Thu. Jun 20th, 2024
Rock Hudson's sole marriage was as invented as his Hollywood persona, but the man himself, and his complicated life as a gay man, would change the course of history.

Rock Hudson in 1952, By Universal Pictures - RR Auction [1], Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25557872

S20E15: Rock Hudson

Hollywood heartthrob Rock Hudson was everywhere on American screens in the 1950s and 1960s. He was the man every woman wanted, and every man wanted to be, but what Hollywood knew and the public didn’t was that Rock Hudson was a fabrication, a character in and of himself. Roy Harold Scherer, later Roy Fitzgerald, was turned into Rock Hudson by one of Hollywood’s most notorious talent agents, Henry Willson, known as much for taking sexual advantage of the young men he made stars as for the stars themselves. Rock Hudson navigated the difficult waters of being a gay star in a time when that would have destroyed his career; when he was diagnosed with AIDS in 1984, he made the complicated choice to go public with the news. While he was abandoned by friends Ronald and Nancy Reagan, he became the face of an emerging pandemic so enmeshed with social issues that his candor arguably changed the course not only of the fight against AIDS, but of the gay rights movement in America and worldwide.

Want early, ad-free episodes, bonus divorces, limited series, Zoom hangouts, and more? Join us at patreon.com/trashydivorces!


This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp. Visit BetterHelp.com/trashy today to get 10% off your first month.

To advertise on our podcast, please reach out to sales@advertisecast.com or visit https://www.advertisecast.com/TrashyDivorces.

Alicia’s Receipts

Rock Hudson: All that Heaven Allowed (HBO documentary)

Rock Hudson’s Ex-Boyfriend Talks About Their Love (people.com)

The double life of Rock Hudson: ‘Let’s be frank, he was a horndog!’ | Movies | The Guardian

What Makes a Man: Rock Hudson’s Laborious Life | Vanity Fair

Rock Hudson, Phyllis Gates Marriage Transcripts Revealed (people.com)

‘Rock Hudson: All That Heaven Allowed’ Review: Living a Double Life – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

This Was Larry King’s Worst Guest Ever (nickiswift.com)

Rock Hudson, Phyllis Gates Marriage Transcripts Revealed (people.com)

Rock Hudson’s Wife Secretly Recorded His Gay Confession — Revealed 55 Years Later (businessinsider.com)


Larry King Said This Was The Worst Interview of His Entire Career (yahoo.com)

The True Story of Henry Willson, Rock Hudson’s Agent in ‘Hollywood’ (oprahdaily.com)

Netflix’s Hollywood: Rock Hudson’s Real-Life Relationship With Agent Henry Willson | Vanity Fair

Netflix’s Hollywood: The sordid story of the real Henry Willson as Jim Parsons takes on character (metro.co.uk)

Ronald and Nancy Reagan rejected pal Rock Hudson when he had AIDS: book (pagesix.com)

Rock Hudson Death Anniversary: Secrets of His Final Days (people.com)

Rock Hudson Called This Man His ‘True Love’ (grunge.com)

The Hollywood Star Who Confronted the AIDS ‘Silent Epidemic’ | Smart News| Smithsonian Magazine

The Full Story of Nancy Reagan and the AIDS Crisis – The Atlantic

Hudson Cremated – The Washington Post

True Story Behind Rock Hudson, AIDS Epidemic Seen In ‘Hollywood’ (menshealth.com)

Rock Hudson 30 years after death: The impact on AIDS | CNN

1 thought on “S20E15: Rock Hudson

  1. Love the podcast, ladies! But as an old/classic movie aficionado, Rock Hudson very much played a straight man in Pillow Talk. He shares a party line with Doris Day, who’s cranky that he’s hogging their shared-party line to romance the ladies 24/7. But when they happen to meet in-person, Rock’s character uses a pseudonym so he can romance Doris without her making the connection that he’s the same party-line-sharing lothario who drives her crazy. Check it out! Also, Move Over, Darling is a hilarious Hudson-Day romcom… Hudson’s a hypochondriac hubby 🤣Keep the trash coming 🥰 and alllll the spiderwebs! Love it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *