Some of my fondest memories from my childhood are evenings gathered around the television with my family watching magnificent films with great actors like Rock Hudson. I absolutely loved and admired Rock; he was one of my favorite silver screen stars. I remember when we watched ‘Please Don’t Eat the Daisies’ and Rock was not starring opposite Doris Day I was very upset, I actually cried. Rock was what people referred to as a man’s man, a brilliant actor and a true gentleman. He had a demeanor about him that spoke volumes about his character on and off screen that made him stand out amongst giants in a gentle way and infinitely profound.

Rock Hudson & Elizabeth Taylor ©Warner Brothers ∙ Giant Productions
"Rock made me laugh, I loved him"-Elizabeth Taylor

Rock Hudson ∙ Carey Grant ∙ Marlon Brando ∙ Gregory Peck ©Beltmann ∙ Corbis


Rock was greater than life, he was charming, he made me want to run to the store to buy a cowboy hat and cowboy boots and I did. When I lived in San Francisco I would see Rock out and about from time to time. Once, he was in a limousine parked on the street across the way from where Richard and I were standing. Everyone was gawking and in frenzy, “It’s Rock Hudson, its Rock Hudson.” We just stood there; the window rolled down, out came Rock’s arm and he motioned for us to come over. We looked around, pointed to ourselves, he laughed and shook his head, yes. I was so nervous I didn’t want to go but I did, he was so pleasant and sweet. Richard was hoping his interest would be in him but it wasn’t. Rock just wanted to say hello, he liked the way I was dressed. I was wearing a cowboy hat and Frye boots, short shorts that I had made myself from an old pair of button fly Levis. He especially liked my men’s white button down dress shirt. I had it tied at my waist and my red bandanna loose around my neck. Not your typical attire for San Francisco back then and especially not for a young girl. He was very gracious, kind and just had this incredible, huge, beautiful smile. I will never forget that moment it was and still is one of the highlights of my life

Rock Hudson ©Unknown


There were never any random stories about raging parties or gallivants involving Rock Hudson, not at his home or anywhere else, not in San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles or New York. Rock Hudson was not like some celebrities that skulked around the gay scene and had their drivers, body guards or personal assistant solicit companions for the evening for them. Believe me there were many that did do that and probably still do and no! I won’t name names! Everyone knew that Rock was gay but people respected his choice and right to privacy. It’s not anyone else’s place to out someone and the ramifications of doing it can be fatal for some. Back then I went out all the time to the discos and bars, I went to the rocking after hour’s parties and I never saw Rock Hudson there, if he was there it would have had to of been as the invisible man.

Rock’s celebrity did not entitle the world free passage to his personal life. In regards to telling your partner, lover or one night stand that you have a contagious disease, life threatening or not, of course there is a moral obligation to do so. However, Rock and Marc Christian were no longer sexually active nor were they in a romantic relationship. No matter how often or adamantly Marc professed of love and bond between himself and Rock it was not true. Marc was a houseboy at best and it was by his own choosing by insisting on taking advantage of Rock’s generous nature. It was also only after Rock died that Marc dared to elaborate the fantasy that he was constructing to support the law suit that he would file against Rock’s estate. Rock had ended the relationship and their friendship was strictly platonic for at least a year if not longer prior to Rock’s diagnosis and death. Marc was no longer living in the main house and was living on the estate because of Rocks kindness. It is a well known fact that Rock had a very close circle of male friends whom he trusted that he went to for companionship; Marc was not one of these friends. Once the will revealed that Marc was not named as a beneficiary Marc appealed to his estate for $300,000. He claimed that he could have been infected by ROCK with the AIDS virus and that the possibility future medical costs for treatment would require he have these funds secured for his care. Seriously, I know I’m shaking my head as I do every time that I think about this. The lawsuit against Rock’s estate stated that Rock put Marc’s life in danger by not telling him he had AIDS. In 1989, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury said Hudson had displayed "outrageous conduct" and awarded Christian $21.75 million in damages. On appeal it was reduced to $5.5 million but after the California Supreme Court decided not to hear the case, a settlement was reached for an amount that Marc claimed was less than $6 million dollars. A jury that I guarantee you was not made up of Hudson’s peers but made up of homophobic heterosexuals determined to punish Rock for what they deemed as lewd homosexual behavior and choices. In addition, somehow people especially his heterosexual fans felt a sense of betrayal from Rock over the years who assumed he was straight. People were angry because they admired him so and now suddenly he wasn’t just gay he had this ‘gay’ disease. Marc was never diagnosed with AIDS and he never returned a cent of the “less than six million” to Rock’s estate as he had promised to do. The absolute proof that there was no obligation on Rock’s part to Marc is that Marc never got AIDS. Rock Hudson was diagnosed with AIDS June 5, 1984 and a year later on Jul 25, 1985 Rocks publicist laid speculation to rest confirming that Rock had AIDS. Marc died of pulmonary disease June 2, 2009 not AIDS or AIDS related causes. There was not one person in the LGBTQ communities that were not infuriated by Marc’s fictitious claims and what he did to Rock. The world may have chosen to be blindsided by Marc’s rhetoric but we knew the truth. We weren’t loyal to Rock just because he was ‘family’ it was because of the truth which was that Marc used Rock having AIDS and his death against him for his own financial gain and you can’t get more fucked up than that.


Rock would have been ninety years old now had he lived. I wonder if he would have wanted to go on living if he knew what would follow his death. He would have survived only to face a media circus about his whole life. The constant rhetoric hammering the public about his ‘secrets’ which were facts about his life that he chose to keep private and was under no obligation to reveal to the public. Rock wasn’t sleeping with the world and he owed everyone nothing, not about his personal life and most certainly not about his health. He made the decision to reveal the fact that he was gay and that he had AIDS to the world, it took great courage to do so. He wanted to do the right thing and penned letters to his former lovers letting them know that he had AIDS. It was unfortunate what happened to Rock but his misfortunes should not define him but how he handled them and what he learned from them and how he was able to use them to become better than he was. AIDS didn’t start with Rock Hudson he got AIDS from someone else or from tainted blood when he had his heart surgery. People assume that he got AIDS from promiscuous behavior but how he lived his life does not establish or confirm this. There was not one case brought by anyone against Rock Hudson or his estate holding him responsible for transmitting the AIDS virus to them, not while he was alive and not after his death. It took more than just great courage for Rock to come forward the way that he did it took heart and he put it to remarkable use spending some of his last days to establish a foundation for AIDS research. He achieved so much and sacrificed even more to never have been able to openly enjoy the freedom to be who he was like we do today. To not want to be remembered for a disease that slammed everything he fought so hard to keep private into the open. He devoted his life to his work and it is Rocks legacy, I don’t believe that anyone can find fault in his brilliance or stardom, as an actor or a human being. I hope that one day they will celebrate Rock Hudson by screening his greatest films worldwide. Perhaps have the heart to donate a portion of the revenue to an Aids /HIV foundation that directly helps people with the disease, I think he would like that.

Paul Fix ∙ Elizabeth Taylor ∙ Rock Hudson ©1955 Warner Brothers ∙ Giant Productions

Rock Hudson & Doris Day ©Getty ∙ Silver Screen Collection

Rock Hudson & George Nader ©Peter Gowland

Rock Hudson & Michael Butler ∙ Venice ©Unknown

Rock Hudson & Lee Garlington ∙ New Orleans 1963 ©Lee Garlington

Rock Hudson ∙ November 8, 1984 ©Wally Fong AP