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.