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Book Title: Rock Hudson: His Story|
The author of the book: Rock Hudson
Date of issue: July 1986
ISBN 13: 9780297788126
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 725 KB
Edition: William Morrow & Co
Read full description of the books Rock Hudson: His Story:What a haunting, charming, confusing, and lovingly-written story of Rock Hudson, the first high-profile AIDS victim.
The opening pages of this book were confusing, until I could fully grasp Davidson's vision. We enter Rock Hudson's stately California home, to a series of eery, strange vignettes: As Davidson interviews Hudson, she notices the men, including friends, servants, ex-lovers, and almost-lovers, quietly attending to Hudson's needs in her periphery. There's the butler, James; long-time friend and personal assistant, Mark Miller; ex-lover Tom Clark, who was abandoned by Hudson in New York when Hudson took a new lover, Marc Christian, and yet remained Hudson's fiercest protector in his final months; and creepiest of all, there was ex-lover Marc Christian, refusing to vacate the house despite Hudson's demands, polishing his car in the driveway. It felt like some sort of German cinematic nonsense, and I wasn't sure I was curious enough to continue.
But, as the book unfolds, Davidson draws you into Rock Hudson's story, and all of the haunting vignettes start to click into place. You learn about a broken home, a big dream, shady agents and dealings, stardom, and most importantly, the secrets. Hudson was a gay man in a world that made him a hetero-heartthrob and would accept nothing else. It's suffocating to read about the precautions that Hudson took to keep his gay life out of the press: voice-deepening lessons, dates with starlets (abandoned midway through parties for men), secret liasons arranged through third or fourth or fifth parties, and even a forced marriage to Phyllis Gates (NOT forced by the studio, as rumored, but by Hudson's anguished heart). Lee Garlington, Jack Coates, Tom, and Marc (among HUNDREDS of others) could never be open about their love for Rock, even during his slow death. The book allows readers glimpses of Rock Hudson's life, and the emotional turbulence he wouldn't show to anyone, save for a sacred inner circle.
I was fascinated by Rock Hudson, long before I picked up this book. As a kid, I remember watching him on I Love Lucy, reuniting Lucy and Ethel with their husbands in Palm Springs through Ricky's trickery. While watching reruns of Lucy, my mom commented that I was named after a Rock Hudson character, Jordan Benedict Jr. from Giant. Intrigued, I sought out the film, and was appalled; Rock Hudson played a racist asshole, and I kinda loved watching Hudson getting the shit kicked out of him at the end of the movie (unexpected movie spoiler alert!).
I confronted my mother about the name choice, and she shrugged: she was pregnant and needed a name, and Giant was on TV, and Jordan seemed like a good idea at the time. Besides, Rock Hudson had a tragic story, Mom said, living a secret gay life before gay was cool. Why not honor him through one of his iconic roles?
I was secretly gay at this point, so I did my research.
My heart broke for Rock Hudson, at the same time that I realized I didn't have to become another Rock Hudson.
I came out a year later, and I am honored to have the freedom to do that, due in part to tragic stories like Rock Hudson's. It's the thirtieth anniversary of his death, a period of time in which AIDS research improved dramatically, gay rights movements exploded across the world, and gay marriage became legal in all fifty states. Rock Hudson's story is a relic from an unforgiving past, and he's likely not on the minds of my fellow millennials as they enjoy their rainbow Doritos.
But he damn well should be.
Read information about the authorRock Hudson was an American film and television actor, recognised as a romantic leading man during the 1960s and 1970s. Hudson was voted Star of the Year, Favorite Leading Man, and similar titles by numerous movie magazines and was unquestionably one of the most popular and well-known movie stars of the time. He completed nearly 70 motion pictures and starred in several television productions during a career that spanned over four decades. Hudson was also one of the first major Hollywood celebrities to die from an AIDS related illness.
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