Legendary Hollywood publicist Dale Olson has died at age 78. Olson is best remembered as the publicist who guided Rock Hudson through the media firestorm that erupted when the '50s idol was at first rumored and then confirmed to have AIDS. He was also known for his fabulous parties and tireless work ethic, two things that, combined, helped Sally Kirkland receive a much-deserved nomination for Best Actress for her work in the film Anna.
7 posts categorized "ROCK HUDSON"
A Bonhams auction taking place June 24, 2012, will offer a large number of the personal effects of Rock Hudson. Martin Flaherty had been sitting on these for years, then launched a site to sell them but now seems to be exploring the auction route. Among the items, a group of papers relating to the closeted Hudson's divorce from his lesbian beard, Phyllis Gates. Would be fun to own that.
With thanks to Andy: Martin Flaherty, a man who inherited most of Rock Hudson's belongings, has put together an extensive Web site as well as a fanbook that is said to be unbelievable, dripping with minutiae to satisfy even the biggest Rockhead.
His site sells Rock's stuff—click here for a quick peek that might easily meld into browsing for hours. It's got incredible, everyday items of Rock's, as well as the personal effects of Rock's close friend, actor George Nader. We're talking about Nader's bronzed baby shoes and photos of his great-great grandparents.
And talk about pop eating itself—the site even offers Rock's fan mail for sale. Would be interesting to buy some letters and contact the authors to see what they've been up to for the past 40 or 50 years, if not decomposing.
And don't get me started on Rock Hudson's home movies (remember the movie of the same name?), which are also up for grabs.
In case you're thinking "how sad!", Flaherty says:
"It would have given both Rock Hudson and George Nader great pleasure to know that their personal possessions were now available to their fans."
Check out Flaherty here on The Will: Family Secrets Revealed, which includes recreations of Rock's life with Marc Christian that exquisitely filmed but beyond campy. (The actor portraying Christian is sexy but miscast—far too old.) Who knew Susan Stafford was one of Rock's besties?
I thoroughly enjoyed viewing this newly-released video from GLAAD of Dame Elizabeth Taylor accepting her Vanguard Award in 2000. Kristen Chenoweth (not a dame...yet!) will accept the same award in L.A. on April 10. ET says she was "tickled pink" to be receiving her first award from a gay organization. She also says:
"All of my life I've spent a lot of time with gay men—Montgomery Clift, Jimmy Dean, Rock Hudson—who were my colleagues, co-workers, confidantes, my closest friends, but I never thought of whom they slept with, they were just the people I loved. I could never understand why they couldn't be afforded the same rights and protections as all of the rest of us. There is no gay agenda—it's a human agenda."
I'm still not over it. Video after the jump...
I own dozens of biographies; they're my favorite kind of book to read, and increasingly, due to the decreasing amount of time on my hands, they're becoming the dominant type that I actually get through.
The best biographies are the ones on subjects about whom I thought I knew everything, but about whom I learn something new on virtually every page.
I recently found a bio that I enjoyed in this way—Sal Mineo: A Biography (Crown, $25.99) by Michael Gregg Michaud, about the late actor and one-time teen heartthrob Sal Mineo. Mineo rose to fame as the tragic Plato in Rebel Without a Cause, briefly became a singing idol, had uneven success as a dramatic actor and was brutally stabbed to death 35 years ago today during a botched robbery while he was in the middle of a potential professional comeback.
Mineo is now something of a gay icon; he never came out (he died in 1976), but his homosexuality was the worst-kept secret in Hollywood and common knowledge among at least some of his fans.
One thing I found so compelling about Sal Mineo: A Biography was Michaud's unsensational approach, which is hard to do while at the same time confirming Mineo, who was close pals with David Cassidy, fucked Bobby Sherman.
Despite these tidbits and despite Mineo's sexual kinks (he apparently harbored a fetish for briefs and seemed to be especially attracted to barely legal/barely illegal types), his life is recounted in a firmly matter-of-fact way that starts out feeling a bit cut-and-paste in its rigorous detail but that quickly becomes diaristic. Is it possible to write someone else's diary for him? Because I felt every aspect of Mineo's life had been explored and recorded, presenting a full picture of a thoughtful, iconoclastic, troubled, loving man bursting with creativity and ambition.
In his pursuit of the whole story on Mineo, Michaud spent years persuading the late icon's two most important intimates—actors Jill Haworth (left, who created the role of Sally Bowles in Cabaret on Broadway and who died of natural causes last month unexpectedly) and Courtney Burr. Thanks to winning their trust, Mineo's life is captured with the help of his most important male and female lovers, and not with the breathless adulation of a fan or the judgmental cynicism of a skeptic. In that regard, it's a "bi"-ography unparalleled by any others I've read.
Mineo daringly posed fully nude in the early '60s for Harold Stevenson's The New Adam
The book is also a fascinating look at a gay man's mid-life reassessment of his purpose, and a heart-breaking reminder to leave nothing undone and to regret nothing one's done.
I reached out to the author with some questions and he kindly found the time to reply. Keep reading for the full Q&A...