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All That Heaven Allows: A Biography of Rock Hudson

All That Heaven Allows: A Biography of Rock Hudson

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By: Mark Griffin

The definitive biography of the deeply complex and widely misunderstood matinee idol of Hollywood’s Golden Age—soon to be a major motion picture.

The embodiment of romantic masculinity in American cinema throughout the 1950s and ’60s, Rock Hudson reigned supreme as the king of Hollywood. The star of Giant and Pillow Talk was worshipped by adoring fans and beloved by all who worked with him. The quintessential matinee idol made movie love to Elizabeth Taylor and Doris Day, jetted between exotic film locations, and hosted A-list parties in his sprawling mansion.

Wherever he went, Rock Hudson made headlines, though much of what has been written about him has either been incomplete or unreliable. Here, at last, is the definitive biography of one of the most fascinating stars in cinema history. Featuring interviews with Carol Burnett, Joel Grey, Piper Laurie, Jack Scalia, Claudia Cardinale, Armistead Maupin, Arlene Dahl, and Robert Osborne, All That Heaven Allows includes new insights from friends, family members, and former partners. With unprecedented access to private journals, personal correspondence, and production files, biographer Mark Griffin tells the icon’s complete story.

All That Heaven Allows reveals that keeping secrets was a way of life for Rock Hudson. As a child, he silently endured parental abandonment and abuse. As a young man, he had some of his first same-sex encounters while serving in the Navy. Although fraught with risk, Hudson’s gay affairs would continue even after he achieved stardom. In a more conservative era, Hudson’s homosexuality was thought to be at odds with his straight-arrow image. While careful to keep his male companions out of the spotlight, Rock was continuously threatened with public exposure, not only by scandal sheets like Confidential but by a number of his own partners. Then, in 1985, came a shocking announcement: Hudson was battling AIDS. At the end of his life, the actor would assume his most important role, transcending his own celebrity by becoming the face of a global pandemic. In addition to providing new details concerning Hudson’s troubled relationships with wife Phyllis Gates and boyfriend Marc Christian, Griffin presents compelling evidence that Hudson may have fathered a child during his Navy days.

More than thirty years after his death, Rock Hudson’s story—sensational, heartbreaking, and courageous— has finally been told in All That Heaven Allows.



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