Blast From The Past: Rock Hudson, Hollywood’s First Gay Superstar | IWMBuzz

Rock Hudson, Hollywood’s First Gay Superstar is decoded in this Blast from the Past story of Subhash K Jha.

Blast From The Past: Rock Hudson, Hollywood’s First Gay Superstar

Rock Hudson was the ultimate matinee idol, hunky, handsome, wholesome. Every girl’s dream lover Rock (real name Roy Harold) was gay. His homosexuality was an open secret among his colleagues and co-stars, like Doris Day, Carol Burnett and Julie Andrews. A huge superstar Rock’s stardom became the biggest hurdle to his sexual identity.

The bigger he got, the less his chances of coming out. As Rock’s stardom grew, stories of his promiscuous ways, stealthy lovers and temporary trysts and one-nights grew rampant. It was becoming harder to hold on to his clean-cut heterosexual image. The dreamboat had a serious leak.

Rock’s manager and agent Henry Wilson played a very large hand in hushing up the homosexual scandals. Rock eventually married Henry’s secretary Phyllis. They divorced after three years of marriage and Rock paid up a hefty monthly alimony till the end of his life.

His life’s most terrifying secret came out in a rush when in 1984 Rock was one of the first to be diagnosed with HIV AIDS. Like his homosexuality, his illness was also kept out of the public eye until his health declined seriously. His marketing team tried to pass off the AIDS as ‘liver cancer’ until he was in his final stage of life.

This is when his AIDS was revealed. But what a staggering masquerade Rock Hudson had put up throughout his booming career as one of Hollywood’s most desirable lover-boys! In reality he typifies a painful struggle that many gay celebrities continue to go through as they attempt to conceal their sexual orientation under a bushel of bravado.

Rock Hudson worked hard to sustain the macho image. But beneath the cultivated brawn and the muscles there was the other individual struggling to remain alive. There are actors in Bollywood who would know the feeling.

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