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Subject: ARCHIVE: October 2, 1985 ~ Rock Hudson dies at 59

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Date Posted: Wednesday, October 02, 09:21:59am

Rock Hudson dies at 59

The New York Daily News
October 3, 1985

LOS ANGELES - Rock Hudson died in his sleep yesterday after a 15-month battle with AIDS that saw his robust 6-foot-4 body waste to 91 pounds.

"I love him, and tragically he is gone," said Elizabeth Taylor, a long-time friend and one of those closest to him in his last weeks. "Please God, he did not die in vain."

Hudson, 59, was found dead in bed by a household staffer, who called Hudson's personal physician, Rex Kennamer. Publicist Dale Olson said the actor was pronounced dead at 9 a.m.

"Two days ago I visited Rock, and while he was weak he was in a good mood and smiled and talked lucidly," Olson said. "I am very shocked. I would not have expected this so soon. Rock was not in pain and he had never been in pain."

With Hudson at his Beverly Hills home was Tom Clark, his long-time companion and business aide.

"He died this morning at 9 a.m.; he was slowly slipping in and out; he didn't suffer. He just went to sleep," reported Kennamer, who pronounced Hudson dead of AIDs-related causes.

Slightly more than three hours later, his body was placed in a cardboard coffin and cremated at the Glenview Crematory in suburban Glendale. There will be no funeral.

Hudson-who stunned moviegoers last July when he was admitted to a Paris hospital for treatment of AIDS, which affects mostly homosexual men - was one of the biggest box-office stars of the 1950s and 1960s.

The actor was long known in Hollywood to be homosexual, but chose not to acknowledge it publicly. He revealed in July he had known for a year that he had AIDS.

"It's the end of an era where a movie star really looked like a movie star," actor Burt Reynolds said. "Rock was 6-foot-4, incredibly handsome and proved with 'Giant' and 'Pillow Talk' his unbelievable versatility. I never knew anyone who didn't like him.

"Can't believe it"

Doris Day, his co-star in "Pillow Talk" and other fluffy, '50s romantic comedies, broke into tears when she heard of Hudson's death. "Oh my God, what can I say," she sobbed. "This is when our faith is really tested. It's so terrible I can't believe it. All those years of working with him I saw him as big, healthy and indestructible. Life is eternal. I hope we will meet again."

Tony Randall, who worked in several movies with Hudson, canceled all engagements and went into seclusion in his apartment, refusing even to take phone calls.

Last week Hudson announced he was giving a $250,000 startup grant to a newly formed national foundation to battle AIDS. The week before, at a star-studded gala fund-raiser in Los Angeles, he brought tears to many with a statement read by actor Burt Lancaster.

"I am not happy that I am sick," his statement said. "I am not happy that I have AIDS. But if that is heling others, I can at least know that my own misfortune has had some positive worth."

The benefit, attended by 2,000 and orchestrated by Taylor, raised more than $1 million to fight AIDS.


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Subject Author Date
This was a bad month - 8 days later we lost Yul Brynner & Orson Welles. (NT)SharonWednesday, October 02, 09:27:20am
Poor actor Gorge Savalas (Telly's lil bro) died the same day as Rock, and was pushed to back pages due to Hudson's "scandal" death. ..."Who loves ya, baby?"Wednesday, October 02, 04:56:37pm
Rock HudsonMemoryWednesday, October 02, 09:40:38pm

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