Elizabeth Taylor’s Touching Goodbye to A Dying Rock Hudson

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The death Rock HudsonIt was a difficult time for the entire world. In 1985, the charismatic leader died from AIDS. Elizabeth TaylorAs he was dying, we said a heartfelt goodbye. Here’s what happened.

Friends For Decades

Taylor and Hudson were both already stars by the middle of the 1950s. She was a child actress turning toward progressively more serious and meaty roles, while Hudson became a star thanks to 1954’s Magnificent Obsession. In a screen-capture, their paths cross in Giant.

James Dean died in 1956 after making the 1956 Western. The film was a critical darling and was Warner Brothers’ most lucrative film until Superman. It received nine Academy Award nominations including one for George Stevens.

Hudson and Taylor would only be able to work together again: The 1980 ensemble mystery The Mirror Crack’d. Angela Lansbury, Tony Curtis and Kim Novak were also part of the cast. The cast included Angela Lansbury, a young Pierce Brosnan, Tony Curtis and Kim Novak. Knives Out-esque cast is impressive, it didn’t make an impact at the box office.

Although they only worked together for a short time, Hudson and Taylor were close friends throughout their lives. Both were frequently photographed together at Awards shows and dinners. Taylor knew the truth about Hudson’s homosexuality but helped him shield it from a leering public.

Deathbed Visit

Husdon contracted HIV from his doctor in June 1984. His health continued to decline. He was diagnosed with AIDS one year later. Within months, he was receiving hospice treatment.

Interview with Closer, Hudson’s doctor Michael Gottlieb discussed Taylor’s final visit Hudson. Taylor had to be snuck in through the backdoor. Gottlieb explains, “I picked Elizabeth up in my old station wagon and we managed to get in through a loading dock at the back of the hospital to see him.”

His Honor, Work in His Honor

Taylor endured all the pain to be able to say good-bye to Hudson. Two of her assistants had already succumbed to AIDS, and Hudson’s death directly led to her becoming a vocal advocate for folks with AIDS.

Taylor, Dr. Gottleib and Taylor co-founded The American Foundation for AIDS Research and the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. In her last years of life, Taylor was a dedicated philanthropist and helped raise over $270 million to support research. She used her fame to influence Ronald Reagan to make the first public mention of the disease. It’s deeply touching to imagine Taylor rushing to Hudson’s side at the end of his life, and devoting the rest of hers to his memory.

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