Rock Hudson

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*[ PGW Catalog, ''The Man who Invented Rock Hudson''], an excerpt. Or search inside [ here]
*[ PGW Catalog, ''The Man who Invented Rock Hudson''], an excerpt. Or search inside [ here]
===Roy Harold Scherer===
Rock Hudson's father was Roy Harold Scherer born [[Jun 3]], 1899.  In 1924 Roy married Catherine "Kay" Wood and they had one child called then Roy Harold Scherer, Jr, but who would later be known as Rock Hudson.
It's unclear why he is called Raymond in the 1930 census, but his SSDI entry calls him Roy and biographers have since called him Roy as well.
When Rock Hudson was a small boy, Roy deserted the family and moved to California.  Meanwhile Kay started dating Wally FitzGerald.  They eventually married and Rock Hudson would now be known as Roy FitzGerald.  It was under this name that he was discharged from the U.S. Navy in 1946 and decided to relocate to California to persue his dream of being an actor.  At first he lived with his father in Long Beach, but after a short time he moved out.
Roy married thirdly Edith unknown who died shortly before he did.  Sara Davidson tells the story that Roy was mentally gone in his old age.  His last wife died and he thought she was sleeping, someone else determined that she had died.  Roy had an adopted daughter with whom he lived for a short time.  It's unclear if he died at her home.
====Primary documentation====
*[ 1930 New Trier, Cook County, Illinois] showing : "Raymond Scherer, 30, IL, married at age 24, Proprietor, Garage; Katherine, 30 IL/England/IL; Raymond H 4 1/12; Lloyd 23 brother, IL, Helper, Gas Station"
*[ Social Security Death Index] showing : "Edith Scherer born 18 Jul 1913, died Aug 1982, last residence Grants Pass, Josephine County, Oregon; SSN issued by Michigan"
*[ Social Security Death Index] showing : "Roy Scherer, born 3 Jun 1899, died Nov 1982, last residence Grants Pass, Josephine County, Oregon; SSN issued by California"
====Secondary sources====
* ''Rock Hudson, His Story'', by Rock Hudson and Sara Davidson; William Morrow and Company, New York. 1986 ISBN 0688064728 [ Buy it] at Amazon

Revision as of 01:23, 11 August 2007



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Rock Hudson was an American actor, born as Roy Harold Scherer, Jr in 1925 in Winnetka, Cook County, Illinois, the son of Roy Harold Scherer, Sr an auto mechanic, and his wife Katherine "Kay" Wood (d. 1977), who had just married the year before.

Kay was the daughter of James Wood and Mary Ellen unknown. Roy Sr left that family in 1932 and went to California. After Roy left, Kay started dating Wally FitzGerald who worked shoveling coal at the Winnetka Water Works. Kay and Wally married and he adopted Roy who became Roy FitzGerald.

Roy FitzGerald went to New Trier High School. Wally and Kay fought and he would beat her and Roy. They divorced, Kay married him a second time, and they divorced again when Roy was fifteen. Kay became a live-in housekeeper for a wealthy family. For several years they lived above Walgreen's Drug Store.

To California

"Roy Fitzgerald enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1943 and was shipped on the S.S. Lew Wallace, a Kaiser Liberty ship, to Samar, a sandy island in the Philippines." (My Story, p42) He was shipped home in 1946 and decided to go to California because his father, was living in Long Beach. He found a job driving for Budget Pack. In Long Beach, for the first time, he met men who were open about being gay. One of these was Kenneth G Hodge. "...Ken Hodge had worked in radio for many years, producing Lux Radio Theatre. Ken was thirty-six and Roy was twenty-one...he lived in a the Chateau Marmont, a building owned by his Aunt Bernadette." (My Story, p 43)

Roy and Kenneth met in the Summer of 1947, together they left Long Beach and moved to Hollywood where they shared a bungalow in the hills. Kenneth worked his contacts and threw parties to introduce his protege. At one of these, Roy met Henry Willson. Without Ken's knowledge, Roy contacted Willson, they signed a contract and Willson became his agent. A short time later, Kenneth moved back to Long Beach, alone. Davidson reports that "..Roy's first check, made out to "Roy FitzGerald" from Vanguard Films of Culver City is endorsed on the back "Roy FitzGerald, Pay to the Order of Rock Hudson, Kenneth G Hodge"

Hudson's first named role, according to Wikipedia was in [1] in 1948.


His mother died of a stroke in "...the fall of 1977."(His Story, pg 203)

Rock Hudson died of AIDS in the 1980s at his home in California.


Many articles have been writen about him, but many of the people swirling around him are shadows, whose lives are only illuminated in his presence. That is, all the articles mentioning them, only mention them in relationship to him. There are a few exceptions like his agent Henry Willson or the actor George Nader, who was one of his best friends for most of his life.

See also

Ancestry of Rock Hudson

Primary documentation

Secondary Sources

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