Rock Hudson His Story (Rock Hudsonin tarina) was published in 1986 about a year after the star’s death. Rock Hudson valued his privacy but just before his death he wanted to share his story with the world. Journalist and writer Sara Davidson was able to interview Rock himself among his closest friends and family. Hudson was the first celebrity to contract AIDS and die because of it. This is understandably an important theme in the book. In the 80s not much was known of AIDS, it was considered a death sentence and people were scared of transmission (mostly for no reason). Hudson was also one of the most celebrated film stars and actors who was also gay. All this doesn’t shock today’s reader at all but thirty years ago it was shocking news worldwide. I actually remember hearing about Rock Hudson’s death in the news when I was a little girl. I didn’t understand what the words gay or AIDS meant. I was only sad to hear that this gorgeous man who I’d already seen in films had died.

Davidson’s book is an easy read. Luckily Davidson was able to interview so many Hudson’s friends and colleagues. They all knew a different side of Hudson. And we readers get to see a glimpse of all those sides as well. Being an international film star, every girl’s dream and at the same time gay in Hollywood in the the 50s and 60s wasn’t easy. Although many in show business knew about Hudson’s secret, it never got out until the very end. As an actor Hudson was a professional and made many friends. One of his favourite co-stars was Doris Day and he considered their films together among the best in his career. I wish there had been more stories about Hudson’s films. For example his wonderful film Come September (with Gina Lollobrigida) is only briefly mentioned. I wish there had been some stories from the set. It would have also been interesting to know more about his films with Douglas Sirk. There are some photos attached in the book but there could always be more from family albums.

It is truly sad that Hudson had to live his life in the closet and suffer from a disease which today is not anymore a death sentence. I’m glad though I finally read this book. Hudson’s work has stood the test of time. Now I only wish I had Written on the WInd on dvd, I haven’t seen it in ages….