1965 May 28

FBI Investigates Actor Rock Hudson for “Homosexual Tendencies”


An FBI report indicated on this day that the Bureau was investigating film star Rock Hudson for “homosexual tendencies.” The investigation was one of many examples of how the FBI, under the direction of J. Edgar Hoover, spent untold numbers of hours on matters that did not involve any possible violations of federal law, as well as compiling secret files on individuals who were not suspected of violating any federal laws.

Rock Hudson died in 1985 as a result of AIDS-related illnesses, the first national celebrity to die because of the disease. It was widely believed that Hudson’s death prompted President Ronald Reagan to break his four-year silence and finally speak out publicly about the AIDS epidemic. Because Reagan was politically beholden to the Religious Right, which was opposed to homosexuality, his administration took no action on research or public health measures in response to the AIDS epidemic. President Bill Clinton hosted the first White House conference on the AIDS epidemic on December 6, 1995.

FBI spying on other entertainers, without any legal justification, included a report on a planned trip to Mexico by movie star Marilyn Monroe. See the March 6, 1962 FBI report. The FBI lab examined the rock and roll classic “Louie, Louie” to determine if the lyrics were obscene. The Bureau could not decipher the lyrics, however (May 20, 1964).

Read the new book: Douglas Charles, Exposing the FBI’s ‘Sex Deviates’ Program (2015)

Read Rock Hudson’s FBI file http://vault.fbi.gov/Rock%20Hudson

Watch a video on Rock Hudson’s death: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fXW41oxvV8

Learn more: Rock Hudson and Sara Davidson, Rock Hudson: His Story (1986)

Read: Douglas M. Charles, The FBI’s Obscene File: J. Edgar Hoover and the Bureau’s Crusade Against Smut (2012)

And more: Vito Russo, The Celluloid Closet: Homosexuality in the Movies (1987)

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