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Rock Hudson

Updated on November 17, 2012

My Personal Encounters with Rock Hudson

I haven't seen much about Rock Hudson on Squidoo, and I thought that I should add a little bit about a couple of real life encounters that I had personally with the man. I worked as an scenic artist for 25 years at most of the film studios in Hollywood at different times and had encounters with actors and actresses as co-workers on various films, and it sometimes made the work interesting.

Meeting Rock Hudson

by John N. Stewart

One day when I was working on an art project at Universal Studios, back in the late 1970's, I decided to visit the men's room, which was directly downstairs from our Scenic Art Department. I walked into the all white, tiled, room and went over to the sink to wash my hands, which were usually covered with paint. I had seen somebody standing at one of the urinals across the room, when I came in, but didn't pay any attention. Then I looked in the mirror and saw the man's profile and, low and behold, it was Rock Hudson. When he finished, he turned around and smiled, (I was probably staring, with a flash going through my mind that this was the star of "Giant", which I saw six times as a lad of 16). He asked: "How are you doing?". I stupidly said: "Fine, Rock!", and hurriedly dried my hands and left quickly, forgetting what my original plan was.

Several years later, I was on the new Zoetrope Studios lot, working as lead scenic artist on Francis Coppola's "One From The Heart". It was a special time in Hollywood, and there was a lot of excitement about this particular studio. Some thought it was reminiscent of Orson Welles' Mercury Theater acting ensemble from the 40's, and in fact, he was known to visit Zoetrope occasionally. Although Coppola's film was using most of the lot, they rented out empty stages. One of the productions that was renting space was "World War III", starring Brian Keith, Cathy Lee Crosby, Rock Hudson (as President Thomas McKenna). They had constructed the Oval Office on one of the stages. I had seen the set, but hadn't seen Rock. I invited my wife, Barbara Raymond, and sister Jane Belden, to lunch and was giving them a studio tour, when we spotted Rock walking towards us. He was on the lot making a TV film "World War III" at the time. My wife yelled "Hi Rock" and he stopped and we all had a nice 20 minute conversation. I was amazed at how friendly and pleasant he was. Turns out that Barbara and Rock had worked together on "Man's Favorite Sport" when she first came to town in the early 60's. She was a stand in for Paula Prentiss, Rock's co-star in this comedy/romance. They reminisced a bit, and we commented on how much my sister, Jane, looked like Doris Day. We all laughed, parted, and then ran down the street to have a wonderful lunch at a nearby Chinese restaurant.

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    • jnstewart profile image
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      John Norman Stewart 4 years ago from Cottonwood, CA

      @Monika Weise: Working for the studios had its perks. He was a very nice man. Thanks for coming by the lens. :)

    • Monika Weise profile image

      Monika Weise 4 years ago from Indianapolis, IN USA

      Wow, it is so cool that you got to meet Rock! My mom had a major crush on him.

    • jnstewart profile image
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      John Norman Stewart 5 years ago from Cottonwood, CA

      @MargoPArrowsmith: Hi Margo: Thanks for stopping by the lens. Appreciate the comment...:) John

    • jnstewart profile image
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      John Norman Stewart 5 years ago from Cottonwood, CA

      @littlelu lm: Thanks LittleLu: Appreciate your checking out the lens. John

    • jnstewart profile image
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      John Norman Stewart 5 years ago from Cottonwood, CA

      @grannysage: I worked as a scenic artist on several Michael Jackson videos but never directly met him. We could write a book: "Rest Room Encounters With The Rich and Famous" :) Thanks for checking out the lens. John

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      grannysage 5 years ago

      My husband has a similar story although the man at the urinal was Michael Jackson. He was in disguise at Magic Mountain but he recognized him.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Wow! How wonderful to meet him. He was my grandmothers favorite actor. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Wow! How wonderful to meet him. He was my grandmothers favorite actor. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story.

    • littlelu lm profile image

      littlelu lm 6 years ago

      Very cool story! lensrolling to my doris day movies lens and blessed :)

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 7 years ago

      Cool, thanks for sharing that with us