Elizabeth Taylor’s secret visit to see Rock Hudson on his deathbed


Elizabeth Taylor just wanted to see her friend Rock Hudson one last time before he died.

According to Hudson’s doctor, Michael Gottlieb, the “Cleopatra” actress was able to sneak into the hospital where the ailing actor was staying before he passed away from AIDS-related complications in October 1985 at the age of 59.

Gottlieb revealed how Taylor got in to see the “Pillow Talk” star on his deathbed — with the doctor’s sneaky assistance — in an interview with Closer Weekly, according to the Daily Mail.

“I picked Elizabeth up in my old station wagon and we managed to get in through a loading dock at the back of the hospital to see him,” the doctor recalled.

“Rock understood the implications of having AIDS in those early days,” he added about the era that “demonized” those with the disease. “He was calm and hoped for the best.”

Taylor and Hudson starred in the 1956 film “Giant” and became fast friends. Oscar nominee Hudson — whose last role was in the 1980s ABC series “Dynasty” — later was diagnosed with the debilitating disease just a year prior to his death.

Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson appear in a still photo for the 1980 film “The Mirror Crack’d.”
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Taylor founded the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) in 1985 to help fund research for HIV/AIDS.
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Liza Minnelli (from left), Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor pose for a photo during the 42nd Annual Golden Globe Awards in January 1985. Hudson died just nine months later in October 1985.
Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

The “Taming of the Shrew” actress and Gottlieb formed the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) the same year that Hudson passed, with their goal to bring more awareness to HIV/AIDS.

‘[After his death] Elizabeth became a friend to me,” the physician continued. “Elizabeth was the most prominent person to come forward as an advocate.” 

“She had access to the White House and made a huge difference,” he added.

The “Pillow Talk” star’s biographer, Mark Griffin — who wrote the book “All That Heaven Allows: A Biography of Rock Hudson” — told Closer that Taylor already knew men who passed away from the disease, and Hudson’s prognosis solidified her advocacy.

“Elizabeth had two gay assistants who died of AIDS early on in the crisis,” Griffin said. “Rock’s illness further cemented her determination to raise funds for research and treatment.”