AS SEEN IN:
"Dynasty: The Making Of A Guilty Pleasure"
AS PLAYED BY:
In the early 1980s, following years of heavy drinking and smoking, Hudson began having health problems which resulted in a heart attack in November 1981. Emergency quintuple heart bypass surgery sidelined Hudson and his new TV show 'The Devlin Connection' for a year; the show was canceled in December 1982 not long after it first aired. Hudson recovered from the heart surgery but continued to smoke.
During 1984, Hudson's health grew worse, prompting different rumors that he was suffering from liver cancer, among other ailments, due to his increasingly gaunt face and build.
From December 1984 to April 1985, Hudson landed a recurring role on the ABC prime time soap opera 'Dynasty' as Daniel Reece, the love interest for Krystle Carrington (played by Linda Evans) and biological father of the character Sammy Jo Carrington (Heather Locklear). While he had long been known to have difficulty memorizing lines which resulted in his use of cue cards, on 'Dynasty' it was Hudson's speech itself that began to deteriorate. Hudson was originally slated to appear for the duration of the show's 5th season, however, due to his progressing illness, his character was abruptly written out of the show and died offscreen. Hudson had been diagnosed with HIV on June 5, 1984, but when the signs of illness became apparent, his publicity staff and doctors told the public he had inoperable liver cancer. It was not until July 25, 1985, while in Paris for treatment, that Hudson issued a press release announcing that he was dying of AIDS. In a later press release, Hudson speculated he might have contracted HIV through transfused blood from an infected donor during the multiple blood transfusions he received as part of his heart bypass procedure in 1981.
Hudson flew back to Los Angeles on July 31, where he was so physically weak he was taken off by stretcher from an Air France Boeing 747, which he chartered and upon which he was the sole passenger, along with his medical attendants. He was flown by helicopter to Cedars Sinai Hospital, where he spent nearly a month undergoing further treatment. When the doctors told him there was no hope of saving his life, since the disease had progressed into the advanced stages, Hudson returned to his house, 'The Castle', in Beverly Hills, where he remained in seclusion until his death on October 2, 1985 at 08:37 PDT.
"Rock Hudson's death gave AIDS a face."