Rock Hudson is in a Paris hospital suffering from inoperable liver cancer, his publicist said in Los Angeles Tuesday.
“He has been in and out of a coma and it’s not possible to talk to him,” Dale Olson of the Rogers & Cowan agency said of the popular movie and television star.
Olson said that press reports suggesting that the 59-year-old actor is suffering from acquired immune deficiency syndrome were merely “speculation.” AIDS destroys the body’s immune system, leaving its victims vulnerable to other diseases.
As of late Tuesday, Hudson was “being tested for everything” at American Hospital in Paris, Olson said. Asked whether such testing included AIDS, Olson repeated: “Everything.”
The publicist said that Hudson’s secretary, Mark Miller, told him that specialists from Pasteur Institute in Paris have been “brought in and consulted.” Miller accompanied Hudson to Paris. The Pasteur Institute is a leading international facility in AIDS research.
Olson said Hudson was scheduled to see additional specialists today to determine if anything can be done to alleviate his condition.”
According to Dr. Rexford Kennamer, Hudson’s longtime physician in Beverly Hills, “the purpose of going (to Paris) was to go to the Pasteur Institute.”
Olson revealed that the actor collapsed at the Ritz Hotel in Paris Sunday night and was rushed to American Hospital.
“We’ve all known he wasn’t feeling well,” Olson said, “but none of us had known it was anything as serious as this.” He said the matter of AIDS was “never discussed. It never came up in conversation.”
Hudson was last seen by the media July 15 when he traveled to Carmel to participate with Doris Day, his “Pillow Talk” co-star, in a new cable television show entitled “Doris Day’s Best Friends,” featuring pet dogs and cats. Photographs showed a gaunt but smiling Hudson. The 6-foot-4 actor appeared to have lost a substantial amount of weight.
“He was very tired when he went there,” said Olson, who accompanied him to Carmel. “He (Hudson) said he had had a touch of the flu for up to 48 hours. That was at the press conference Monday afternoon. Monday night he slept very well. Tuesday and Wednesday he worked with Doris doing the show. He seemed fine, relaxed. He returned home Wednesday night. I saw him Friday and everything was fine. Then Friday night he told me he was going to Paris to have some tests. He didn’t say (why).
“ ‘I’m going to go to Paris to see why I’m so tired all the time,’ ” Olson said the actor told him. “Someone told him there was a terrific doctor there and he should go and see him.”
Hudson, whose career as a romantic leading man has spanned nearly four decades, has received most acclaim for his portrayal of a Texas rancher in the 1956 movie “Giant” opposite Elizabeth Taylor. In the 1970s he found a second career on television--six consecutive seasons as the police commissioner in “McMillan and Wife” and last season played a wealthy horse owner on “Dynasty.”
Nearly four years ago Hudson had quintuple bypass surgery. Last summer, in an interview with The Times, he pronounced himself fit as a teen-ager, although he appeared lean and somewhat tired. “I feel like a No. 1 teen-ager again,” he said in his Beverly Hills home. “I feel better than I ever felt before in my life.”