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Rock Hudson Marries (November 9, 1955)




A week before he turned 30, strapping movie star Rock Hudson married his agent's secretary, Phyllis Gates.  The wedding took place on November 9, 1955. In Hollywood circles it was understood that this was a marriage of convenience, arranged in order to thwart tabloids such as Confidential Magazine from revealing his homosexuality.  The marriage produced no children and the couple divorced three years later.  (Gates outlived Hudson by about 20 years, dying in Jan. 2006.)


Of course any discussion about Rock Hudson wouldn't be complete without mentioning the movie Pillow Talk (the second highest grossing movie of the 1950's).  Here's a photo of his racy (by the standards of 1959) split-screen bathtub scene with Doris Day:


Pillow talk bath tub scene


At around the same time Liberace was battling similar gay rumors with the print media as Hudson, but rather than marry he sued for libel and won cases in the UK (Daily Mirror newspaper) and the US (Confidential).   




In June 2023 HBO aired a documentary about Hudson's life,  Rock Hudson: All That Heaven Allowed, which discusses how he seamlessly juggled his private and studio lives. 


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