Roy Harold Scherer Jr. (November 17, 1925 - October 2, 1985), better known as Rock Hudson, was an American actor. Born in Winnetka, Illinois, Hudson was the first major American celebrity to admit to being afflicted with AIDS. His announcement, and subsequent death from the disease, brought the disease and HIV into the mainstream of American consciousness.
Hudson served in the United States Navy during World War II as an airplane mechanic. His good looks and strapping size got him a Hollywood audition, and some capped teeth and a name change got him a small part in the forgettable 1948 film Fighter Squadron. His one line took 38 takes, because he kept forgetting it. In 1956 he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor, and two years later, Look Magazine named him "Star of the Year".
Hudson married studio employee Phyllis Gates in 1955, and the news was made known by all the major gossip magazines. The couple divorced in 1958. The truth of the matter is, though, that the studio was using this sham marriage in order to cover Hudson's homosexuality, which would have made him box office poison at the time if it were made known. Hudson continued to have a hidden gay life for the rest of his life, until his homosexuality became known.
Following Hudson's death, his live-in lover filed a palimony lawsuit against his estate.
Hudson has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6104 Hollywood Blvd.