This page will contain news stories about Rock Hudson, as they become available.|
Rock HudsonHudson 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. Many actors and filmmakers were influenced by Keaton, including Alec Guinness, Peter Sellers, Blake Edwards, and Jackie Chan. Following Hudson's death, his live-in lover Marc Christian filed a palimony lawsuit against his estate and won. Buster Keaton has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and in 1994, he was honored with his image on a United States postage stamp designed by caricaturist Al Hirschfeld. Hudson remained in the closet until his sexual orientation became known toward the end of his life. (Why exactly they did this is uncertain, but it is clear that Keaton required others to manage his daily living; since his condition was already terminal and uncurable when it was diagnosed, perhaps they were concerned that if he had been told, he would have stopped working. Performing before a camera or a live-audience was what Buster enjoyed most, apart from model trains; perhaps he would have died sooner and with less quality of life had he been told the truth.) Buster Keaton is interred in the Forest Lawn - Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles, California. Hudson was reportedly very good friends with Jim Nabors of television's Gomer Pyle. His wife and doctors let him believe that he had contracted chronic bronchitis, and he was never told that he was dying.
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. Buster contracted lung cancer after years of smoking. The couple divorced in 1958. He also played the central role in Samuel Beckett's only film project, Film, in 1965. Hudson married studio employee Phyllis Gates in 1955, and the news was made known by all the major gossip magazines. Shortly before he died, Keaton starred in one final short film called The Railrodder for the National Film Board of Canada, which saw him returning to the classic "stone face" role he had known during his heyday in the 1920s. James in the popular American television series McMillan and Wife that aired on NBC. His classic silent films did see a revival in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
From 1971 to 1978, Hudson starred opposite Susan St. But he largely believed, perhaps, that he had been forgotten. 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. He also found steady work as an actor for TV commercials. The two made Pillow Talk, Lover Come Back and Send Me No Flowers together. Despite its popularity, he cancelled the program because he had been unable to accumulate the amount of material to produce a new show each week. During the 1950s and 1960s, Hudson was known for several fluff comedies, largely starring with Doris Day. He starred in "The Buster Keaton Comedy Show" for two seasons.
In 1956 he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor, and two years later, Look Magazine named him Star of the Year. Keaton and Chaplin share the screen for the only ten minutes in their lives, playing two aging former vaudeville stars trying to recapture a bit of glory, decades after both Chaplin's and Keaton's fame had peaked — though Keaton remarks, "If one more person tells me this is just like old times, I swear I'll jump out the window.". His one line took 38 takes, because he kept forgetting it. Among the best is a brief cameo in Charlie Chaplin's late film Limelight. 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. He often made guest-appearences in films, including Billy Wilder's 1950 film Sunset Boulevard, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Hudson served in the United States Navy during World War II as an airplane mechanic. His career declined within a few years, and he spent most of the 1930s in obscurity, working as a gag writer for various MGM films particularly those of the Marx Brothers,(including the Marx Brothers' A Night at the Opera and At the Circus ) and various films of Red Skelton.
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 had difficulty adapting to the studio system, and he lapsed into alcoholism. Born in Winnetka, Illinois, Hudson was the first major American celebrity to admit to being afflicted with AIDS. He was forced to enter the ranks of the studio system, working at the MGM studios in a more restrictive environment that he had ever worked in previously (including vaudeville). Roy Harold Scherer Jr. (November 17, 1925 - October 2, 1985), better known as Rock Hudson, was an American actor. Keaton's filmmaking unit was acquired by MGM in 1928, a business decision that Keaton regretted ever afterwards. Between 1947 and 1954, Buster and Eleanor appeared regularly in the Cirque Medrano in Paris, where they were highly regarded as a double act.
All their friends advised them against it, but the marriage lasted until Buster's death. In 1940, Buster married the woman who not only saved his life but also helped to salvage his career — Eleanor Norris. She was 23, and he was 44. Bernard, Elmer. She later divorced Buster and took half of everything they owned — half of each dining set, half of each table and chair set, half of the books, and even Buster's favorite St.
Buster re-married in the late 1930s to his nurse during an alcoholic binge that he remembered nothing about afterward. (Keaton was reunited with them about a decade later.). By the time Keaton's began work in sound pictures, Natalie had divorced him, taken his entire fortune, and refused to allow any contact between Keaton and his sons. According to Keaton's autobiography, Natalie turned him out of the bedroom and then sent detectives to follow him to see who he was dating behind her back.
In 1921, he married Natalie Talmadge, sister-in-law of his boss, Joe Schenck, and sister of the famous actress Norma Talmadge. After the birth of their second son, their marriage began to suffer. The fact that he had a good voice and years of stage experience promised an easier adjustment than Chaplin's silent Tramp character, whom Chaplin thought could not survive sound. In addition, the technical side of filmmaking fascinated him and he was forward thinking enough to want to produce sound films when they began to become technically practical and popular. Unfortunately, many of his most acclaimed films performed poorly in the box office due to their sophistication -- the audience had a difficult time seeing Buster as a cinematic artist of considerable ambition.
This is another fine introduction for new Keaton fans. One of his last silent films, The Cameraman was released on DVD format in December, 2004. It is seen by many as a good choice for viewers who are becoming newly acquainted with silent films. The last film, a Civil War adventure, is considered his masterpiece, combining physical comedy with Keaton's love for trains.
His most famous and popular feature-length films included Our Hospitality, The Navigator, Steamboat Bill Jr., and The General. Likewise, his comedy, style, and humor has been called timeless, while other silent stars are said to have comedy that was of their era. His filmmaking style employs editing and framing techniques that are more closely aligned with today's sensibilities than the melodrama of other films of the day. He enjoyed Lloyd's films highly and often praised Chaplin for his genius.).
(It should be said that Keaton never indulged in such comparisons. Today, Lloyd is remembered as a distant third to Keaton and Chaplin, and there are some who argue that Keaton was a superior filmmaker to Chaplin. At the time, he was perhaps the third most popular comedian in America behind Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd. The initial success of his movies made Keaton one of the most famous comedians in the world.
He reached the peak of his creativity during the early 1920s, and he graduated from short films to full-length features. Keaton's success encouraged the studio to give him his own production unit, and Buster Keaton began starring in a series of two-reel comedies that rocketed him to fame, including One Week, Cops, The Electric House, and The Playhouse. Keaton later recalled that he soon became Arbuckle's second director and his entire gag department! Keaton and Arbuckle became close friends, a bond that would never break — even after Arbuckle was embroiled in the "Fatty Arbuckle scandal" that cost him his career and his personal life. He was quickly hired as a co-star and gag-man.
Arbuckle invited him to the studio, where Arbuckle was under contract to Joe Schenck. It was there in February 1917 that he ran into Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle. Myra returned to their summer home in Michigan, while Buster travelled to New York, where he easily found work. By the time Buster was 21, Joe's alcoholism threatened the reputation of the family act, so Buster and Myra left Joe in LA.
"I don't know," he said, "ask his wife!" Despite entaglement with the law and a disastrous tour of the English Music Halls, Buster was a rising star in the theater, so much so that even when Myra and Joe tried to introduce Buster's siblings into the act, Buster remained the central attraction. The stage-hand, who was no fool, shrugged and pointed to Buster's mother. When one official saw Buster in full costume and make-up, he asked a stage-hand how old that performer was. However, this did not stop members of the public from passing a law banning child performers in vaudeville.
This would diminish the laughs from the audience, so Buster learned how to keep his famous dead-pan expression whenever he was working. In fact, Buster would have so much fun, he would begin laughing as his father threw him across the stage. Decades later, Keaton would state that he was never abused by his father, and that the falls and physical comedy was a matter of proper technical execution. So while Buster and Joe were knocked around, they were rarely injured or even bruised.
Of course, Buster deliberately goaded his dad by disobeying, for which Joe would throw Buster into scenery, the orchestra pit, or occasionally into the audience! This on-stage lead to accusations of child abuse; however, Joe had only started the act when little Buster (about four years old) showed his father that he could imitate his on-stage trick falls perfectly. The act consisted of a saxophone performance by Myra and an act between Joe and Buster where Joe tried to show the audience how to raise a small child. Keaton grew up in the world of vaudeville, performing with his parents (as "The Three Keatons") from the age of three. (To this day, Piqua is so small that the Annual Buster Keaton Celebration must be held in nearby Iola, KS.).
Currently on this site is a memorial plaque, and nearby is a small power plant than maintains a one-room Keaton museum. Buster was born in a boarding house that was later destroyed by a tornado. His mother and father, Myra and Joe Keaton, were paid performers of a travelling medicine show, and Myra happened to go into labor in Pique. Keaton was born in the town of Piqua (peek-WAY), Kansas.
It was only after Keaton was nicknamed the word became a name — one example of this early use is the comic strip character Buster Brown.). (At the time, the word "buster" either meant "bronco-buster" or a fall. His godfather was Harry Houdini, and Keaton himself credited Houdini with dubbing him "Buster" after seeing him, aged three, tumble down a flight of stairs without injury. Like his contemporaries, he came from vaudeville.
His trademark was physical comedy while keeping a deadpan expression on his face at all times, which earned him the nickname of "The Great Stone Face". Joseph Francis "Buster" Keaton (October 4, 1895 - February 1, 1966) was a popular and influential American silent-film comic actor and filmmaker. Meade Buster Keaton: cut to the chase. ISBN 0-306-80178-7.
New York: Da Capo Press. My Wonderful World of Slapstick. Keaton, Buster; Samuels, Charles (1982).