Actor Rock Hudson apparently considered going public about having AIDS nine months ago, but he was put off by a gossipy item in Parade magazine about an unnamed Hollywood star with the disease. The current Newsweek reports that the Hollywood community knew about the handsome, square-jawed actor's life style, but took special efforts to protect him.
The 59-year-old Hudson remained in "stable" condition yesterday in the American Hospital in Paris and there was a late report he might be moved to a French military hospital. According to the magazine, Hudson had a special guardian in his close friend, the acerbic comedian Joan Rivers. Ken Maley, a member of the San Francisco gay community and a friend of Hudson, said Rivers would invite Hudson to be a guest when she was hosting the "Tonight" show, and feed him the kind of teasing questions that would perpetuate his "macho" myth.
Maley told Newsweek that Hudson and friends often visited gay discos in San Francisco and the actor was seldom recognized. Once, he added, Hudson signed his own name at a private club and Maley asked if the actor really wanted to do that. He said Hudson shrugged and answered, "Why not?"
In Los Angeles yesterday, 3,800 people participated in a 10-kilometer walkathon that raised $630,000 for AIDS research. Actresses Ann-Margret and Eileen Brennan were among the celebrities taking part in the event.