Rock Hudson was a massive star whose career lasted for decades. His homosexuality was a closely guarded secret because it would have ruined his masculine image. It didn’t come out until after his health began to deteriorate after suffering from AIDS, but it wasn’t his only secret.
Mark Griffin recently wrote a biography of the superstar entitled All That Heaven Allows. It revealed the secrets of his private life that only his closest friends knew.
Many massive secrets didn’t come out until his final moments. Read on to learn why Rock Hudson made his final confession from his deathbed and the other revelations that came out since.
Roy Harold Scheher, Jr. was born in Winnetka, Illinois on November 17, 1925. He worked on his family’s farm and was relatively happy until his father abandoned the family when he was just 7. His stepfather, Wallace Fitzgerald, was physically abusive.
Rock and his mother, Katherine Wood, loved to go to the movies as a form of escape, and it sparked his love of acting. He worked as an usher at a local theater and tried out for plays but did poorly because he had trouble remembering lines.
As an adult, Rock took odd jobs and entered the Navy until moving to Los Angeles in the 40s. He delivered fruit around the studios, hoping to get noticed. Lois B. Meyer did in 1948 and signed him to notoriously tough agent Henry Wilson. He was the one who gave Rock his famous stage name.
The new name came with other changes. He got his teeth capped and took fencing, acting singing, and dancing lessons for his first film, Fighter Squadron. It took him 38 takes to deliver his one line, but the effort was worth it. He was voted Screen Magazine’s most popular actor by the time the 1954 film Magnificant Obsession was released. That sparked a long and fruitful career. Join Facts Verse to know the details about Rock Hudson Final Confession From His Deathbed.
Secret Love Child
When Rock was 19, he dropped his girlfriend off at her home in Winnetka, Illinois. Her 35-year-old mother, Martha Blair, seduced him. Their moment of passion later became one of Rock’s biggest secrets and few regrets.
She later wrote him a letter saying that he had a son named Richard. Rock wanted to meet the child but hesitated to reach out. He eventually overcame his fears and wrote to her, but she never responded.
It wasn’t until it was on his deathbed that he admitted “I should have gone back home and looked up my son.” He’d always wanted to have children and wished he could have brought his son back to live with him.
Rock’s also been linked to a Canadian woman named Susan Dent. She demanded a test of paternity in 2014, and it came back positive. Other claims of a secret love child fathered while he was in the Navy haven’t had any supporting evidence.
Rock Hudson also experienced a life-changing event hours before his death. Former Wheel of Fortune host Susan Stafford says she witnessed his conversion to Christianity.
He was recovering at his home in Beverly Hills, nicknamed The Castle. His friends recommended Susan come to help him because she’d just returned from attending leprosy patients in India and wasn’t afraid of AIDS like many other doctors and nurses at the time.
Rock was raised Roman Catholic but was an atheist all of his adult life. Susan asked him if he wanted to see a priest and accept Jesus, and he said it was “about time.”
Friar Terrance A. Sweeney, an Emmy-winning producer and ex-Jesuit priest from The Church of the Way in Van Nuys, California, arrived soon after. He led him in the Sinner’s Prayer, a common way to signify a conversion to the faith.
Susan attended Rock’s funeral and said that his death “gave AIDS a face.” She returned to her home in Kansas City and told everyone there about him. She emphasized that God wants everyone to love one another unconditionally.
Like and subscribe to Fact Verse for more of your favorite celebrities’ biggest and best-kept secrets. Keep watching to learn more details about Rock Hundson’s secretive life, including how his friends rallied to his sides in his last moments, how staying in the closet ruined a wonderful friendship, and the man he considered his “true love.” Join Facts Verse to know the details about Rock Hudson Final Confession From His Deathbed.
Rock was never afraid to give sexual favors to studio executives. Rock once said that he wanted to be a movie star more than just an actor and didn’t care what he had to do to get there. He also had several flings. Rock slept with Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, and Joan Crawford, to name a few.
These affairs may have helped his manly image. but any rumors of sex with men would have ruined it and ended his career. In an effort to hide his homosexuality, his agent Henry Wilson forced him to marry his secretary Phyliss Gates in 1955. They divorced three years later.
Rock worked to notify everyone he’d come into contact with once he found out he had AIDS. He refused to passionately kiss Linda Evans when they worked together on Dynasty. This caused tension on set at first, but she later appreciated that he tried to protect her.
Rock also anonymously sent letters to everyone he had ever slept with. Only one of them ever responded, a man named Tony. He attempted to sue Rock’s estate, but the case dropped. He died a few months later.
Rock was more than a beefcake; he had an amazing talent for making friends due to his kind nature and sense of humor. He worked with Elizabeth Taylor on the film Giant in 1956 and The Mirror Cracked in 1980. They became close, and she was one of the few to learn his secret.
She even went so far as to sneak into the hospital when he lay on his deathbed. Dr. Michael Gottlieb put her into his old station wagon and drove to a loading dock where they found their way in.
The two were deeply affected by his death, especially because Elizbeth had already lost two gay friends to AIDS. She and Dr. Michael worked together to start the American Foundation for AIDS research. It’s since garnered over $270 million.
Rock also had a platonic relationship with his frequent co-star Doris Day. Their first project was the 1959 film Pillow Talk. Others included Lover Come Back in 1961 and Send Me No Flowers in 1964. Join Facts Verse to know the details about Rock Hudson Final Confession From His Deathbed.
He called her Eunice Blotter and she called him Ernie. They had a similar sense of humor that helped them get along. Doris feels that their chemistry had a lot to do with the success of their films.
Rock’s health began to deteriorate in the 80s. He struggled to deliver his lines during his 18-episode appearance in the hit show Dynasty.
Rock promised to appear on Doris’ variety show, Doris Day’s Best Friends. He kept it in July of 1985, 3 months before his death. His gaunt appearance let everyone know that something was wrong, including Doris.
Rock’s doctors attempted to explain his condition away as liver cancer. His true diagnosis was made public a few weeks later, and the world’s suspicions about his homosexuality were all but confirmed.
The world was shocked, and so was Doris. She claimed to have never realized that Rock was gay, but her surprise didn’t affect their friendship. All she knew to do was to hug him and tell him how glad she was to see him.
Doris did everything she could to help Rock, even attempting to bring him lunch and feed him when he struggled to eat. Nothing worked, and she was in tears during their last meeting when he took a plane and left. Phone calls came rushing in to alert her of his death, and she was overwhelmed.
Rock Hudson wasn’t the only Hollywood actor who hid his sexuality in an attempt to keep his career. Jim Nabors, who played Gomer Pyle on the Andry Griffith Show, also remained in the closet. He only told his friends, and the crew began spewing slurs at him when they found out.
Rock met Jim and added another friend to his long list. They remained close until rumors circulated that they were secretly married.
The story allegedly began with a group of homosexuals from Huntington Beach. They released joke invitations to the event that were, unfortunately, taken too seriously.
The rumors became so serious that they had to end their friendship. Even a hint of them being together was too much to overcome. They never spoke again.
The impact of the rumors lasted for some time. Rock’s next movie was one of the least successful of his career.
Both actors ramped up their attempts to hide their sexuality and appear more masculine. They may not have worked, but they helped both actors keep their careers until they had to come out of the closet.
Rock Hudson’s “True Love”
Most of Rock Hudson’s affairs became well-known tabloid headlines. He was one of the most famous names of his time, and the world wanted to know about his love life. Still, that mostly applied to his affairs with women, and one of his most passionate liaisons never reached the public eye.
Lee Garlington was an extra on a set where he met Rock in 1962. He’d heard the rumors about his sexuality and was intrigued. He pretended to read an issue of Variety while keeping his eyes on the star, watching to see how he looked and acted.
They met officially at Rock’s home where they casually shared a beer. Lee was nervous but said they should see each other again.
Rock and Lee did meet up again several times; in secret. He often visited Rock’s house but kept the car low so no own would notice. They both brought a female date whenever they attended a premiere together.
The two became even more cautious after an incident when a female fan broke into Rock’s house and almost found pictures of the two together, shirtless. They put gates on the house to block out their secret.
The couple broke up in 1965. Lee was later shocked by his ex’s death. It was an impactful moment, but an even more shocking revelation came later.
Rock’s biography said that, besides his mother, Lee was the only other person he’d ever loved. That made him break down and cry because he never knew how important he truly was to him.
Have you ever watched one of Rock Hudson’s movies, and do you have a favorite? Let us know in the comments. Like and subscribe to Facts Verse to learn about more of the gritty details of the lives of your favorite celebrities.