Release Day – December 3rd
SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE
The definitive biography of the deeply complex and widely misunderstood matinee idol of Hollywood’s Golden Age.
The embodiment of romantic masculinity in American film throughout the 50’s and 60’s, Rock Hudson reigned supreme as the king of Hollywood. As an Oscar-nominated leading man, Hudson won acclaim for his performances in glossy melodramas, adventure epics and blockbuster bedroom farces. Yet behind the suave and commanding star persona, there was an insecure, deeply conflicted and all too vulnerable human being. Growing up poor in Winnetka, Illinois, Hudson was abandoned by his biological father, abused by an alcoholic stepfather and controlled by his domineering mother. Despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Hudson was determined to become an actor. After signing with the powerful but predatory agent Henry Willson, the young hopeful was transformed from a clumsy, tongue-tied truck driver into Universal Studios’ resident Adonis. In a more conservative era, Hudson’s wholesome, straight-arrow screen image was at odds with his closeted homosexuality. Hudson was forever threatened with public exposure, not only by scandal sheets like “Confidential” magazine but by a number of his own partners. For years, Hudson dodged questions about his private life, but in 1985 the public learned that the actor was battling AIDS. The disclosure focused worldwide attention on the epidemic. Drawing on more than a hundred interviews with co-stars, family members, and former companions, “All That Heaven Allows: A Biography of Rock Hudson” finally delivers a complete and nuanced portrait of one of the most fascinating stars in cinema history.
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Mark Griffin is the author of a previous biography, “A Hundred or More Hidden Things: The Life and Films of Vincente Minnelli” (Da Capo Press). Griffin’s interviews, reviews and articles have appeared in scores of publications, including The Boston Globe, MovieMaker and Genre. He recently appeared in documentaries focusing on Gene Kelly and Judy Garland.