Rock Hudson, super-star matinee idol immortalised in Pillow Talk with co-star girl-next-door Doris Day, ultimately turned out in typical Hollywood style to have a private reality a million miles away from his public image. As indeed was the case with Doris Day (abusive/rip-off marriages). A new documentary about Hudson All That Heaven Allowed describes him as “a sexual gladiator”, famed for his reported carnal appetites in liaisons with rent boys though he never came out about his homosexuality which only emerged after his death from AIDs.
The key to his heterosexual dreamboat character, say several observers in the documentary is the flicker of insecurity that he brings to his performances. “I think him being gay was the secret ingredient that made it all work,” one says. “There’s nothing threatening about Rock Hudson for them. He’s your best friend, but you get to smooch him on camera. That’s why people were drawn to his sensitivity.”
He was born 17 November 1925 2.15 am Winneika, Illinois, with a fractured childhood, divorced parents and an unhappy relationship with a stepfather. His breakout role in acting in Magnificent Obsession in 1954 set him on a road to success, with romantic comedies marking the 1960s. The 1970s saw a slow decline into TV work – MacMillan and Wife and eventually Dynasty. In the early 1980s, after years of heavy drinking and smoking, he had a heart attack and quintuple heart bypass surgery.
He was diagnosed with AIDS in 1984 and after seeking treatment in France found all the airlines refused to fly him home because of his illness. He was forced to hire a private Air France 747 at a cost of $250,000. Despite his reticence about coming out, his death changed perceptions around Aids victims and forced the subject into the mainstream, as he became a focal point for the messaging of fundraisers round the world.
He did have a secretive, intense and controlling chart – all hidden behind a charming, light-hearted Libra Ascendant, an upbeat Sagittarius Moon and a sugary-sweet Venus Jupiter in Capricorn. His 10th house Pluto was in a Water Grand Trine to Saturn Sun in Scorpio trine Uranus in Pisces; with his Pluto in a super-confident and persuasive opposition to Jupiter and Venus. A Water Grand Trine is creative – and healing for others – and tends to live in its own bubble of reality. His Sun was also in a creative, filmic and evasive square to Neptune in his 11th giving him a an ethereal image out in society. His Neptune was further emphasized being on the focal point of a yod inconjunct Uranus sextile Jupiter which would accentuate his escapist, detached-from-reality streak. And it amplified his Scorpio need for secrecy by adding an urge for privacy. His Mars in Scorpio in his 2nd would give him financial ambitions and being unaspected may have fed into his unrestrained, non-stop sexual appetites.
He died 2 October 1985 9am Los Angeles when tr Pluto in Scorpio was just over the conjunction to his Mars; tr Saturn was just over the conjunction to his Sun and tr Neptune was conjunct his IC.
Pluto moving into Scorpio in the early 1980s not only turned a spotlight on hidden homosexuality and the AIDs plague but also on child sexual abuse – so it altered society’s perceptions in a significant way.
ADD ON; Doris Day and he became firm friends after Pillow Talk until his death. On the surface they could not have been more different. She was Aries with a Gemini Moon with a Fire/Air chart and he was a heavyweight Scorpio with a Water, Earth, Fire chart. His Sagittarius Moon would help and her 8th house Venus which had a Scorpionic feel. Her Sun fell in his 7th for good partnership material and his Venus Jupiter in her 4th for a comforting feel. Her Saturn was conjunct his Ascendant so she may have brought ‘respectability’ to his image in prejudiced times. There is also an interesting tangle with Chiron. Her Sun was exactly conjunct Chiron falling in his 7th and his Chiron was conjunct her Venus in her 8th. They may have been each other’s port-in-a-storm – she from abusive husbands and he from a turbulent private life.