discussed marriage, but Marilyn could not agree to an open relationship. Years later, Rock comforted her teenage son after her death and arranged her funeral.

Music was a big part of Rock’s life. He had learned to play piano by ear as a child, owned an extensive rare record collection and even recorded an album with singer-songwriter Rod McKuen in 1970.

Rock Hudson piano

In the early 70’s rumours about Rock’s sexuality started spreading. The most popular one was that he was married to actor Jim Nabors. It wasn’t true, but the rumours ruined their friendship.

Doris Day, Rock Hudson and Tony Randall were in talks to star in a sequel to Pillow Talk in 1980, in which Rock and Doris’ characters daughter would be marrying Tony Randall’s character’s son. But Doris decided to retire from acting, so it never materialized.

While filming the show The Devlin Connection, Rock formed a bond with his on-screen son Jack Scalia. Jack was one of the few people allowed to visit him in the hospital when he was sick. He gave him a sled, because Rock had told him a friend had broken his when he was a child. Rock loved it and had it nailed to his bedroom door in his final weeks.

He passionately loved his house, nicknamed ‘The Castle’, where he lived from 1962 to his death. One of his hobbies was to restore and redecorate it and it wasn’t until a few months before his death that he felt it was ‘done’.

Rock Hudson home

He said in his very last interview that if he hadn’t been an actor, he would have become a gardener.

When Rock passed away Marc Christian, his former boyfriend, sued his estate. He claimed that Rock still slept with him after his AIDS diagnosis and therefore endangered his life. He was awarded $5,5 million. Marc died in 2009 due to pulmonary issues, he had tested negative for AIDS.

There have been rumours for decades that Rock fathered two children with two different women while he was in the navy. A woman named Susan Dent filed a court case in 2014 to officially establish that Rock is her father, but she was unsuccessful.

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