Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Rock Hudson: Once I Had A Secret Love

"He was a sweetheart," says Garlington, 77, a retired stockbroker. "I adored him." ...

Garlington was a young film extra when he first met Hudson in 1962.

"He was the biggest movie star in the world, and the rumors were that he was gay," he says. "So I thought, 'Let me get an eye on him.' I stood outside his cottage on the Universal lot, pretending to read Variety, which was probably upside down at the time. He walked out and down the street. He looked back once. That was it."

A year later, after Garlington had broken up with his boyfriend, he got a call from one of Hudson's friends, asking if he'd like to meet the actor. "I think he had me checked out," he says.

"I was scared to death," Garlington says of their first meeting at Hudson's mansion on Beverly Crest Drive in Beverly Hills. "Of course, he was 6-foot-4, a monster. He offered me a beer, but nothing happened. Literally. I was too scared. He said, 'Well, let's get together,' and we did."

"I'd come over after work, spend the night and leave the next morning," Garlington says. "I'd sneak out at 6 a.m. in my Chevy Nova and coast down the street without turning on the engine so the neighbors wouldn't hear. We thought we were being so clever."

The two went to move premieres together, but each brought a female date.

"Nobody in their right mind came out," Garlington says. "It was career suicide. We all pretended to be straight. Once we met Paul Newman and his wife [Joanne Woodward] at a premiere. He looked at me and smiled. I just read in his face – that maybe he knew Rock and I were together. We kind of laughed about it."

Hudson never had to ask him to keep their relationship a secret. "He assumed I would and I did," Garlington says. "He wasn't paranoid." ...


Lee Garlington, Rock Hudson's lover between 1962 and 1965, talks to People magazine.

PS And in case you're so daft you think this doesn't happen these days, Jonathan Groff come on down!

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