Rock Hudson's sense of humor about himself was reflected even in his friends' memorial service for him this past weekend. They printed a program that included the actor's favorite movie line.
In the little-known "Taza, Son of Cochise," Hudson said to actress Barbara Rush, "Taza will help build Una's wickiup." Hudson classified the 1954 film as one of his more regrettable ones. "Movies like those never stop haunting you," he once said.
Also in the memorial program was his favorite saying: "This, too, shall pass."
The memorial, which began at sunset on Saturday in the rose garden at Hudson's home in Beverly Hills, Calif., was planned by producer Stockton Briggle, a close Hudson friend who directed him in the national tour of "Camelot." It was far from mournful. Actor John Schuck -- who worked with Hudson in "McMillan and Wife" -- and actress Constance Towers , the wife of U.S. Ambassador to Mexico John Gavin (who was not present), sang "My Cup Runneth Over With Love" and "Roll Up the Ribbons" from the musical, "I Do! I Do!" Hudson appeared in the musical with Carol Burnett, who spoke with great emotion at the memorial.
President and Mrs. Reagan, who were invited but could not attend, sent a telegram that was read at the gathering. "Rock's courage and candor in the final months of his life impressed us all," the telegram read in part. "We will miss him and wish him eternal peace."
"Everyone had a perfectly wonderful time," said one guest.
The mood Saturday evening contrasted with the more solemn tone late Sunday morning when Hudson's ashes were finally scattered on the Pacific Ocean in accordance with his wishes.
Thirty of Hudson's close friends boarded a yacht at Marina del Rey, Calif., and cruised out to an undisclosed location to deposit his ashes, and to sprinkle on the water roses and orchids from Hudson's greenhouse. The 23rd Psalm was read, and the group returned in silence to the shore.