Stars Over Hollywood: Rock Hudson on OTR

By now I’m sure you’ve heard TCM has named Rock Hudson its Star of the Month for June.  The network will air 22 films in which the “most popular star on the planet in the late ’50s and early ’60s,” as described by Robert Osborne, appeared in.  Among the films scheduled to screen during the TCM Hudson festival is Raoul Walsh’s Fighter Squadron (1948), the actor’s film debut, Anthony Mann’s 1952 Western, Bend of the River and some of Hudson’s biggest hits.  As Osborne explains in the June Now Playing Guide, the films chosen to air every Thursday this month illustrate a range few give Hudson – the actor – credit for.  I’m really looking forward to this because there are several films scheduled I’ve yet to see.

Today I do my small part in spreading the word as far as Rock Hudson’s acting is concerned.  I’ve recently listened to two old-time radio shows starring Hudson that are terrific and I share them here in tribute.


In today’s day and age radio is an acquired taste particularly true of dramas on the medium, which require imagination, active participation from an audience used to being fed every morsel so that thinking is not required at all.  If you’ve visited Once Upon a Screen before you know how fond I am of old-time radio shows and share them here in hopes I may get a new fan to tune in now and again.  In any case, as I listen to these shows I’m often amazed at how fresh and new these talents “feel” despite the fact that in most cases I’ve admired the actors on the silver screen (or TV) for many years.  It’s a completely different experience.  This is the case with the shows I include here, which star Rock Hudson.  His voice was made for radio and he’s more than effective in portraying characters in this visual-less art.  I’m not discounting Hudson’s good looks, but just saying.  I hope you enjoy these as much as I did.

From December 26, 1953 Stars Over Hollywood presents “Anywhere, U.S.A.”  starring Rock Hudson, Jeanne Bates, Barney Phillips and Ted Bliss.

From October 12, 1954 Armed Forces Radio brings you The Hollywood Radio Theater presentation of “Great Expectations” starring Rock Hudson, Barbara Rush, Bill Conrad, Jeanette Nolan and Alan Reed


8 thoughts

      1. It’s one that lots haven’t seen; I’ve not seen it on DVD, youtube, or torrents, either. Very sad, as it’s very fun. it’s firmly in the “Haroun Al Rashid, the rightful Caliph” genre, which is just my kinda thing.

        I wish Rock Had had his own series or three on radio. He had such a great voice, and if guys like Bogart and Dick Powell(and Rex Harrison, and Glenn Ford, and…) did it, I think he would have done so well.

        1. I agree 1005! A big factor, though, is that by the time Rock came around radio was in severe decline replaced by TV for all intents and purposes by that point, as you know. Had he come up a decade earlier, I’ve little doubt he’d have had his own show.


  1. I’m thrilled he’s the star of the month, I love watching his films. Thanks for the heads up and for the radio clips too!

  2. I’ve always liked him, he can be a trifle stiff at times but for somebody who learned as they worked he did improve immensely as time went on, especially when he discovered his gift for comedy.

    There’s plenty to enjoy in the films they’re showing but I wish there were less of the usual suspects, no matter how good they are-Giant, Magnificent Obsession, his films with Doris Day, and showed some of his more obscure stuff. The Scarlet Angel, Iron Man, Never Say Goodbye and several others are ones that are shown far too rarely. My absolute favorite One Desire with Anne Baxter as a reformed gambling house queen and Julie Adams as a total bitch hasn’t shown up in years, hard to know why since its a Universal picture and most of the others showing on TCM are Universals too.

  3. I believe Rock Hudson is one of the most under-rated actors of the period. His classic movies like “Pillow Talk”; “Lover Come Back”; “Send Me No Flowers” with Tony Randell and Doris Day are pure classics and today over 50 later still stand the test of time flawlessly. I would have loved to see them do more films; as a trio they had the magic. Two more films you don’t often see, but i feel are just as great are “Come September” and “A Very Special Favor”. Like Gary Grant, Rock Hudson had the flair for romantic comedy and is one of the greats.

    Most people also forget Rock Hudson starred in the popular TV series “McMillan & Wife” which aired for over 5 years in the 70’s with Susan Saint James.

    I remember seeing somewhere (i could be wrong) a music record of Rock Hudson also. I only saw it once but never again. If you ever come across that, please add it here. He definitely had the strong voice to pull of radio without a doubt. Thanks for sharing these!

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