Profiles of LGBT people, from the past and today – and celebrating their birthdays! All Birthdays →

Rock Hudson

Born in Winnetka, Illinois to parents who worked as an auto mechanic and telephone operator, Rock Hudson became one of Hollywood’s best known leading men in the 1950s and 1960s. Appearing in several dozen films, he starred in dramas as well as comedies, and played opposite big-name stars such as Elizabeth Taylor and Doris Day. In the 1970s he shifted to television, starring in his own series, McMillan and Wife, and having a role in Dynasty. In July 1985, Rock Hudson revealed he had AIDS, and he died in October. Hudson’s announcement brought much needed public attention to the epidemic, spurred successful Hollywood fundraising to fight AIDS, and helped put a human face to the condition. Hudson had lived “in the closet” throughout his career, but after his announcement about AIDS, his sexual identity became public.