Rock Hudson: Dark and Handsome Stranger (2010)
1h 35min · Documentary, Biography · 20 October 2010
Twenty five years after the death of Rock Hudson, friends, acquaintances, colleagues, biographers and movie historians discuss his career, his personal life and his death, all especially in relation to his closeted homosexuality. Born Roy Fitzgerald, Hudson treated who was known as "Rock Hudson" as being a studio creation that was somewhat outside himself. However, he sometimes was still "Rock Hudson: movie star" to those who knew him. Publicly, he had to maintain the façade of that creation, the public who saw in him a handsome, rugged, masculine yet likable and safe leading man and movie star. That façade included a short two-year marriage of convenience to Phyllis Gates. His movie career on the most part also supported that façade, especially when there was a foil of a more effeminate or nebbish male character playing against him. His life changed when he was diagnosed with AIDS - the disease which would eventually take his life - at a time when little was known about it beyond it afflicting most specifically homosexual males and it being a probable death sentence. Although it ravaged him physically and emotionally - the latter in some respects due to his homosexual orientation becoming common public knowledge - it also opened up the discussion about the disease within the public consciousness since he became the first true public face of the disease.
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