Hollywood heartthrob Rock Hudson was everywhere on American screens in the 1950s and 1960s. He was the man every woman wanted, and every man wanted to be, but what Hollywood knew and the public didn't was that Rock Hudson was a fabrication, a character in and of himself. Roy Harold Scherer, later Roy Fitzgerald, was turned into Rock Hudson by one of Hollywood's most notorious talent agents, Henry Willson, known as much for taking sexual advantage of the young men he made stars as for the stars themselves. Rock Hudson navigated the difficult waters of being a gay star in a time when that would have destroyed his career; when he was diagnosed with AIDS in 1984, he made the complicated choice to go public with the news. While he was abandoned by friends Ronald and Nancy Reagan, he became the face of an emerging pandemic so enmeshed with social issues that his candor arguably changed the course not only of the fight against AIDS, but of the gay rights movement in America and worldwide.
Want early, ad-free episodes, bonus divorces, limited series, Zoom hangouts, and more? Join us at patreon.com/trashydivorces!
This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp. Visit BetterHelp.com/trashy today to get 10% off your first month.
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices