Rock Hudson was one of the most popular movie stars of his era, and if you’re wanting to know about him, his height might be near the top of your list of questions. If not, it should be, because the answer is pretty impressive!
Rock Hudson was around 6 foot 5 inches (1.96 meters) tall, which is tall even for a Hollywood actor. While it was his talent that truly gave him fame on the silver screen, his height is undoubtedly an interesting characteristic that has left many fans curious.
Just watching Rock Hudson in movies will tell you that he was a tall guy, but a lot of people want to know more – like his actual height, his weight, and how old he was when he died. Let’s get started!
How Tall Was Rock Hudson?
Standing somewhere around the 6 foot 5 inches mark, Rock Hudson was something of a giant, both figuratively and literally. Given that the average American man is only about 5 foot 8 inches (1.73 meters), Rock Hudson would have been well over half a foot taller – almost a full foot taller.
That’s pretty incredible, and undoubtedly contributed to his fame. His image was that of the handsome, attractive hero, and being tall would have been a considerable asset. He was tall even for a Hollywood actor; they have an average of around 5 foot 10 inches (1.78 meters), meaning he’s still over half a foot taller.
Some people stated that Rock Hudson was taller than the estimates he gave, and stood at around 6 foot 6 inches (1.98 meters). This is possible, as Rock Hudson at times expressed the sense that he was “too tall,” suggesting he might have understated his height.
And being so tall might have presented some challenges when it came to filming and framing the camera angles around him effectively, but it will also have added to his appeal among the audiences, and may be a small part of the reason he found so much fame and success.
Of course, the main reason was his acting prowess! His career spanned more than thirty years, and he appeared in many prestigious movies, including things like Giant, Written on the Wind, Sayonara, Pillow Talk, and more.
How Successful Was Rock Hudson?
Considered one of the biggest stars of his day, it’s safe to say that Rock Hudson was a successful guy indeed. He did well in both films and television, although he had some difficulty in his early days as an actor, as he struggled to memorize lines effectively. With only one line in his first film, Fighter Squadron, he needed 38 takes to get it right.
However, he stuck at it, and in 1952, he became the lead of Scarlet Angel, and then the star in The Lawless Breed in 1953. These and a few other movies pretty quickly established him as a major actor, aided by his good looks and talent.
He appeared in many very successful movies, and he was voted the most popular star in 1959. In subsequent years, he was voted the second or third most popular star.
It should be noted that he did experience some career decline in the later part of the 1960s, however. He continued to appear in films and TV series, but he had a few disasters, including Strange Bedfellows and A Very Special Favor.
It wasn’t until the 1980s that his declining health began to take a toll on his ability to act, and saw shows being pushed back or canceled. A heart attack led to heart surgery, but the star continued to smoke, and his health deteriorated.
How Old Was Rock Hudson?
Rock Hudson was just 59 when he died, and he was the first major celebrity to die from an AIDS-related illness. He had kept his illness a secret for a long time, and even as his health failed, his publicist continued to deny that the illness was related to AIDS.
However, it was soon confirmed that he did have AIDS, and despite ongoing medical treatment in various countries, he died in 1985. His death triggered a lot of discussion about his homosexuality, and many celebrities came out in support of him, saying that they had known and chosen to keep his secret for him.
His death also drew a lot of attention to and sympathy for the plight of AIDS sufferers, and although very sad, it probably helped many people – something that Rock Hudson himself had said he was happy about, even though he was unhappy that he was sick.
Many people made monetary contributions toward AIDS research and support for sufferers, and just after his death, Congress dedicated over $200 million to finding a cure for the disease. Although the stigma continued, Hudson’s condition certainly did much to change opinions surrounding the disease.
How Much Did Rock Hudson Weigh?
Throughout much of his life, Rock Hudson weighed about 215 lb (95 kg). He lost a lot of weight during his illness, however, and was around 126 lb (57 kg) by the time he died.
What Was Rock Hudson’s Real Name?
Born Roy Harold Scherer Jr., Rock Hudson was then given his adoptive father’s surname of Fitzgerald when he was a child, although this was unwilling on Roy’s side, as he did not get along with his adoptive father and wouldn’t have taken his name if he had been given the option.
When he began working with Henry Willson, a talent scout, Willson changed his name to Rock Hudson, supposedly after the Hudson River and the Rock of Gibraltar. Interestingly, the actor reportedly had a deep dislike for the name, but continued to use it throughout his career.
As you can see, Rock Hudson was a very tall actor, who did extremely well as a film star in the Golden Age of Hollywood. However, he had many difficulties to contend with, including a lack of self confidence, a poor memory for lines, and being homosexual at a time when such practices were deeply frowned upon.