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Rock Hudson

 

Best known for his opposite Doris Day in Pillow Talk and opposite Elizabeth Taylor in Giant as well as his TV role in McMillian & Wife.

Filmography

1949      

Undertow

 

1950      

Peggy

Winchester ’73

The Desert Hawk

 

1951      

Tomahawk

Air Cadet

The Fat Man

Bright Victory

Iron Man

 

1952      

Bend of the River

Here Come the Nelsons

Scarlet Angel

Has Anybody Seen My Gal?

Horizons West

 

1953      

The Lawless Breed

Seminole

Sea Devils

The Golden Blade

Gun Fury

Back to God’s Country

 

1954      

Taza, Son of Cochise

Magnificent Obsession

Bengal Brigade

 

1955      

Captain Lightfoot

One Desire

All That Heaven Allows

 

1956      

Never Say Goodbye

Giant

Written on the Wind

 

1957      

Battle Hymn

Something of Value

The Tarnished Angels

A Farewell to Arms

 

1958      

Twilight for the Gods

 

1959      

This Earth Is Mine

Pillow Talk

 

1961      

The Last Sunset

Come September

Lover Come Back

 

1962      

The Spiral Road

 

1963      

Marilyn

A Gathering of Eagles

 

1964      

Man’s Favorite Sport?

Send Me No Flowers

 

1965      

Strange Bedfellows

A Very Special Favor

Blindfold

 

1966      

Seconds

 

1967      

Tobruk

 

1968      

A Fine Pair

Ice Station Zebra

 

1969      

The Undefeated

 

1970      

Darling Lili

Hornets’ Nest

 

1971      

Pretty Maids All in a Row

 

1973      

Showdown

 

1976      

Embryo

 

1978      

Avalanche

 

1980      

The Mirror Crack’d

 

1981      

The Star Maker

 

1984      

The Ambassador

Awards

Rock Hudson was nominated for one Best Actor in a Leading Role Academy Award for Giant (1956).

I have no philosophy about acting or anything else. You just do it. And I mean that. You just do it. However, I can say that with ease after thirty-five years. ~ Rock Hudson

Rock Hudson, born Roy Harold Scherer Jr. on November 17, 1925, in Winnetka, Illinois, the only child of telephone operator Katherine Wood and auto mechanic Roy Harold Scherer Sr. who abandoned the family during the depths of the Great Depression. His mother remarried and his stepfather, Wallace Fitzgerald, adopted him and changed his surname to Fitzgerald. Hudson’s years at New Trier High School were unremarkable, although he sang in the school’s glee club and was remembered as a shy boy who delivered newspapers, ran errands, and worked as a golf caddy.

Although he tried out for roles in many of his school plays, Hudson failed to win any because he could not remember his lines, a problem that continued to occur through his early acting career. Working as an usher in his teenage years, he developed an interest in film and stardom at a young age.

After graduating from high school during World War II he enlisted in the United States Navy and trained at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station. With orders to report to Aviation Repair and Overhaul Unit 2 then located on Samar, Philippines as an aircraft mechanic, he departed San Francisco aboard the troop transport Lew Wallace. In 1946, after returning to San Francisco aboard an aircraft carrier.

Hudson moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career and applied to the University of Southern California’s dramatics program, but he was rejected due to poor grades. He worked as a truck driver for some time, longing to be an actor but with no success in breaking into the movies. After he sent talent scout Henry Willson a picture of himself in 1947, Willson took Hudson on as a client and changed his name to Rock Hudson, although Hudson later admitted he hated the name. Hudson’s name was coined by combining the Rock of Gibraltar and the Hudson River.

Hudson made his acting debut with a small part in the 1948 Warner Bros. film Fighter Squadron, and took 38 takes to successfully deliver his only line in the film.

Hudson was signed to a long-term contract by Universal Studios. There he was further coached in acting, singing, dancing, fencing, and horseback riding, and he began to be featured in film magazines where, being photogenic, he was promoted.

His first film at Universal was Undertow (1949), which gave him his first screen credit. He had small parts in Peggy (1950), Winchester ’73 (1950) (playing an American Indian), The Desert Hawk (1950) (as an Arab), Tomahawk (1951), and Air Cadet (1951).

Hudson was billed third in The Fat Man (1951), but back down the cast list for Bright Victory (1951). He had a good part as a boxer in Iron Man (1951), starring Jeff Chandler, and as a gambler in Bend of the River (1952). He supported the Nelson family in Here Come the Nelsons (1951)

Hudson was promoted to leading man for Scarlet Angel (1952), opposite Yvonne de Carlo, who had been in Desert Hawk and Tomahawk. He co-starred with Piper Laurie in a comedy, Has Anybody Seen My Gal? (1952), directed by Douglas Sirk.

In Horizons West (1952) Hudson supported Robert Ryan, but he was star again for a pair of Westerns, The Lawless Breed (1953) and Seminole (1953).