Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Happy Birthday: Rock Hudson!

Rock Hudson( November 17, 1925 – October 2, 1985).  In 1959 playboy, Rock Hudson and girl next door Doris Day, were first paired for their trilogy of movies: Pillow Talk(1959), Lover Come Back(1961) and Send me No Flowers(1964). Perfect comedies with great performances by Hudson and Day.

The 6ft 5in tall actor was one of the most popular and well-known movie stars of his time. He completed nearly 70 films and starred in several television shows during a career that spanned over four decades.

One of his first on screen successes was in the film: Magnificent Obsession(1954). Cast: Rock Hudson and Jane Wyman. Playboy Robert Merrick loses control of his speed boat and has a terrible accident. Rescuers send for the nearest resuscitator, located at Dr. Phillips's house on the lake. Unfortunately, Dr. Phillips has a fatal heart attack and dies. Merrick becomes a patient at Dr. Phillips's clinic, where the doctors and nurses all blame Merrick for Dr. Phillips's death.

Merrick finally learns why everyone dislikes him. He tries to run away, but .. faints,  in front of Helen's car and ends up back at the hospital. Fully recovered Merrick, tries to go back to his wild life style and leaves the party, drunk.

After running off the road, Merrick ends up at the home of Edward Randolph, who recognizes him. Randolph shares with him how he and Dr. Phillips became so successful. As fate would have it, Helen steps into the path of a car while trying to run away from Merrick. She is blinded by accident and Merrick vows to become a doctor. He falls love with Helen and helps her adjust to her blindness under the name, Robby.

After many extensive tests, surgeons tell Helen there is no hope for recovery.

Later, Robby confesses to being Merrick. Helen has already guessed this. Merrick asks Helen to marry him. Later that night, Helen realizes she will be a burden to him, disappears. Will Merrick ever find Helen and will she ever be cured. Also in the cast, Agnes Moorehead, who has some great moments in the film.

Hudson's popularity soared in the film, Giant, based on Edna Ferber's novel and co-starring Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean. Hudson and Dean both were nominated for Oscars in the Best Actor category.

Following the film, Something of Value (1957) was a moving performance in, A Farewell to Arms, which he turned down Marlon Brando's role in Sayonara, William Holden's role in, The Bridge on the River Kwai, and Charlton Heston's role in, Ben-Hur. Those films went on to become successful while, A Farewell to Arms was a huge flop.

He performed in the thriller, Seconds (1966). The film flopped but it later gained cult status, and Hudson's performance is often called one of his best. He also worked on the action film, Tobruk (1967), the lead in 1968's spy thriller, Ice Station Zebra, a role was his favorite film, he also performed in the western, The Undefeated (1969) opposite John Wayne.

He starred in one of my favorite TV shows, McMillan and Wife opposite Susan Saint James from 1971 to 1977. Hudson played police commissioner Stewart "Mac" McMillan with Saint James as his wife Sally.

He was in ill health while filming, The Ambassador.

From December 1984 to April 1985, Hudson landed a recurring role on the ABC prime time soap opera Dynasty as Daniel Reece, the love interest for Krystle Carrington (played by Linda Evans) and biological father of the character Sammy Jo Carrington (Heather Locklear).


  1. Great post! It's nice to see Rock being remembered for his movies for once rather than how he died.

  2. Thank you and Welcome Stephanie !


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