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Rock Hudson

Hudson with Doris Day in Pillow Talk (1959)

Roy Harold Scherer Jr. (November 17, 1925 - October 2, 1985), better known as Rock Hudson, was an American actor. Born in Winnetka, Illinois, Hudson was the first major American celebrity to admit to being afflicted with AIDS. His announcement, and subsequent death from the disease at the age of only 59, brought the disease and HIV into the mainstream of American consciousness.

Hudson served in the United States Navy during World War II as an airplane mechanic. His good looks and strapping size got him a Hollywood audition, and some capped teeth and a name change got him a small part in the forgettable 1948 film Fighter Squadron. His one line took 38 takes, because he kept forgetting it. In 1956 he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor, and two years later, Look Magazine named him Star of the Year.

During the 1950s and 1960s, Hudson was known for several fluff comedies, largely starring with Doris Day. The two made Pillow Talk, Lover Come Back and Send Me No Flowers together. Many consider his performance as the elderly New York City banker Arthur Hamilton turned young Malibu painter Tony Wilson in the 1966 science fiction film by director John Frankenheimer,Seconds, as the finest of his career. From 1971 to 1978, Hudson starred opposite Susan St. James in the popular American television series McMillan and Wife that aired on NBC.

Hudson married studio employee Phyllis Gates in 1955, and the news was made known by all the major gossip magazines. The couple divorced in 1958. The studio was likely using this sham marriage in order to cover Hudson's homosexuality, which would have made him box office poison at the time if it were made known. Hudson was reportedly very good friends with Jim Nabors of television's Gomer Pyle. Hudson remained in the closet until his sexual orientation became known toward the end of his life.

Following Hudson's death, his live-in lover Marc Christian filed a palimony lawsuit against his estate and won.

Hudson has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6104 Hollywood Blvd.


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Hudson has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6104 Hollywood Blvd. Although for a time he was cast in leading roles, he became very successful as secondary and minor characters, making a good living in the film industry for more than three decades. Following Hudson's death, his live-in lover Marc Christian filed a palimony lawsuit against his estate and won. During his long career, Wilfred Lucas appeared in more than 375 films. Hudson remained in the closet until his sexual orientation became known toward the end of his life. While working in Hollywood, in 1926 he returned to the stage, performing in several Broadway plays. Hudson was reportedly very good friends with Jim Nabors of television's Gomer Pyle. Wilfred Lucas was one of the fortunate ones whose skills and voice allowed him to make the successful transition from silent film to sound.

The studio was likely using this sham marriage in order to cover Hudson's homosexuality, which would have made him box office poison at the time if it were made known. The divorce was a bitter one and through what is now known as Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), Wilfred Lucas became estranged from his son. The couple divorced in 1958. John Meredyth Lucas (1919-2002) became a successful writer and director including a number of episodes of the famous Mannix and Star Trek television shows. Hudson married studio employee Phyllis Gates in 1955, and the news was made known by all the major gossip magazines. While working at Biograph Studios, Wilfred Lucas met and ultimately married actress/screenwriter Bess Meredyth (1890-1969) with whom he had a son. James in the popular American television series McMillan and Wife that aired on NBC. Canadian born director Mack Sennett hired him to both direct and act in a large number of films at his Keystone Studios.

From 1971 to 1978, Hudson starred opposite Susan St. Part of the group of Canadian pioneers in early Hollywood, Lucas became friends and sometimes starred with Mary Pickford, Sam De Grasse, and Marie Dressler. Many consider his performance as the elderly New York City banker Arthur Hamilton turned young Malibu painter Tony Wilson in the 1966 science fiction film by director John Frankenheimer,Seconds, as the finest of his career. In 1916, Lucas appeared in Griffith’s film, Intolerance, a monumental project regarded by many as the most spectacular film of all time. The two made Pillow Talk, Lover Come Back and Send Me No Flowers together. Lucas also began directing in 1912, first with Griffith on An Outcast Among Outcasts, and during the ensuing twenty years directed another 44 films. During the 1950s and 1960s, Hudson was known for several fluff comedies, largely starring with Doris Day. He appeared in more than fifty of these short films (usually 17 minutes) over the next two years and in 1910, while still acting, he wrote the script for Griffith's film Sunshine Sue which was followed by many more scripts between then and 1924.

In 1956 he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor, and two years later, Look Magazine named him Star of the Year. In 1908, Wilfred Lucas made his motion picture debut in Griffith's production, The Greaser's Gauntlet. His one line took 38 takes, because he kept forgetting it. In it, she referred to Wilfred Lucas as the "first real grand actor, democratic enough to work in Biograph movies.". His good looks and strapping size got him a Hollywood audition, and some capped teeth and a name change got him a small part in the forgettable 1948 film Fighter Squadron. In her 1925 book titled When the Movies Were Young, Griffith's wife, actress Linda Arvidson, told the story of the early days at Biograph Studios. Hudson served in the United States Navy during World War II as an airplane mechanic. At the time, the film business was still looked down upon by many members of the theatrical community who refused to "lower" themselves and work in film or to help an industry that was seen as a competitive threat.

His announcement, and subsequent death from the disease at the age of only 59, brought the disease and HIV into the mainstream of American consciousness. Griffith. Born in Winnetka, Illinois, Hudson was the first major American celebrity to admit to being afflicted with AIDS. W. Roy Harold Scherer Jr. (November 17, 1925 - October 2, 1985), better known as Rock Hudson, was an American actor. Following his 1906 role in the highly successful play, The Chorus Lady, Lucas was recruited to the fledgling Biograph Studios by the still struggling D. A handsome and sophisticated young man, Wilfred Lucas headed to New York City to work in the theater, making his Broadway acting debut in 1904 at the Savoy Theater in the production of The Superstition of Sue.

Wilfred Lucas, born January 30, 1871 in the Province of Ontario, Canada - died December 5, 1940 in Los Angeles, California, United States, was a stage and film actor, a film director, and a screenwriter.

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