Rock Hudson FBI files

I have thought a lot before doing this post and more generally speaking, about how to deal with Rock’s homosexuality since it was him too and something that I don’t think shameful. Anyway I don’t want this part of him resume him. I really think he deserves to be known for the great actor and kind human being he was and not only as the “gay man” who died from AIDS.

Anyway, the following documents are a part of his history and in public domain now, that’s the reason why I thought these files would be interesting at least to understand the context he lived in during so many years.

Isa Vigy

“Please note: the content of the files in the Vault encompasses all time periods of Bureau history and do not always reflect the current views, policies, and priorities of the FBI.

The Vault is our new electronic reading room, containing more than 2,000 documents that have been scanned from paper into digital copies so you can read them in the comfort of your home or office.”

FBI electronic reading room

June 2, 1965

Memorandum recommends Los Angeles be authorized to interview  Rock Hudson for information about subject [redacted]. […]

Bureau and Los Angeles Office files contain no derogatory security-type information concerning Hudson. Los Angeles has advised that it is common knowledge in the motion picture industry that Hudson is suspected of having homosexual tendencies. […]

In view of the information about Hudson sexual tendencies, interview will be conducted by two mature experienced Special Agents. […]

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June 23, 1965

             Hudson was interviewed on June 23, 1965, and the FBI report on that meeting deals mainly with questions       about his former wife, Phyllis Gates:

Mr. Hudson made a telephone call in the presence of the SAs, FBI, and confirmed that his divorced wife is reported to be in Europe, at an unknown address, and that her alimony checks are sent to the Swafford [advertising] agency. […]

This document contains neither recommendations nor conclusions of the FBI. […]

There was also a heavily redacted report to FBI director J. Edgar Hoover in February 1960 from the Hollywood Vice Squad:

Files of guests’ names were confiscated during the raid and as a result, many prominent names have reportedly been revealed as participating in these parties. Among these, according to [redacted] are the movie names [redacted], ROCK HUDSON, [redacted]. […]

October 28, 1966

This excerpt appeared in an October 28, 1966, memorandum to a special assistant to President Lyndon B. Johnson in response to a request for information on Hudson:

Rock Hudson has not been the subject of an FBI investigation. During 1965, however, a confidential informant reported that several years ago while he was in New York he had an “affair” with movie star Rock Hudson. The informant stated that from personal knowledge he knew that Rock Hudson was a homosexual. The belief was expressed that by “personal knowledge” the informant meant he had personally indulged in homosexual acts with Hudson or had witnessed or received the information from individuals who had done so.

July 16, 1969

On July 16, 1969, a few short weeks after the Stonewall Riots in New York, the Los Angeles bureau wrote a memo to the FBI director about Hudson and a new movie he was getting ready to film, and what the bureau found in the files on him:

There were several references to Rock Hudson, actor, alleging he was a homosexual and/or bi-sexual.

To put things into context 

Strange to think that FBI director Hoover was himself a closet case…

Homosexuality was then tied to treason and it was open season. Repression on suspected gays under arcane 1941 “sex psychopath” laws continued at least until 1971 and included castration (!), incarceration in mental hospitals and lobotomies in at least seven US states…

Hopefully, things have change…

R.I.P…


A party with Rock Hudson

Thanks Sabine for sharing your pictures, some of which I had never seen before  ;D

Rock Hudson and Marylin Maxwell

 

“The Big Party” from Revlon from October 8 1959, hosted by Rock Hudson with Tallulah Bankhead, Sammy Davis Jr, Ester Williams, Mort Sahl, songwriter Matt Dennis and guitarist Carlos Montoya

Here’s the entire episode. Thanks Stephanie for sharing with us :D

 


Rock Hudson in Mexico


Rock Hudson memorabilia

Being an actor also means to run a business of oneself. Here are some memorabilia :

All items can be bought from  http://www.historyforsale.com

This contract, signed by Rock Hudson, allowed him to make his first TV series, “McMillan and Wife”

Autographed card of a rising star at the start of his career

Rock Hudson signs a contract using his real and stage name with agent Henry Wilson, whose secretary he would later marry, at the very start of his movie career  Special

Showbill signed by Rock Hudson, who made his stage debut three years earlier in a Los Angeles production of this play

Rock Hudson signs a contract with a New York publicity agent

MGM photo signed by one of Hollywood’s greatest leading men

In 1976, Rock Hudson signed a contract allowing him to make the final season of  “McMillan and Wife”

Magazine cover signed Rock Hudson and Carol Burnett from Rock Hudson’s first stage appearance

In 1978, Rock Hudson signed a contract for one of his last appearances in a TV adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s “The Martian Chronicles

Movie still of the star’s 20th film  Special

MGM letter to advertising and promotion managers about “Pretty maids all in a row”

Movie still signed by Rock Hudson as a fighter ace in “Darling Lili”

Photo signed by Rock Hudson in “A Gathering of Eagles”

Photo signed for one of Rock Hudson’s Spanish-speaking fans

Rock Hudson’s Personal Screenplays.

A set of seven screenplays from the estate of Rock Hudson that includes Battle Hymn (second revised final draft, dated February 28, 1956, 123 pages with revisions), Something of Value (unspecified draft, August 8, 1956, 139 pages), This Earth is Mine (final draft, August 18, 1958, 140 pages with revisions), The Favor (final draft, June 9, 1964, 136 pages with revisions), Tobruk (final draft, December 22, 1965, 125 pages with revisions), Showdown (second revised final draft, April 3, 1972, 127 pages, some revisions in pencil), and The Brazil Run (second draft, 1975, 102 pages, no revisions). The scripts are in overall Very Fine condition with instances of mild to moderate wear. Previously sold at the Rock Hudson estate sale at William Doyle Galleries, New York.


Young Rock Hudson

Before being worldwidely known as Rock Hudson,  Roy Fitzgerald was born in Winnetka, Illinois.

ca. 1927 — Rock Hudson, Universal-International star, pictured with his Aunt Evelyn at the age of two while on a visit to his grandmother’s farm in Olney, Illinois. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

19 Feb 1958, Winnetka, Illinois, USA — Rock Hudson, Universal International star, was 13 when this photo was taken.  All of the kids in his graduating class at Winnetka, Illinois, Junior High School had similar photos taken and classmates exchanged them with each other at graduation. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

1944 yearbook

Young Rock working as a mechanics