Who is the sexiest and best looking movie star of all time? Cary Grant, no. Gary Cooper, Sean Connery…close. Clark Gable…maybe at one time. Redford? He's a top 3! Brad Pitt…top 5. Paul Newman...getting warmer. George Clooney? Closer. Richard Gere? Still closer. Erroll Flynn…certainly in his day. James Garner...what a man! ROCK HUDSON? WINNER!!!!
Even though he was eventually shattered by AIDS, he never lost his sex appeal. Even in the years when he was trying to hold it all together, Rock still exuded that special aura…for both men and women. Some folks say the greatest romantic comedy team in movies was Rock and Doris Day and it would be hard to not agree with that. But then Rock looked good with all the sexy women: Liz Taylor, Sophia Loren, Julie Andrews, Gina Lollobrigida, Dorothy Malone, Jane Wyman, Susan St. James…and they all looked better with him!
It is hard to believe that had he lived, Rock would now be well into his 90's just a few years younger than his favorite co-star, Doris Day. And when he died of the dreaded disease, Doris was one of the very first to speak about him: “He was very sick,” she said of their last encounter. “But I just brushed that off and I came out and put my arms around him and said ’Am I glad to see you.'” “ I think the reason people liked our movies is because they could tell how much we liked each other ; It came across that way on screen. He was a good friend.” Doris always missed her buddy Rock, and was convinced that he is in heaven and would meet him again.
Rock born Roy Harold Scherer, Jr. on November 17, 1925 in Winnetka, Illinois grew up as Roy Fitzgerald, the name he took after he was adopted by his step-father. Tall and handsome, he was "discovered" and molded into a virile, square-jawed movie star, appearing in films such as the western Gun Fury (1953, with Donna Reed), the melodrama Magnificent Obsession (1954, with Jane Wyman) and the classic Giant (1956, with Elizabeth Taylor and with Hudson receiving an Oscar nomination). Hudson then turned to romantic comedy and became one of the top box office stars of the late 1950s and early '60s. In various interviews, he credited Miss Day with giving him his comedy skills. He became a TV star in the 1970s, starring for six seasons as the police commissioner of San Francisco in McMillan and Wife (1971-76). In the 1980s Hudson began to look increasingly gaunt and unwell. In 1985 it was announced that he was dying as a result of AIDS.
Hudson was the first major movie star to admit to having AIDS, and his death on October 2, 1985, along with that of entertainer Liberace in 1987, helped bring AIDS to the forefront of the public mind.
Here we celebrate the life and career of Rock Hudson.