As mentioned yesterday, we believe that Rock Hudson — the first A-list Hollywood star to succumb of AIDS — was often an underestimated actor whose performances quietly buoyed many pictures.
Hudson’s career spanned almost four decades beginning in 1948 when the big Hollywood studios ruled. Later, in the Seventies, he was a big name television star in the McMillan & Wife series, later simply known as McMillan.
In yesterday’s quiz, undertaken as a tribute to Hudson, we’ve tried to emphasize the actor’s career.
So, herewith the answers to our Rock Hudson quiz. For the questions, please scroll down to Monday’s blog. Let’s find out how much you really know about Rock Hudson.
1) Answer: a), c), d) and e). All except Walter Pidgeon were nominated; Yul Brynner won for 1956’s The King and I.
2) Answer: b) 38. The movie was 1948’s Fighter Squadron.
3) Answer: b) False. Hudson liked and admired the old studio system. “The Studio took care of everything. They could get you a house, a car, airline tickets, special shoes,” he said. All you had to do was concentrate on your performance. There was no better method of training.”
4) Answer: Marilyn Maxwell and Claire Trevor. Hudson was certainly friendly with the others (although we are not certain about Mamie Van Doren) but remained closest to Maxwell and Trevor.
5) Answer: a) Mark Miller and George Nader. Both were friends with Hudson from the early Fifties on. He relied on both for friendship and advice.
6) Answer: All of the above. Hudson said he especially enjoyed making comedies as well sterner stuff such as John Frankenheimer’s 1966 thriller Seconds.
7) Answer: b) Shelley Winters. Hudson once said: “I got to learn from (Pillow Talk costar) Doris (Day)…talk about knowing your craft! If I have to do another comedy with, say, Shelley Winters, that’s hard labor. She’s not funny and thinks she is. She’s got a voice that goes right through you… To try to do a comedy with someone who has no conception of what comedy is — that’s a killer. But Doris knows.” (Yup, that’s Doris and Rock pictured above.)
8) Answer: There are conflicting stories about how the former Roy Scherer Jr. became Rock Hudson. The conventional wisdom is that his screen named was coined by the actor’s first agent, Henry Willson, a shady but powerful figure who routinely invented names for his charges (including Tab Hunter and Guy Madison). Another view is that the monicker was devised one alcohol fueled Sunday in 1947 by a group of the actor’s acquaintances. The new surname supposedly was picked out of the Long Beach, California telephone book.
9) Answer: Hudson got married because it was considered “good for his career.” The bride was d) Phyllis Gates, the secretary to agent Henry Willson. The marriage lasted a little less than three years until August 1958.
10) Answer: All except b) are correct. Hudson did not condescend to do TV. However, he expressed frustration with inept directors, lousy scripts and the high-pressure, fast pace of television production versus the more leisurely schedules of movie making.