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

Elizabeth Taylor just wanted to see her boyfriend Rock Hudson one last time before he dies.

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 died of AIDS-related complications in October 1985 at the age of 59.

According to the Daily Mail, Gottlieb revealed in an interview with Closer Weekly how Taylor was able to see the “Pillow Talk” star on his deathbed – with the doctor’s underhanded help.

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

“Rock understood the impact of AIDS in those early days,” he added of the era that “demonized” people with the disease. “He was calm and hoping for the best.”

Taylor and Hudson starred in the 1956 film Giant and quickly became friends. Oscar-nominated Hudson – whose last role was in the 1980s ABC series Dynasty – was later diagnosed with the debilitating condition just a year before his death.

Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson appear in a still for the 1979 film The Mirror Crack'd."
Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson appear in a still for the 1980 film The Mirror Crack’d.
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Elizabeth Taylor
Taylor founded the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) in 1985 to fund research into HIV/AIDS.
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Liza Minnelli, Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor pose for a photograph during the 42nd Annual Golden Globe Awards in January 1985. Hudson died just nine months later in October 1985.
Liza Minnelli, Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor pose for a photograph 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 founded the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) the same year Hudson died, with the goal of raising awareness of HIV/AIDS.

‘[After his death] Elizabeth became a friend to me,” the doctor 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 has known men who have died from the disease, and Hudson’s prognosis supports hers Advocacy.

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

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