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Elizabeth Taylor snuck into the hospital to see Rock Hudson on his deathbed.
The legendary actress – who herself died from heart failure at the age of 79 back in 2011 – had struck up a friendship with her ‘Giant’ co-star Rock Hudson and rushed to his bedside with the help of his doctor Michael Gottlieb as he lay dying from AIDS at the age of 59 in in 1985.
Dr. Gottlieb Closer Weekly magazine: “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 ‘ Magnificent Obsession’ star was initially married to secretary Phyllis Gates during the 1950s in attempt to conceal his homosexuality – which was already an “open secret” in Hollywood – from the public but he was diagnosed with AIDS in early 1980s.
Dr. Gottlieb went on to explain that Hudson “understood” the implications of the disease and that after the actor’s death the physician and the ‘Cleopatra’ star became friends as a result of the tragedy and went on to raise funds for the research of AIDS and started a foundation together.
He added: “Rock understood the implications of having AIDS in those early days. He was calm and hoped for the best. [After his death], Elizabeth became a friend to me. Together, we started the American Foundation for AIDS research. Elizabeth was the most prominent person to come forward as an advocate. She had access to the White House and made a huge difference.”
Meanwhile, biographer Mark Griffin explained to the outlet that Elizabeth already had two gay friends who had died from the disease and that Rock’s diagnosis only “cemented” her activism.
He said: “Elizabeth had two gay assistants who died of AIDS early on in the crisis. Rock’s illness further cemented her determination to raise funds for research and treatment.”