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Rock Hudson''s Lesbian wife

Outing Mrs. Rock Hudson: the obits after Phyllis Gates died in January omitted some important facts: Those who knew her say she was a lesbian who tried to blackmail her movie star husband%0D Advocate, The, Feb 28, 2006 by Robert HoflerPhyllis Gates, the former Mrs. Rock Hudson, died January 4 at age 80, and the Los Angeles Times commemorated her passing with an astonishingly long, 1,000-word, half-page obit a week later. (Would Katie Holmes ever get so much ink?) To read that and other newspaper whitewashes of her memory, you would have to believe that Gates was a loving Brokeback Mountain wife who had been duped into marriage by Rock's equally gay agent, Henry Willson.%0D %0D Times staff writer Dennis McLellan certainly did his research: He even dug up and read Gates's long-out-of-print 1987 memoir, My Husband, Rock Hudson, before writing his valentine to misguided hetero devotion.%0D %0D Strange, isn't it, how memories differ? Not one of the more than 200 people I interviewed for the biography The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson: The Pretty Boys and Dirty Deals of Henry Willson remembered Phyllis quite the way McLellan and other obit writers have.%0D %0D First off, every person I met who knew Gates called her a lesbian. Not straight, not bisexual, but lesbian.%0D %0D Even before she arrived in Los Angeles in 1953, Phyllis Gates had acquired something of a sapphic reputation on the other coast. "The story going around New York City was that she cruised the ports of Miami looking for Joe Carstairs," says Arthur Laurents. Carstairs, of course, was the famous cross-dressing heiress who spent her grandfather's millions (made in oil) on speed boats, island hideaways, and beautiful girlfriends.%0D %0D Gates always claimed that she met Rock Hudson innocuously: She was working in L.A. as secretary to Henry Willson, who also repped Natalie Wood and Tab Hunter. Then one day the king rooster of the agency walked in to carry her off to his nest in the so-called bird streets (they lived on Warbler Place) in the hills above Sunset Boulevard.%0D %0D Mark Miller tells another story. In 1953 he and his lover, matinee idol George Nader, shared a house in Studio City, and it was there that Hudson met Gates at a small party. She arrived with Hudson's then live-in boyfriend, Jack Navaar, with whom she'd just been to see a movie.%0D %0D So much for Gates being unaware of the Hollywood gay scene. In fact, she may have qualified as that rarest of species: the lesbian fag hag. According to actor John Carlyle, a Willson client, he and his boyfriend used to double-date with Rock and Phyllis on various weekend trips to Palm Springs, Calif., before they married in 1955.%0D %0D Acquaintances such as Broadway publicist Shirley Herz and literary agent Gilbert Parker recall conversations with Phyllis about her marrying the big gay Rock. "I think it will be fun," she told Herz.%0D %0D Maybe it turned into too much fun.%0D %0D "Phyllis had a double standard," Miller says of the marriage. That is: She could go out with women, but Hudson couldn't make it with men. Always the pragmatist, Phyllis feared that Hudson's homosexuality would be exposed and, in effect, derail her gravy train as Mrs. Star.%0D %0D That's what detective Fred Otash, in his 1976 book, Investigation Hollywood, calls the woman who hired him to surreptitiously tape conversations with her homosexual movie-star spouse on the eve of their divorce in 1958.%0D %0D In her autobiography, Gates leaves out any mention of secret tapes, but the bedroom conversations she recalls with Rock are nearly verbatim from the Otash book.%0D %0D [more at link]

by Anonymousreply 2401/31/2014


by Anonymousreply 108/02/2010

There's no way Phillis went into that marriage without knowing the score - it was all pre-arranged.

by Anonymousreply 508/02/2010

I don't think the "lesbian fag hag" is such a rare species.

by Anonymousreply 608/02/2010

I don't think dyke tykes/fruit flys are such a rare species.

by Anonymousreply 708/02/2010

[quote]She was on Larry King a few years ago before she died. The episode would have gotten bigger ratings if she'd been interviewed posthumously.

by Anonymousreply 808/02/2010

[quote]She claimed that Rock had no problems in bed with her. Larry kept asking her if he could perform with a woman, and she insisted he could. I remember that. She said how great he was in bed. And she acted so innocent and mystified that he called off the marriage and claimed to not know a thing about his "secret life".

by Anonymousreply 908/02/2010

"Los Angeles Times commemorated her passing with an astonishingly long, 1,000-word, half-page obit a week later. (Would Katie Holmes ever get so much ink?)"%0D %0D Are you not aware that obituraries are PAID for by the family of the deceased, or the deceased him/herself? That is, unless it's a very famous person.

by Anonymousreply 1008/02/2010


by Anonymousreply 1108/02/2010

When the wife tried to blackmail Rock, gossip columnist Liz Smith (world's oldest lesbian) turned over her whole incriminating file on Phyllis, who then promptly disappeared.

by Anonymousreply 1208/02/2010

Not long ago there was a story in the tabloids about how some straight couple was divorcing and the husband said in the divorce case that his wife was having an affair with Phyllis!

by Anonymousreply 1308/02/2010

Phyllis was not gay, she was one of the nicest people you would ever want to meet. This garbage was created by rock hudson's grunts, tom clark and mark miller who continued to say he wasn't gay and contracted aids from a blood transfusion.

by Anonymousreply 1402/24/2013

Those were quite different times back in the oppressive 1950's. These "marriages" were arranged, a gay man and a lesbian were often paired together as a "beard" to make the couple appear seemingly "normal" and heterosexual. This was essential back in the "Dark-Ages" for anyone in Hollywood to have a career that would survive and flourish. How ignorant and plain old "wicked" society was back then about anything involving sex or sexuality. To be seen as a confirmed homosexual back then meant being labeled mentally-ill, perverted, Un-American, a pedophile and a psychotic threat to the country ! Imagine a twisted world like that today. It is any wonder many gay men joined the priesthood to cover-up their homosexuality ! Many gay men and lesbians committed suicide and countless lives were destroyed. We as gay people have had our own "HOLOCAUST" not unlike the Jews in Nazi Germany or the blacks during slavery here in the U.S. All at the hands of the lousy Church and a paranoid and homophobic government at home. Times have changed....for the better for sure. However, we must continue to fight for full equality and thank those before us that paved the way for what the young generation takes for granted these days.

by Anonymousreply 1506/13/2013

r1 and r3 own this thread.

by Anonymousreply 1606/13/2013

[quote] Phyllis was not gay, she was one of the nicest people you would ever want to meet.

Barack Obama's not an Arab, he's a decent family man.

by Anonymousreply 1706/13/2013

[quote]Phyllis was not gay, she was one of the nicest people you would ever want to meet.

Are you telling us that gay people aren't nice.

by Anonymousreply 1806/13/2013

The American actor Rock Hudson, famous for a prominent Hollywood career in the 1950s and 1960s, was recorded confessing to his wife about his sexuality by a private detective she had hired in 1958.

Transcripts of the recording, posted by the Hollywood Reporter, reveal that Hudson’s wife, Phyllis Gates, confronted him about his sexuality decades before his death in 1985, when his being gay became highly publicised.

In the recorded conversation, Gates asks Hudson if he had told his therapist about his homosexuality, to which he responds, “I told him everything.”

Gates also grilled Hudson on his sexual performance, asking about his “great speed with me, sexually. Are you that fast with boys?”

Hudson replied: “Well, it’s a physical conjunction. Boys don’t fit. So, this is why it lasts longer.”

Gates goes on to reason with Hudson that being gay is “an emotional state” and “it’s up to the individual to grow out of it”.

“You told me you saw thousands of butterflies and also snakes,” she said “[A therapist] told me in my analysis that butterflies mean femininity and snakes represent that male penis. I’m not condemning you, but it seems that as long as you recognize your problem, you would want to do something about it.”

She accused Hudson of “picking up boys off the street” after they were married, to which Hudson retorted “I have never picked up any boys, other than to give them a ride.”

The recording was made at Gates’ request, unknown to Hudson, by private detective Fred Otash, once described by an interviewer as the “most amoral” person he had met.

Hudson, who starred in over 70 films before his death from AIDS-related illness, reportedly once seduced James Dean to win a bet against Elizabeth Taylor.

by Anonymousreply 1908/05/2013

I knew he was fucking her.

by Anonymousreply 2008/05/2013

How is his biopic coming along? Who is playing Rock? I think Armie would be perfect.

by Anonymousreply 2108/05/2013

Armie Hammer would indeed be a very good choice.

by Anonymousreply 2208/05/2013

"McMillan and Dyke"

by Anonymousreply 2308/05/2013

I'm bumping this up because I was remembering being in the Pines (Fire Island) in the 1980s (I'm female, and a friend had a time share). Some of the guys we hung out with had hung out with Rock Hudson. The number 1 anecdote was that he was a HUGE drunk. I didn't get any "I fucked Rock Hudson" stories (again, the 80's). I got - he drank himself insensible and we carried him out of the place.

Last year I read transcripts between himself and his faux (but legal) wife - some L.A. private investigator made them. What really stood out seemed to be an acceptance on both their parts that being homosexual was deviant and it was something Hudson ought to be working on fixing. She was asking him about sex, and sex with guys, but basically the operating premise was he knew that having sex with guys wasn't okay, and HE seemed to accept that premise, even if he wasn't inclined to do anything about it. It really bugged me that his "wife", Phyllis, was grilling him almost like a confessor trying to get someone to admit or confront sin, and he didn't tell her to get lost. Granted, he didn't seem to feel all that guilty, but the basic idea, that "isn't this something you should recognize, get help for, and renounce?" - he didn't dispute. And they thought they were in private.

by Anonymousreply 2401/31/2014
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