In this blog series, I’ll describe my impressions of various movie stars I’ve met over the years. Hope you enjoy reading about your favorites, and that you’ll be inspired to check out my Hollywood novel Dream Factory, which is available in both paperback and electronic formats through Amazon.com.
I met Rock Hudson at the American Film Institute’s film ball honoring Ginger Rogers in Washington, D.C. in late May 1984. Just two weeks later, Hudson would be diagnosed with AIDS, but not reveal that to the public until shortly before his death in 1985. Reluctantly, it seemed, Hudson became the first major public figure to announce that he had AIDS, which was just becoming known in the 1980s and had a terrible stigma associated with it at that time.
Hudson was gracious but aloof. I didn’t get to talk much with him because he wasn’t openly friendly and I was a shy girl at the time who wouldn’t have tried to press conversations any further than others wanted them to go.
As I watched Hudson mingle with people at the event, though, he seemed every bit as charming as he was onscreen in such popular films as Giant and Pillow Talk. He didn’t seem ill or frail in any way, either, although his health was soon to decline dramatically.
I’m not sure what to say about Rock Hudson as a man, but as an actor, he left us all a wonderful legacy on film to enjoy.