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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. However, this proved to be highly controversial. Following Hudson's death, his live-in lover Marc Christian filed a palimony lawsuit against his estate and won. Recently he was honoured by his city of birth, Sopot. Hudson remained in the closet until his sexual orientation became known toward the end of his life. He died of a heart attack in Lagunitas, California, United States. Hudson was reportedly very good friends with Jim Nabors of television's Gomer Pyle. His brother Arme lives in Berlin, still bitter about the way Klaus portrayed him in his "autobiography".

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. He was married four times and had three children, two daughters (Nastassja Kinski and Pola Kinski, both being actresses) and a son (Nikolai Kinski). The couple divorced in 1958. Herzog's retrospective on his work with Kinski was released in the United States as My Best Fiend. Hudson married studio employee Phyllis Gates in 1955, and the news was made known by all the major gossip magazines. Due to him playing a lot of crazy, murderous villains in his films (for example in the Edgar Wallace series) and his determined, often obsessive behavior, he often was referred to as a crazy genius. James in the popular American television series McMillan and Wife that aired on NBC. In real life, Kinski often appeared as a drunken, sex-crazed maniac, chronicling his exploits in an (largely fictitious) autobiography that rivals Wilt Chamberlain's in terms of sexuality. He alienated all his family with claims of incest, and when he died, only his son Nikolai attended the burial (his ashes were sunk in the Pacific Ocean).

From 1971 to 1978, Hudson starred opposite Susan St. Fritz Kortner (whom Kinski mentions in his autobiography) was also famous for being very harsh and brutal during rehearsals. 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. This was seen as the only way to achieve perfection. Karl Paryla, for example, saw it as part of his "methodology" to drive "his" actors close to a "nervous breakdown", because then they would perform better. The two made Pillow Talk, Lover Come Back and Send Me No Flowers together. To scream and shout abuse uncontrollably was common behaviour of theatre directors during rehearsals. During the 1950s and 1960s, Hudson was known for several fluff comedies, largely starring with Doris Day. He was a victim of the German directors he initially had to work with.

In 1956 he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor, and two years later, Look Magazine named him Star of the Year. He was an extremely hard worker and strove for perfection; however, he was frequently at odds with co-workers and directors and rarely a good team player. His one line took 38 takes, because he kept forgetting it. With his fluency in English, his unique appearance, and his ability to project on-screen intensity, Kinski was always able to get roles, although the quality of the productions varied wildly, most of them considered "junk" (Schrott) by Kinski himself. 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 international reputation was built on his collaborations with director Werner Herzog in such films as Aguirre: The Wrath of God (1972), Woyzeck (a deep and tender portrayal of the Woyzeck character, possibly the best performance Kinski ever produced on screen) (1978), Fitzcarraldo (1982) and Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979). Hudson served in the United States Navy during World War II as an airplane mechanic. His film roles include A Time to Love and a Time to Die (1958), The Counterfeit Traitor (1962), Doctor Zhivago (1965), For a Few Dollars More (1966), Grand Slam (movie) (1968).

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. He started on stage in Germany, became a legend as a monologist (presenting the prose and verse of William Shakespeare and Francois Villon, among others), and soon moved, pragmatically, to film, where the money was better. Born in Winnetka, Illinois, Hudson was the first major American celebrity to admit to being afflicted with AIDS. He began acting and changed his name to Klaus Kinski. Roy Harold Scherer Jr. (November 17, 1925 - October 2, 1985), better known as Rock Hudson, was an American actor. After the war, he chose to return to West Germany rather than Poland because of the spread of communism. When he was in a POW camp, he realized his acting talent as he performed for his fellow prisoners.

He spent most of his time during the war as a POW under British control. Kinski went AWOL and surrendered himself to the British forces. Kinski supposedly spent his short term in the military flagging down American planes and begging them to shoot him. As World War II engulfed Europe, Kinski was drafted into the German Army and served in the Netherlands.

In 1930/31, the family moved to Berlin and Klaus attended the Prinz-Heinrich-Gymnasium in Schöneberg. Kinski was born Nikolaus Karl Günther Nakszynski to an ethnic Polish father, the pharmacist Bruno Nakszynski, and a Danzig (Gdansk) pastor's daughter named Susanne Lutze, in Zoppot (now Sopot, Poland), which was then located within the territory of the Free City of Danzig. Klaus Kinski (October 18, 1926–November 23, 1991) was an international film actor who was regarded as one of the best German actors of the second half of the 20th century.

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