Phyllis Gates : biography
Phyllis Lucille Gates (December 7, 1925 – January 4, 2006) was an American secretary and interior decorator known for her three-year marriage to the actor Rock Hudson. The story of their marriage was depicted in the 1990 TV film Rock Hudson, starring Daphne Ashbrook (as Gates) and Thomas Ian Griffith (as Hudson).
- Gates, Phyllis (1987). My Husband, Rock Hudson, Doubleday, 232 pages. ISBN 978-0207157844
Marriage to Rock Hudson
Gates met Rock Hudson in October 1954. They started dating some time later and were married in Santa Barbara, California, on November 9, 1955, shortly after he finished filming Giant. Following a brief honeymoon in Jamaica, their marriage began to disintegrate. They separated in 1957, following rumors that Hudson had committed adultery while on location in Italy for the film A Farewell to Arms. The rumors were later confirmed by a close friend of Gates', who also revealed to her that the individual Hudson had the affair with was a man. The divorce was eventually finalized in 1958. In her autobiography, published after Hudson's death from AIDS in 1985, Gates wrote that she was in love with Hudson when they were married. She stated that she did not know Hudson was homosexual when they married, and that she was not complicit in his deception.
Gates later became a successful interior decorator. She died from lung cancer at her home in Marina del Rey, California, aged 80. She was survived by her sister Marvis Ketelsen and brother Russell Gates.
Gates was born in Dawson, Minnesota, and raised on a farm. Early in her life, she worked as a sales clerk in a department store, airline stewardess, and secretary for a New York City talent agent, before moving to Hollywood to work for the Hollywood talent agent, Henry Willson, who represented actors Rock Hudson, Tab Hunter and Rory Calhoun.
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