In many ways, the death of Rock Hudson started the gradual movement of straight America into becoming more supportive of HIV/AIDS. It was certainly the turning point in the entertainment community. Just before he passed away, AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) had a huge dinner with a packed ballroom filled with celebrities because of the coverage surrounding Hudson's illness. . It was the organizations first million dollar event.
Rock Hudson was one of the 1950's and 1960's biggest movie stars. The 6'5" handsome star was also extremely popular in Hollywood. He had the reputation of being one of the nicest persons in the entertainment business. Hudson was a matinee idol for many women in the country while being closeted. Although many in the entertainment business knew of his personal life, very few of his fans were aware of his homosexuality until his diagnosis with AIDS.
In the 1970's he had one of the biggest hits on television for six years called "McMillan and Wife". He also in 1974 starred with Carol Burnett in Broadway's "I Do, I Do'. The actor was nominated for an Oscar for the movie "Giant" in 1956. Hudson also won four Golden Globe Awards.