Rock Hudson

Rock Hudson, Erotic Fire

Erotic Fire

Darwin Porter & Danforth Prince

Rock Hudson reigned in the late 1950s and early ‘60s as “Hollywood’s greatest ambisexual swordsman,” seducing icons who included Marilyn Monroe, Eelizabeth Ttaylor, Errol Flynn, Ttyrone Power, Joan Crawford, Ava Gardner, and Lana Tturner. Mamie van Ddoren, the busty, provocative, and promiscuous bombshell, asserted loudly that “the boulder that Rock’s agent named him after was a big one.”

Fresh out of the navy, the muscled, 6’4” hunk arrived in Hollywood with an understanding of what he wanted: “I don’t want to be an actor... I want to be a movie star!” To that end, between gigs as a truck driver, he donned very tight, faded jeans and stationed himself seductively close to the gates of such studios as Warners and Universal. Eventually, he was “discovered.” Years later he said, “I didn’t give a damn how many casting couches I had to lie on.”

Eeventually, he was assigned roles in a string of B-pictures, playing handsome Apaches, easy-on-the-eyes sea captains, and drop-dead gorgeous “Ordinary Joes” whose charm moviegoers remembered, and eventually clamored for. Colleagues and power players in Hollywood demanded him up close and personal, too. According to Yvonne de Carlo, “Rock was predatory after midnight.”

Stardom finally arrived based on a performance opposite Jane Wyman (she had divorced Ronald Reagan) in that soapy melodrama, Magnificent Obsession (1954). Obessesively replicating her passion offscreen, she wanted to marry him.

Hudson had already been defined as “the sexiest man alive” when he was assigned the role of a Texas rancher in Giant (1956). During its filming in the dusty hamlet of Marfa, Texas, he sustained affairs with both Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean.

Three eventful years later, his status as one of the most popular (and most consistently profitable) actors in Hollywood was reinforced, based on his co-starring performance opposite Doris Day in Pillow Talk (1959). Together, as a captivating duo, Hudson and Doris Day went on to appear in other “artfully campy” battles of the sexes.

Usually in secret, Hudson’s close friends and lovers asserted that his greatest performances were the “personae” he was forced to act out in public as a means of sustaining his heterosexual credentials. Privately, he performed, perhaps addictively, in many hundreds of (nominally) secretive sexual trysts, fighting off blackmail attempts and investigations by the FBI. He went on to survive a hastily arranged marriage to Phyllis Gates, who later emerged as a manipulative antagonist with a blackmailing agenda of her own.

Rock Hudson Erotic Fire, based on dozens of face-to-face interviews with the actor’s friends, co-conspirators, and enemies, and researched over a period of a half century, reveals the shame and irony of Hudson’s complete, never-before-told story.

Although maligned by the media because of the stigmas associated with his AIDS-related death in 1985, Rock showed inner courage and manly grace as he lay dying. “This is my shining hour,” he told his closest friends, as the media rushed to “out” him as a “celebrity bisexual” who’d been stricken by the then-stigmatizing scourge.

Today, beloved by hordes of cultish fans and film buffs around the world, Rock Hudson is the often misunderstood (until now) golden boy of a glamorous bygone era.

On October 2, 2017, on the 32nd anniversary of his death, Blood Moon will celebrate his legacy with the release of new, notoriously indiscreet information that will revive the memory of this great American movie star in ways that his fans, during his cinematic heyday, would never have believed possible.


Paperback 978-1-936003-55-6 $32.95
Trim size 6x9 Ppg 624

About the Author:

“Darwin Porter is the master of guilty pleasures. There is nothing like reading him for passing the hours. He is the Nietzsche of Naughtiness, the Goethe of Gossip, the Proust of Pop Culture. Porter knows all the nasty buzz anyone has ever heard whispered in dark bars, dim alleys, and confessional booths. And lovingly, precisely, and in as straightforward a manner as an oncoming train, his prose whacks you between the eyes with the greatest gossip since Kenneth Anger. Some would say better than Anger.” (as quoted from Alan W. Petrucelli’s THE ENTERTAINMENT REPORT at

Porter began his career writing about politics and the entertainment industry for Knight Newspapers and The Miami Herald. Today, he’s one of the most prolific biographers in the world. His portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, J. Edgar Hoover, Vivien Leigh, Laurence Olivier, Howard Hughes, John and Jackie Kennedy, Paul Newman, Merv Griffin, Steve McQueen, Marlon Brando, Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, and Michael Jackson have generated widespread reviews and animated radio and blogsite commentaries worldwide. Some of his biographies have been serialized to millions of readers in The Sunday Times of London and The Mail on Sunday.

Porter is also the well-known original author of many editions of The Frommer Guides, a respected travel guidebook series that’s among the most prominent and well-respected in the world.

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