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Rock Hudson winked at rumors about his sexuality in this classic rom-com

Welcome back to our queer film retrospective, “A Gay Old Time.” In this week’s column, we revisit 1959’s Pillow Talk, a rom-com that seemingly references the rumors that Rock Hudson was gay while attempting to prove he wasn’t.It’s not uncommon for an actor’s personal life to inform and sometimes even reflect the roles that they play throughout their careers. The persona that they build outside their movies (a problematic party girl, the beloved America’s sweetheart, the womanizing bachelor, the difficult-to-work-with diva) can sometimes give added context to their performances; either by leaning into them or subverting them completely.This is especially fascinating looking back at movie stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood, during an era when their public images were carefully curated to align with the studio system and the moral values of the time.

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