The first time I saw Rock Hudson, it was 1962 and I was an extra at Universal working on a TV show called The Virginian. One lunchtime, I heard he was on the lot, so I decided to check him out and leaned against the wall near his cottage.

When he came by, he never looked at me and went up into his room. Fifteen minutes later, he came back out—again never looking at me. I thought: Good grief, I didn’t make that much of an impression, but as he walked off, he turned and looked back.

rock hudson

Rock in 1955.

Two months later, Rock’s publicist called and asked if I would like to meet him. Apparently, he had inquired about me earlier but learned that I was with someone and would not call me until I was single again. That’s Rock. He was the nicest, most considerate man in Hollywood, an absolute gentleman, who was extremely well-liked by the crews who worked with him.

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In those days, it was hard to be gay anywhere, so we were ordered not to be seen together. But it was a pretty open secret. Most of the Hollywood crowd knew or suspected that he was gay, but there was a conspiracy of silence because no one wanted to hurt him.

To read the full story on Rock Hudson, pick up the new issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now!