1. He achieved stardom with roles in films such as Magnificent Obsession .
2. He completed nearly 70 films and starred in several television productions during a career that spanned over four decades.
3. Hudson died in 1985, becoming the first major celebrity to die from an AIDS-related illness.
4. Hudson was born in Winnetka, Illinois, the only child of telephone operator Katherine Wood , who abandoned the family during the depths of the Great Depression.
5. His mother remarried and his stepfather, Wallace “Wally” Fitzgerald, adopted him and changed his surname to Fitzgerald.
6. Although he tried out for roles in many of his school plays, Hudson failed to win any because he could not remember any of his lines.
7. His forgetfulness of lines and general shyness became a problem in his early acting career, as it took him no less than 38 takes before he could deliver a successful line in his first picture, Fighter Squadron .
8. Working as an usher in his teenage years, he developed an interest in film and stardom at a young age.
9. He worked as a truck driver for some time, longing to be an actor but with no success in breaking into the movies.
10. After he sent talent scout Henry Willson a picture of himself in 1947, Willson took Hudson on as a client and changed his name to Rock Hudson, although Hudson later admitted he hated the name.
11. Hudson made his acting debut with a small part in the 1948 Warner Bros. film Fighter Squadron, and took 38 takes to successfully deliver his only line in the film.
12. Dans 1953 he appeared in a Camel commercial which showed him on the set of Seminole.
13. Director Douglas Sirk gave Hudson his first leading role, in the 1954 film Magnificent Obsession, co-starring Jane Wyman. The film received positive reviews, with Modern Screen Magazine citing Hudson as the most popular actor of the year.