JFK+50: Volume 5, No. 1731
ROCK HUDSON DIED 30 YEARS AGO TODAY
Beverly Hills, CA (JFK+50) Thirty years ago today, October 2, 1985, Hollywood actor Rock Hudson* died from complications of AIDS at the age of 59 here in Beverly Hills.
The 1950s and 1960s dramatic actor, known for lead roles in Magnificent Obsession, Giant and Pillow Talk, became the first American celebrity to die from the disease that would take the lives of 20,000 Americans by 1987 and 25 million people world-wide by 2006.
At the time of Hudson's death, it had not been publicly revealed that he was gay. This fact coupled with his death from AIDS sent shockwaves around the nation and the world.
*Leroy Harold Scherer, Jr., a.k.a. Rock Hudson (1925-1985) was born in Winnestka, IL and served in the US Navy during WWII. After the war, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting.
His first role was in Fighter Squadron in 1948 while his first leading role was in Magnificent Obsession in 1954. During the 1970s, he appeared in a successful television drama titled "McMillan and Wife" with Susan Saint James.