Rock Hudson and his ‘Roommate’ Bob Preble in Rock’s Oldsmobile 88

Rock Hudson and fellow Universal Studios contract player Bob Preble with Rock’s Oldsmobile 88 in 1952 (note the initials “RH” monogrammed on the car door in pic two). Rock and Bob lived together in a one bedroom, one-bathroom apartment off Mulholland Drive in the Hollywood Hills between 1951 and 1954. Though they were depicted in fan magazines as straight roommates who “chased the ladies,” their relationship was in fact intimate and when Confidential Magazine started snooping around after Rock’s star ascended, Bob was sent packing and Hudson was hurriedly married off to his gay agent Henry Willson’s lesbian secretary Phyllis Gates.

They divorced after three years and Phyllis was handsomely financially compensated, as per the agreement originally brokered by Willson when the marriage was arranged, though the ex-Mrs. Hudson sent vaguely threatening letters to Rock for the rest of his life, alluding to “his secret getting out” and mentioning some pricey car she’d like to buy or trip she’d like to take, prompting Rock to cut her a check so she’d remain quiet; Phyllis’s letters were found in Hudson’s estate files after his death in 1985.

Though Preble’s career in Hollywood stagnated after he was forced out of the picture, he remained loyal to Rock and when Confidential offered him $100,000 in the 1950s to tell all, he admirably turned the offer down. H/T >

Oldsmobile Racing Division Member 1968 Vintage Men’s T-Shirt

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