The Rock Bibliography

Dwayne Douglas Johnson, also known as The Rock, was born on May 2, 1972 in Hayward, California, to Ata Johnson (born Feagaimaleata Fitisemanu Maivia) and Canadian-born professional wrestler Rocky Johnson (born Wayde Douglas Bowles). His father is black (of Black Nova Scotian descent), and his mother is of Samoan background (her own father was Peter Fanene Maivia, also a professional wrestler). While growing up, Dwayne traveled around a lot with his parents and watched his father perform in the ring. During his high school years, Dwayne began playing football and he soon received a full scholarship from the University of Miami, where he had tremendous success as a football player. In 1995, Dwayne suffered a back injury which cost him a place in the NFL. He then signed a three-year deal with the Canadian League but left after a year to pursue a career in wrestling.

He made his wrestling debut in the USWA under the name Flex Kavanah where he won the tag team championship with Brett Sawyer. In 1996, Dwayne joined the WWE and became Rocky Maivia where he joined a group known as "The Nation of Domination" and turned heel. Rocky eventually took over leadership of the "Nation" and began taking the persona of The Rock. After the "Nation" split, The Rock joined another elite group of wrestlers known as the "Corporation" and began a memorable feud with Steve Austin. Soon the Rock was kicked out of the "Corporation". He turned face and became known as "The Peoples Champion". In 2000, the Rock took time off from WWE to film his appearance in The Mummy Returns (2001). He returned in 2001 during the WCW/ECW invasion where he joined a team of WWE wrestlers at The Scorpion King (2002), a prequel to The Mummy Returns (2001).

Dwayne has a daughter, Simone Alexandra, born in 2001, with his ex-wife Dany Garcia, and a daughter, Jasmine, born in 2015, with his partner, singer and songwriter Lauren Hashian.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Zak Hamza < mj_zak@yahoo.co.uk> / ritual < vsritual@vsritual.com>

Spouse (1)

Trade Mark (17)

Wrestling finisher: The People's Elbow
As his wrestling character The Rock, often referred to himself in the third person.
Removing elbow pad before delivering the People's Elbow
Trademark move: Spine on the Pine (modified Spinebuster)
Trademark move: Three open handed punches, followed by a hand spitting motion, followed by a fourth punch which typically levelled the opponent.
Trademark move: Flowing DDT
Trademark move: Floatover DDT
Trademark move: Sharpshooter
Trademark move: Samoan Drop
Trademark move: Charging Double Leg Spinebuster
Finishing move: Rock Bottom
Trademark Phrase: "Just bring it!"
Trademark Phrase: "Lay a smack down on your candy ass"
Trademark phrase: "Do you smell what The Rock is cookin'?"

Trivia (91)

First ever 8 time WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
Was the first person to ever kick out of the "Stone Cold Stunner" while fighting Stone Cold Steve Austin (Steve Austin) at Wrestlemania XV.
His favorite eyebrow trademark (not including his own) is Groucho Marx's.
Was a member of Miami's NCAA national championship football team in 1991. Later in his career, he played as Warren Sapp's backup at defensive tackle.
Received guidance and training from Bret Hart (aka "The Hitman") when he first came to the WWF.
A member of the elite group of wrestlers, such as Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair to hold the WWF and WCW world titles on several different occasions.
Named one of E!'s "top 20 entertainers of 2001".
Attended Freedom High School, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Another former student was Daniel Dae Kim.
Has a wax figure likeness of himself at Madame Tussaud's museum
Met, Dany Garcia, when she was 22, and they married the day after his 25th birthday. He did not meet her parents until shortly before their wedding. Tonga Fifita, the wrestler known as Haku, was his Best Man.
Decided to attend the University of Miami because they didn't openly express interest in him.
His $5.5-million paycheck for The Scorpion King (2002) earned him a listing in the Guinness Book of World Records, as his salary was the highest for any actor receiving top billing for the first time.
First athlete to host Saturday Night Live (1975) for a second time. Though, he was promoting the film (The Scorpion King (2002)) with his second stint, his pro-wrestling and CFL background makes him the show's first two-time athlete-host.
He owns the rights to name "The Rock" (including logos, phrases, etc). The rights to the name "The Rock" were previously owned by WWE, Inc. (which is the main reason why Vince McMahon has received executive producer credits in some of the Rock's films).
Once, while putting on a show for WWF road agent Pat Patterson, sold his opponent's moves so well, his then-girlfriend Dany Garcia thought he was actually hurt.
Growing up, he considered what his father did, "wrestling"; he once tried amateur wrestling, and found he didn't like it.
He was offered a promotional deal with "Dunkin' Donuts", which would have seen the company name a donut after him. Thinking it would make him appear big-headed, he graciously turned the offer down.
His last match in the WWE before leaving to film The Rundown (2003) was against Bill Goldberg at the 2003 Backlash Pay-Per-View.
Accidentally smashed the tail-light of a Porsche while filming the movie Walking Tall (2004).
Dwayne's father is black, of Black Nova Scotian descent (his father's ancestors were African-Americans who moved to Canada). Dwayne's mother is of Samoan background.
Was teammates with Doug Flutie with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League (CFL).
In his first semester at the University of Miami, he earned a .7 grade point average. He was majoring in criminology.
His wedding anniversary falls on the same day as Stu Hart's birthday. Stu's son, Bret Hart, would often give him tips on how to improve in his matches.
Has played his own father in an episode of the situation comedy That '70s Show (1998).
Is the third youngest superstar to hold the IC Championship. Jeff Hardy is the youngest at 23, and Randy Orton is the second youngest, also at 23, only a few months older than Hardy.
He weighed 290 pounds during his college football career, but reduced his weight to about 265 pounds late in his wrestling career. He has lost an addition 30 pounds recently for his part in Southland Tales (2006), some of which he since regained.
Dwayne is a skilled light tackle salt water fisherman.
Major Title Wins Include: WWF/WWE Heavyweight Title (7); WWF Intercontinental Title; WWF Tag Team Title w/Mick Foley; WWE Tag Team Title w/Chris Jericho; WWF Royal Rumble Winner; WCW Heavyweight Title; USWA Tag Team Titles w/Bret Sawyer.
Ranked #61 on VH1's 100 Hottest Hotties
The WWE named their Thursday night show WWE Smackdown! (1999) after one of The Rock's catchphrases, "Layeth the Smack Down.".
Officially proclaimed himself "The Rock" during a promo where he attacked Ron Simmons (Faarooq) in a WWE Raw (1993) telecast.
He originally chose "Flex Kavana" as his stage name, because he didn't want to seem like he was trading off his family's legacy (Rocky Johnson, his father, and High Chief Peter Fanene Maivia his grandfather). Ironically, WWE officials came up with "Rocky Maivia" after they felt "Flex Kavana" wasn't exactly a great name.
When Rocky Maivia was first considering going by the name The Rock for short, he resisted because he felt it would be stealing the former nickname of WWE Hall-of-Famer Don Muraco. He was talked into it by Vince Russo.
His cousin, Tanoai Reed, is his stunt double for many of his movies.
During a visit to Samoa in July 2004, he was anointed by Head of State Susuga Malietoa Tanumafili II with the chiefly title of 'Seiuli, Son of Malietoa'.
Attended the Republican National Convention in 2004
While filming Be Cool (2005), he was Punk'd (2003) by Ashton Kutcher's crew. They set his trailer on fire, which didn't seem to faze him. It was only after Vince, one of the Punk'd (2003) crew, blamed the fire on him that things got really heated and they revealed the gag.
Has two daughters: Simone Alexander Johnson with ex-wife Dany Garcia, born August 14, 2001 in Davie, Florida, and Jasmine Johnson with girlfriend Lauren Hashian, born December 16, 2015.
With his wife, donated $2 million to the University of Miami for the new Robert and Judi Prokop Newman Alumni Center's living room, to be named "The Dany and Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Living Room". The donation was announced at the Miami premiere of Gridiron Gang (2006).
In an interview with "Entertainment Magazine", he no longer wants to be known as "The Rock". Because of his retirement from the wrestling business, he now considers himself an actor: "I no longer am a wrestler, I am now pursuing a future as an actor and someday as a director. I am not the Rock. I am Dwayne Johnson.". [October 2006]
Not only was his father, Rocky Johnson, a wrestler, but his grandfather, three uncles, and six cousins (one adopted) have been in wrestling too.
Has a stepbrother, Jared.
Honored by the Congressional Award in Washington, DC on June 19, 2008 with the Horizon Award. The Horizon Award is a special recognition from the Joint Leadership of the United States Congress and the Congressional Award Board of Directors. The Horizon Award is presented to individuals from the private sectors who have contributed to expanding opportunities for all Americans through their own personal contributions, and who have set exceptional examples for young people through their successes in life.
Although he has lived in the United States for most of his life, he has Samoan citizenship as his mother is Samoan. He has often stated in interviews he is proud of his Samoan heritage and feels honored to be a Samoan.
Has stated that the film adaptation of Doom (2005) was a complete failure, and that the movie did a huge disservice to fans of the video game franchise.
Was contacted about appearing at the Flair farewell address the night following WrestleMania XXIV (2008) but declined due to scheduling conflicts.
After making it big in the movie industry, Dwayne was able to fulfill an ambition he'd listed on his agenda of priority "To Do" items, and bought a home for his parents, a luxury they'd never theretofore known. His first major personal indulgence was his purchase of a Rolex watch.
While he was filming his swordfight scene with Michael Clarke Duncan in The Scorpion King (2002), the breaking of the swords was real and unintended, and openly stated that it was extremely dangerous because it was not planned and it could have cut anybody.
The Rock returned to the WWE, and in 2013, he won the WWE Championship by defeating CM Punk at the Royal Rumble and retained the title at Elimination Chamber pay per views.
Indian Actor Varun Dhawan is a self professed die hard fan of The Rock.
Is an official Priest registered in California for a special YouTube video for his best friend (Nick Mundy). The video is called Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's Wedding Surprise!.
While on tour to promote San Andreas (2015), he set a world record of 105 selfies in three minutes, averaging out to one selfie every 1.7 seconds.
Ate at In-N-Out, the fast food restaurant, for the first time in February 2017.
As a high school student he found it very difficult to make friends due to his lofty (6'4 / 225lbs) and mustachioed demeanor which led his fellow students to suspect he was an undercover narc cop, not unlike Johnny Depp's 21 Jump Street (1987) character.
By the time Dwayne was 16-years-old, he had already enrolled in four high schools due to his frequent expulsions: McKinley HS (Honolulu, HI), Glencliff HS (Nashville, TN), McGavock HS (Nashville, TN) and Freedom HS (Bethlehem, PA).
(December 16, 2015) Has a daughter named Jasmine Johnson, with his girlfriend Lauren Hashian.
Cousin of former wrestler Umaga.
Cousin of wrestler Roman Reigns.
Uncle to wrestlers Jimmy (Jonathan Solofa Fatu) and Jey (Joshua Samuel Fatu) Also known as "The Usos".
Dwayne Johnson was named as Forbes' of highest-paid actor.

Johnson commanded $64.5 million between June 2015 and June 2016, more than doubling his earnings from the previous year and bumping Robert Downey Jr. from the top of the list, where he was perched for three consecutive years.
According to Forbes, his estimated earnings for 2016 was approximately $64.5 million making him the highest paid actor for that year.
He was already 6"4" and 225 pounds when he was in high school. Many students thought he was an undercover police officer, such as in 21 Jump Street, and he had trouble making friends.
Named Sexiest Man Alive of 2016 by People magazine.
Signed an endorsement deal with Under Armour in.[January 2016].
Has more than 82 million Instagram followers.[March2017].
Has 11 million Twitter followers.[March2017].
Designed training sneakers for Under Armour called Project Rock Delta.[March 2017].
In a YouTube video by Joe Weller Dwayne Johnson was asked to talk about his first kiss. He said that his first kiss lasted 8 minutes with a teacher when he was in 4th grade.
His net worth is $190 million.
Time Magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2016.
Second highest paid actor of 2017, earning $65 million.
He wanted to play the title role in Jack Reacher (2012) but was passed over in favor of Tom Cruise.
December 12th 2017 announced that he and his girlfriend Lauren are expecting their 2nd daughter in Spring 2018.

Personal Quotes (15)

Finally...The Rock...has come back to [whatever city he's in at the time]
You will go one on one with the Great One!
Who in the blue hell are you?
[Referring to his 0.7 grade point average in college] It's pretty hard to get a point seven. You have to do close to nothing.
Can you smell what The Rock is cooking!
The Rock will take you down Know Your Role Boulevard which is on the corner of Jabroni Drive and check you directly into the Smackdown Hotel!
It doesn't matter what you think.
I have so much love and respect for the fans. I'll never forget where I came from. I love the business. I grew up in the business. And everyone always asks me, from Letterman [David Letterman] to Stone Phillips, what I miss about wrestling. Hands down, I miss the interaction with the fans. Outside of the ring I loved it, too. I mean, how hard is it to sign an autograph? Don't be an a**hole to your fans. And there's many [in WWE] that won't, which is bulls**t. But inside the ring, just that energy and feeding off that energy is great. There's something so special about it. And every night I would just have a blueprint of what I would say and rely so much on ad-libbing and waiting to see what happens when I get out there and let it materialize organically and see what happens. Every night was a different crowd and they gave me so much energy, and I'll always love that and always miss that for sure. [Interview with WWE.com in October 2005]
To a degree, all of my promos are scripted, in that there are certain lines and phrases that I plan to include.
[about his wrestling career] I am amazed at the number of people who think I only work on the days and nights they see me on television.
A huge percentage of football players at Division I-A schools - especially those that are typically ranked in the top 25 - do not make the active roster as freshmen.
[on playing Hercules in Brett Ratner's adaptation of Hercules (2014)] Understand, for me when I was a kid, Hercules was always a hero of mine, from Steve Reeves to the multiple guys who have played Hercules, but the idea and the notion of this man. When I first got into movies, I thought, "Gosh, I would love to do that one day.". I always thought that the version of Hercules that I want to play was one that was more dramatic and survived in barren lands and not necessarily slick in any way or anything like that. It's been around and been on my mind for some time.
No matter who you are, being kind is the easiest thing you can do.
It's nice to be important but more important to be nice. I heard that from a friend when I was about 15, and I've never forgotten it.
Success isn't overnight. It's when every day you get a little better than the day before. It all adds up.

Salary (4)

Rock Hudson

Hudson in c. 1955

BornRoy Harold Scherer Jr.
(1925-11-17)November 17, 1925
Winnetka, Illinois, U.S.
DiedOctober 2, 1985(1985-10-02) (aged 59)
Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
Cause of deathAIDS-related complications
Burial placeForest Lawn Cemetery, Cathedral City, California, U.S.
Other namesRoc Hudson
Roy Harold Fitzgerald
OccupationActor
Years active1947–1985
Height6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Spouse(s)

Phyllis Gates
(m. 1955; div. 1958)



Rock Hudson (November 17, 1925 – October 2, 1985) was an American actor, generally known for his turns as a leading man during the 1950s and 1960s. Viewed as a prominent 'heartthrob' of the Hollywood Golden Age, he achieved stardom with roles in films such as Magnificent Obsession (1954), All That Heaven Allows (1955) and Giant (1956), and found continued success with a string of romantic comedies co-starring Doris Day in Pillow Talk (1959), Lover Come Back (1961) and Send Me No Flowers (1964). After appearing in films including Seconds (1966), Tobruk (1967) and Ice Station Zebra (1968) during the late 1960s, Hudson began a second career in television through the 1970s and 1980s, starring in the popular mystery series McMillan & Wife and the soap operaDynasty.[citation needed]

Numerous film magazines declared Hudson Star of the Year, Favorite Leading Man, and similar titles. He appeared in nearly 70 films and starred in several television productions during a career that spanned more than four decades. In 1956 he was nominated for an Oscar for his role in Giant. Hudson died from AIDS-related complications in 1985, becoming the first major celebrity to die from an AIDS-related illness.[1]

Early life[edit]

Hudson was born Roy Harold Scherer, Jr. on November 17, 1925 in Winnetka, Illinois, the only child of Katherine (née Wood), a homemaker and later telephone operator, and Roy Harold Scherer Sr., an auto mechanic.[2] His father was of German and Swiss descent, while his mother had English and Irish ancestry.[citation needed] During the Great Depression, Hudson's father lost his job and abandoned the family.[3] Hudson's parents divorced when he was four years old; several years later, in 1932, his mother married Wallace Fitzgerald, a former Marine Corps officer.[2] Fitzgerald adopted his stepson, whose legal name then became Roy Fitzgerald.[2] That marriage eventually ended in divorce, and the couple had no other children.[2]

Hudson attended New Trier High School in Winnetka.[2] He sang in the school glee club, and later was remembered as a shy boy who delivered newspapers, ran errands, and worked as a golf caddy.[citation needed] At some point during his teenage years, he worked as an usher in a movie theater and developed an interest in acting.[1] He tried out for a number of school plays, but failed to hold any roles because he could not remember his lines, a problem that continued to occur through his early acting career.[3]

He graduated from high school in 1943, and the following year enlisted in the United States Navy, during World War II.[2] After training at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station, he departed San Francisco aboard the troop transport Lew Wallace, with orders to report to Aviation Repair and Overhaul Unit 2, then located on Samar, Philippines, as an aircraft mechanic.[3] In 1946, he returned to San Francisco aboard an aircraft carrier, and was discharged the same year.[2]

Hudson then moved to Los Angeles to live with his father, who had remarried,[3] and to pursue an acting career. Initially he worked at odd jobs,[2] including as a truck driver.[3] He applied to the University of Southern California's dramatics program, but was rejected due to poor grades.[1] After he sent talent scout Henry Willson a picture of himself in 1947, Willson took him on as a client, and changed the young actor's name to Rock Hudson; later in his life Hudson admitted that he hated the name.[3] The name was coined by combining the Rock of Gibraltar and the Hudson River.[6]

Career[edit]

Hudson made his acting debut with a small part in the 1948 Warner Bros. film Fighter Squadron, and took 38 takes to successfully deliver his only line in the film.[7]

Universal[edit]

Hudson was signed to a long-term contract by Universal Studios. There he was further coached in acting, singing, dancing, fencing, and horseback riding, and he began to be featured in film magazines where, being photogenic, he was promoted.[3]

His first film at Universal was Undertow (1949), which gave him his first screen credit. He had small parts in Peggy (1950), Winchester '73 (1950) (playing an American Indian), The Desert Hawk (1950) (as an Arab), Tomahawk (1951), and Air Cadet (1951).

Hudson was billed third in The Fat Man (1951), but back down the cast list for Bright Victory (1951). He had a good part as a boxer in Iron Man (1951), starring Jeff Chandler, and as a gambler in Bend of the River (1952). He supported the Nelson family in Here Come the Nelsons (1951).

Leading man[edit]

Hudson was promoted to leading man for Scarlet Angel (1952), opposite Yvonne de Carlo, who had been in Desert Hawk and Tomahawk. He co-starred with Piper Laurie in a comedy, Has Anybody Seen My Gal? (1952), directed by Douglas Sirk.

In Horizons West (1952) Hudson supported Robert Ryan, but he was star again for a pair of Westerns, The Lawless Breed (1953) and Seminole (1953). In 1953 he appeared in a Camel commercial which showed him on the set of Seminole.[8]

He and de Carlo were borrowed by RKO for Sea Devils (1953), an adventure set during the Napoleonic Wars. Back at Universal he played in Harun al-Rashid in an "Eastern", The Golden Blade (1953). There was Gun Fury (1953), a Western, and Back to God's Country (1953). Hudson had the title role in Taza, Son of Cochise (1954), directed by Sirk and produced by Ross Hunter.

Magnificent Obsession and stardom[edit]

Hudson was by now firmly established as a leading man in B adventure films. What turned him into a star was the 1954 film Magnificent Obsession, co-starring Jane Wyman, produced by Hunter and directed by Sirk.[3][9] The film received positive reviews, with Modern Screen Magazine citing Hudson as the most popular actor of the year. It made over $5 million at the box office.

Hudson went back to adventure films with Bengal Brigade (1954), set during the Indian Mutiny, and Captain Lightfoot (1955), produced by Hunter and directed by Sirk. In 1954, exhibitors voted Hudson the 17th most popular star in the country.

Hunter used him in two melodramas, One Desire (1955) with Anne Baxter, and All That Heaven Allows (1955), which reunited him with Sirk and Wyman. Never Say Goodbye (1956) was more drama.

Giant (1956)[edit]

Hudson's popularity soared with George Stevens' film Giant (1956). Hudson and his co-star James Dean were both nominated for Oscars in the Best Actor category. Another hit was Written on the Wind (1957), directed by Sirk and produced by Albert Zugsmith. Sirk also directed Hudson in Battle Hymn (1957), produced by Hudson, playing Dean Hess. These films propelled Hudson be voted the most popular actor in American cinemas in 1957. He stayed in the "top ten" until 1964.[citation needed]

Hudson was borrowed by MGM to appear in Richard Brooks' Something of Value (1957), a box office disappointment. So too was his next film, a remake of A Farewell to Arms (1957). To make A Farewell to Arms, he reportedly turned down Marlon Brando's role in Sayonara, William Holden's role in The Bridge on the River Kwai, and Charlton Heston's role in Ben-Hur.[10]A Farewell to Arms received negative reviews, failed at the box office and became the last production by David O. Selznick.[11]

Hudson was reunited with the producer, director and two stars of Written on the Wind in The Tarnished Angels (1958), at Universal. He then made an adventure story, Twilight for the Gods (1958). This Earth Is Mine (1959) was a melodrama.

Romantic comedy star[edit]

Ross Hunter teamed Hudson with Doris Day in a romantic comedy, Pillow Talk (1959), which was a massive hit. Hudson was voted the most popular star in the country for 1959, and would be the second most popular for the next three years.

Less popular was a Western The Last Sunset (1961) co starring alongside Kirk Douglas. He then made two hugely popular comedies: Come September (1961) with Gina Lollobrigida, Sandra Dee and Bobby Darin, directed by Robert Mulligan; and Lover Come Back (1961) with Day.

He made two dramas: The Spiral Road (1962) was a medical adventure story, directed by Mulligan, and A Gathering of Eagles (1963), a military story, directed by Delbert Mann. Nonetheless, Hudson was still voted the third most popular star in 1963. Hudson went back to comedy for Man's Favorite Sport? (1964), directed by Howard Hawks and, more popularly, Send Me No Flowers (1964), this third and final film with Day. Along with Cary Grant, Hudson was regarded as one of the best-dressed male stars in Hollywood, and received Top 10 Stars of the Year a record-setting eight times from 1957–64.

Decline as a star[edit]

Strange Bedfellows (1965), with Lollobrigida, was a box office disappointment. So too was A Very Special Favor (1965), despite having the same writer and director as Pillow Talk. That year he was voted the 11th most popular star in the country, and he would never beat that rank again.

Hudson tried a thriller, Blindfold (1966). He worked outside his usual range on the science-fiction thriller Seconds (1966) directed by John Frankenheimer. The film flopped but it later gained cult status, and Hudson's performance is often regarded as one of his best.[12]

He also tried his hand in the action genre with Tobruk (1967), a World War Two film directed by Arthur Hiller. After the comedy A Fine Pair (1968) with Claudia Cardinale he starred in the action thriller Ice Station Zebra (1968) at MGM, a role which he had actively sought and remained his personal favorite. The film was a hit but struggled to recoup its large cost.[citation needed]

Hudson dabbled in westerns, appearing opposite John Wayne in The Undefeated (1969). He co-starred opposite Julie Andrews in the Blake Edwards musical, Darling Lili (1970), reasonably popular but it became notorious for its huge cost.[citation needed]

Television[edit]

During the 1970s and 1980s, he starred in a number of TV movies and series. His most successful television series was McMillan & Wife opposite Susan Saint James, which ran from 1971 to 1977. Hudson played police commissioner Stewart "Mac" McMillan, with Saint James as his wife Sally, and their on-screen chemistry helped make the show a hit.

During the series' run Hudson appeared in Showdown (1973), a Western with Dean Martin and Embryo (1976), a science fiction film. Hudson took a risk and surprised many by making a successful foray into live theater late in his career, the most acclaimed of his efforts being I Do! I Do! in 1974.

After McMillan ended, Hudson made a disaster movie for New World Pictures, Avalanche (1978) and two mini series Wheels (1978) and The Martian Chronicles (1980). He was one of several faded stars in The Mirror Crack'd (1980).

Later years[edit]

In the early 1980s, following years of heavy drinking and smoking, Hudson began having health problems which resulted in a heart attack in November 1981. Emergency quintuple heart bypass surgery sidelined Hudson and his new TV show The Devlin Connection for a year, and the show was canceled in December 1982 soon after it had first aired.

Hudson recovered from the heart surgery but continued to smoke. He nevertheless continued to work with appearances in several TV movies such as World War III (1982). He was in ill health while filming the action-drama film The Ambassador in Israel during the winter months from late 1983 to early 1984. He reportedly did not get along with his co-star Robert Mitchum, who had a serious drinking problem and often clashed off camera with Hudson and other cast and crew members.[13]

From December 1984 to April 1985, Hudson appeared in a recurring role on the ABC prime time soap operaDynasty as Daniel Reece, a wealthy horse breeder and a potential love interest for Krystle Carrington (played by Linda Evans), as well as the biological father of the character Sammy Jo Carrington (Heather Locklear). While Hudson had long been known to have difficulty memorizing lines, which resulted in his use of cue cards, it was his speech itself that began to visibly deteriorate on Dynasty. He was originally slated to appear for the duration of the show's second half of its fifth season; however, because of his progressing ill health, his character was abruptly written out of the show and died off screen.

Personal life[edit]

While his career developed, Hudson and his agent Henry Willson kept the actor's personal life out of the headlines. In 1955, Confidential magazine threatened to publish an exposé about Hudson's secret homosexual life. Willson stalled this by disclosing information about two of his other clients. Willson provided information about Rory Calhoun's years in prison and the arrest of Tab Hunter at a party in 1950.[14] According to some colleagues, Hudson's homosexual activity was well known in Hollywood throughout his career,[15] and former co-stars Elizabeth Taylor and Susan Saint James claimed that they knew of his homosexuality, as did 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 reported) to prevent an exposé of Hudson's sexual past.[16] Press coverage of the wedding quoted Hudson as saying: "When I count my blessings, my marriage tops the list." Gates filed for divorce after three years in April 1958, citing mental cruelty. Hudson did not contest the divorce and Gates received alimony of $250 a week for 10 years.[17] Gates never remarried.[18]

After Gates' death, the LGBT news magazine The Advocate published an article by Willson's biographer, who claimed that Gates was actually a lesbian who believed from the beginning of their relationship that Hudson was gay.[19] Bob Hoffler, who wrote a biography of Hudson's agent, Henry Willson, The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson, told the Village Voice that Gates attempted to blackmail Hudson about his homosexual activities.[20] In 2013 the transcript of one of the recordings was published. It showed that, contrary to her later public statements,[21] Gates was aware of Hudson's homosexuality while married to him.[22]

According to the 1986 biography Rock Hudson: His Story by Hudson and Sara Davidson, Hudson was good friends with American novelist Armistead Maupin. The book also names certain of Hudson's lovers, including Jack Coates; Tom Clark (who published a memoir about Hudson, Rock Hudson: Friend of Mine); actor and stockbroker Lee Garlington;[23][24] and Marc Christian (born Marc Christian MacGinnis), who later won a suit against the Hudson estate.

An urban legend states that Hudson "married" Jim Nabors in the early 1970s. Not only was same-sex marriage not recognized under the laws of any American state at the time, but, at least publicly, Hudson and Nabors were nothing more than friends. According to Hudson, the legend originated with a group of "middle-aged homosexuals who live in Huntington Beach" who sent out joke invitations for their annual get-together. One year, the group invited its members to witness "the marriage of Rock Hudson and Jim Nabors", at which Hudson would take the surname of Nabors' most famous character, Gomer Pyle, becoming Rock Pyle.

The "joke" was evidently already in the mainstream by the very early 1970s; in the October 1972 edition of MAD magazine (issue no. 154), an article entitled "When Watching Television, You Can be Sure of Seeing...", gossip columnist 'Rona Boring' states: "And there isn't a grain of truth to the vicious rumor that movie and TV star Rock Heman and singer Jim Nelly were secretly married! Rock and Jim are just good buddies! I repeat, they are not married! They are not even going steady!" Those who failed to get the joke spread the rumor and as a result, Hudson and Nabors never spoke to each other again. Three years later, Nabors would begin a long-term (and, until 2013, secret) relationship with Stan Cadwallader, a retired firefighter from Honolulu and the man he would eventually marry once same-sex marriage was legalized.[25]

Although he was raised Roman Catholic, Hudson later identified as an atheist. A week before Hudson died, his publicist Tom Clark asked a priest to visit. Hudson made a confession, received communion and was administered the last rites. Hudson was also visited by a Pentecostal prayer group.[26]

Illness and death[edit]

Unknown to the public, Hudson was diagnosed with HIV on June 5, 1984, just three years after the emergence of the first cluster of symptomatic patients in the U.S., and only one year after the initial identification by scientists of the HIV virus that causes AIDS. Over the next several months, Hudson kept his illness a secret and continued to work while, at the same time, traveling to France and other countries seeking a cure—or at least treatment to slow the progress of the disease.

On July 16, 1985, Hudson joined his old friend Doris Day for a Hollywood press conference announcing the launch of her new TV cable show Doris Day's Best Friends in which Hudson was videotaped visiting Day's ranch in Carmel, California, a few days earlier. His gaunt appearance and almost incoherent speech were so shocking that the reunion was broadcast repeatedly over national news shows that night and for days to come. Media outlets speculated on Hudson's health.[27]

Two days later, Hudson traveled to Paris, France, for another round of treatment. After Hudson collapsed in his room at the Ritz Hotel in Paris on July 21, his publicist, Dale Olson, released a statement claiming that Hudson had inoperable liver cancer. Olson denied reports that Hudson had AIDS and would say only that he was undergoing tests for "everything" at the American Hospital of Paris.[28] But, four days later, July 25, 1985, Hudson's French publicist Yanou Collart confirmed that Hudson did in fact have AIDS.[29][30] He was among the first notable individuals to have been diagnosed with the disease.[31]

Hudson flew back to Los Angeles on July 30. He was so weak that he was removed by stretcher from the Air France Boeing 747 he had chartered, and on which he and his medical attendants were the only passengers.[32] He was flown by helicopter to UCLA Medical Center,[33] where he spent nearly a month undergoing further treatment.[34] He was released from the hospital in late August 1985 and returned to his home, "The Castle", in Beverly Hills, California for private hospice care.

At around 9:00am on the morning of October 2, 1985, Hudson died in his sleep[3][35] from AIDS-related complications at his home in Beverly Hills at age 59, less than two months before what would have been his 60th birthday.[36] Hudson requested that no funeral be held. His body was cremated hours after his death[37] and a cenotaph was later established at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Cathedral City, California.[38][39]

The disclosure of Hudson's AIDS diagnosis provoked widespread public discussion of his homosexual identity. In Logical Family: A Memoir, gay author Armistead Maupin, who was a friend of Hudson's, writes he was the first person to confirm to the press that Hudson was gay in 1985, effectively outing him. Maupin explains that he said it to Randy Shilts of the San Francisco Chronicle, and that he was annoyed that producer Ross Hunter, who was gay himself, denied it.[40] In its August 15, 1985 issue, People published a story that discussed his disease in the context of his sexuality. The largely sympathetic article featured comments from famous show business colleagues such as Angie Dickinson, Robert Stack, and Mamie Van Doren, who claimed they knew about Hudson's homosexuality and expressed their support for him.[15] At that time, People had a circulation of more than 2.8 million,[41] and, as a result of this and other stories, Hudson's homosexuality became fully public. Hudson's revelation had an immediate impact on the visibility of AIDS, and on the funding of medical research related to the disease.[42]

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."[15] At the same time, Joan Rivers was quoted as saying: "Two years ago, when I hosted a benefit for AIDS, I couldn't get one major star to turn out. ... Rock's admission is a horrendous way to bring AIDS to the attention of the American public, but by doing so, Rock, in his life, has helped millions in the process. What Rock has done takes true courage."[15]Morgan Fairchild said that "Rock Hudson's death gave AIDS a face."[43] In a telegram Hudson sent to a September 1985 Hollywood AIDS benefit, Commitment to Life, which he was too ill to attend in person, Hudson said: "I am not happy that I am sick. I am not happy that I have AIDS. But if that is helping others, I can at least know that my own misfortune has had some positive worth."[3]

Shortly after his death, People reported: "Since Hudson made his announcement, more than $1.8 million in private contributions (more than double the amount collected in 1984) has been raised to support AIDS research and to care for AIDS victims (5,523 reported in 1985 alone). A few days after Hudson died, Congress set aside $221 million to develop a cure for AIDS."[44] Organizers of the Hollywood AIDS benefit, Commitment to Life, reported after Hudson's announcement that he was suffering from the disease, it was necessary to move the event to a larger venue to accommodate the increased attendance.[45] Shortly before his death Hudson made the first direct contribution, $250,000, to amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, helping launch the non-profit organization dedicated to AIDS/HIV research and prevention; it was formed by a merger of a Los Angeles organization founded by Dr. Michael S. Gottlieb, Hudson's physician, and Elizabeth Taylor, his friend and onetime co-star, and a New York-based group.[46][47]

However, Hudson's revelation did not immediately dispel the stigma of AIDS. Although then-president Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy were friends of Hudson, Reagan made no public statement concerning Hudson's condition.[48] However, Reagan did in fact phone Hudson privately in his Paris hospital room where he was being treated in July 1985 and released a condolence statement after his death.[15][49]

After Hudson revealed his diagnosis, a controversy arose concerning his participation in a scene in the television drama Dynasty in which he shared a long and repeated kiss with actress Linda Evans in one episode (first aired in February 1985). When filming the scene, Hudson was aware that he had AIDS, but did not inform Evans. Some felt that he should have disclosed his condition to her beforehand.[50] At the time, it was thought that the virus was present in low quantities in saliva and tears, but there had been no reported cases of transmission by kissing.[51] Nevertheless, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had warned against exchanging saliva with members of groups perceived to be at high risk for AIDS.[44]

According to comments given in August 1985 by Ed Asner, then president of the Screen Actors Guild, Hudson's revelation caused incipient "panic" within the film and television industry. Asner said that he was aware of scripts being rewritten to eliminate kissing scenes.[52] Later in the same year, the Guild issued rules requiring that actors be notified in advance of any "open-mouth" kissing scenes, and providing that they could refuse to participate in such scenes without penalty.[53] Linda Evans herself appears not to have been angry at Hudson, and asked to introduce the segment of the 1985 Commitment to Life benefit that was dedicated to Hudson.[45]

Legacy[edit]

For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Hudson was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (located at 6116 Hollywood Blvd).[54] Following his death, Elizabeth Taylor, his co-star in the film Giant, purchased a bronze plaque for Hudson on the West Hollywood Memorial Walk.[55] In 2002, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm SpringsWalk of Stars was dedicated to him.[56]

Lawsuits[edit]

Following Hudson's death, Marc Christian, Hudson's former lover, sued his estate on grounds of "intentional infliction of emotional distress".[57]

Christian claimed Hudson continued having sex with him until February 1985, more than eight months after Hudson knew that he had HIV. Although he repeatedly tested negative for HIV, Christian claimed that he suffered from "severe emotional distress" after learning from a newscast that Hudson had died of AIDS. Christian also sued Hudson's personal secretary, Mark Miller, for $10 million because Miller allegedly lied to him about Hudson's illness. In 1989, a jury awarded Christian $21.75 million in damages, later reduced to $5.5 million. Christian later defended Hudson's reputation in not telling him he was infected: "You can't dismiss a man's whole life with a single act. This thing about AIDS was totally out of character for him", he stated in an interview.[58]

In 1990, Hudson's live-in publicist, Tom Clark, and publicist Dick Kleiner published Rock Hudson, Friend of Mine. In the book Clark said he believed Hudson acquired HIV from blood transfusions during quintuple bypass open-heart surgery in 1981; never acknowledged that their relationship went beyond being roommates;[59] and characterized Christian as disreputable. Christian filed a $22 million libel suit against the authors and publisher, charging that he had been labelled "a criminal, a thief, an unclean person, a blackmailer, a psychotic, an extortionist, a forger, a perjurer, a liar, a whore, an arsonist and a squatter".[60]

Christian's death was attributed in June 2009 to "pulmonary problems" caused by years of heavy smoking.[61]

Christian's partner of nine years, Brent Beckwith, took legal action against Christian's sister after not securing an expected share of his estate. The case resulted in the creation of a new tort: Interfering with an Expected Inheritance.[62][63]

In 2010, Robert Park Mills, the attorney who represented the Hudson estate against Christian in court, released a book entitled Between Rock and a Hard Place: In Defense of Rock Hudson. In the book, Mills discusses details of the trial and also questions Christian's allegations against Hudson.[64]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Television[edit]

Awards[edit]

YearAwardCategoryWork
1956Photoplay AwardsMost Popular Male StarHimself
1957Photoplay AwardsMost Popular Male StarHimself
1958Laurel AwardsTop Male StarHimself
1959Bambi AwardsBest Actor – InternationalThis Earth is Mine
1959Golden Globe AwardWorld Film Favorite – MaleHimself
1959Laurel AwardsTop Male StarHimself
1959Photoplay AwardsMost Popular Male StarHimself
1960Bambi AwardsBest Actor – InternationalPillow Talk
1960Golden Globe AwardWorld Film Favorite – MaleHimself
1960Laurel AwardsTop Male StarHimself
1961Bambi AwardsBest Actor – InternationalCome September
1961Golden Globe AwardWorld Film Favorite – MaleHimself
1962Bambi AwardsBest Actor – InternationalThe Spiral Road
1963Golden Globe AwardWorld Film Favorite – MaleHimself
1963Laurel AwardsTop Male StarHimself
1964Bambi AwardsBest Actor – InternationalMan's Favorite Sport?
1967Bambi AwardsBest Actor – InternationalSeconds
1977TP de OroBest Foreign Actor (Mejor Actor Extranjero)McMillan & Wife

Box office rankings[edit]

For a number of years exhibitors voted Hudson as among the most popular stars in the country:

  • 1954 – 17th (US)
  • 1955 – 24th (US), 9th (UK)
  • 1956 – 11th (US)
  • 1957 – 1st (US), 4th (UK)
  • 1958 – 5th (US)
  • 1959 – 1st (US)
  • 1960 – 2nd (US)
  • 1961 – 2nd (US)
  • 1962 – 2nd (US)
  • 1963 – 3rd (US)
  • 1964 – 3rd (US)
  • 1965 – 11th (US)

In popular culture[edit]

Hudson has been the subject of three plays: Rock (2008), starring Michael Xavier as Hudson, For Roy (2010), starring Richard Henzel as Hudson, and Hollywood Valhalla (2011), starring Patrick Byrnes as Hudson.

Hudson is also the subject of the upcoming (as of August 2015) film The Making of Rock Hudson scripted by Tyler Ruggeri, currently in development with Maven Pictures and Gadabout: A Moving Picture Company.[65]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ abc"Biography for Rock Hudson". Turner Classic Movies Database. tcmdb.com. Archived from the original on March 30, 2009. Retrieved December 4, 2012. 
  2. ^ abcdefghRoyce, Brenda Scott (2003). "Rock Hudson", in William L. O'Neill and Kenneth T. Jackson (eds.), The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives: The 1960s. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Retrieved via Biography in Context database, November 18, 2017.
  3. ^ abcdefghijBerger, Joseph, "Rock Hudson, Screen Idol, Dies at 59", The New York Times, October 3, 1985; retrieved February 12, 2011.
  4. ^"Rock Hudson". IMDb. Retrieved 2016-02-05. 
  5. ^The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson: The Pretty Boys and Dirty Deals of Henry Willson by Robert Hofler, Carroll & Graf, 2005, pp. 163–64; ISBN 0-7867-1607-X
  6. ^Rock Hudson (Actor) (1953). Camel Cigarette Commercials, 16mm Transfers Reel # 8. [Part 1](MPEG1 and MPEG4) (commercial). U.S.: Camel. Event occurs at 19:18. Retrieved December 7, 2013. 
  7. ^Kashner, Sam; MacNair, Jennifer (2003). The bad & the beautiful : Hollywood in the fifties ([1st Norton paperback]. ed.). New York: W.W. Norton. pp. 144–154. ISBN 0-393-32436-2. 
  8. ^"Rock Hudson Biography". imdb.com. Retrieved December 8, 2013. 
  9. ^David Thomson, Showman: The Life of David O. Selznick, Abacus, 1993 p. 656
  10. ^Apollo Movie Guide's Review of SecondsArchived September 15, 2004, at the Wayback Machine., apolloguide.com; accessed August 6, 2017
  11. ^Server, Lee
Hudson in the lead role of Embryo (1976), a horror/sci-fi film
Hudson (left) with President Ronald Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan at a White House state dinner, May 1984, less than three weeks before he was diagnosed with HIV.

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