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Actor Rock Hudson, apparently unresponsive to treatment in Paris,...

By
MICHAEL COLLINS

LOS ANGELES -- Actor Rock Hudson, apparently unresponsive to treatment in Paris, returned home today on a chartered 747 jet and was flown by helicopter to a hospital for further evaluation in his fight against the deadly disease AIDS.

Hudson returned to Los Angeles 'at his own request,' publicist Dale Olson said on the actor's arrival at International Airport. 'He'll feel more comfortable in his own environment.

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'He is a very sick man. I can't rate his chances. Only a doctor can answer that. Everyone is seriously worried,' Olson said.

The plane was on the ground for 50 minutes before Hudson, lying on a stretcher, was placed in a helicopter for the short flight to UCLA Medical Center.

The 59-year-old actor left American Hospital in Paris Monday and lay motionless on a stretcher as he was carried onto a chartered Air France Boeing 747 for the non-stop flight to California with an entourage of 10 people.

A spokesman said Hudson was diagnosed last year as having acquired immune deficiency syndrome -- a normally fatal ailment that destroys the body's ability to fight disease.

When he allowed spokesmen to announce last week in Paris that he indeed was suffering from AIDS, Hudson set off a wave of fear through much of the Hollywood movie colony, particularly among those who have worked with the former matinee idol in the past year.

He is the first celebrity known to have contracted the disease, 75 percent of whose victims are homosexual.

'He hopes that his acknowledging he has this disease may help the rest of the world,' Olson said.

Hudson's French publicist, Yanou Collart, said the actor returned to the United States because his condition was no longer 'compatible' with treatment with the drug HPA-23.

'Mr. Hudson's physicians in Paris decided that his current physical condition was not compatible with continuation of HPA-23 treatment, which would have required transfer to another Parisian hospital. His physicians consequently authorized his return to the U.S.A. where he will be cared for by Dr. Michael Gottlieb,' she said.

Collart said Hudson had been treated over a six-week period last September with the innovative drug, not yet available in the United States, that inhibits the virus from reproducing.

Olson said Hudson would receive 'further evaluation and treatment' at UCLA, adding that the star was 'fighting for his life' against AIDS.

Hudson went to Paris two weeks ago, reportedly the second time he sought treatment at the Institut Pasteur, which specializes in research into AIDS. But he collapsed at the Ritz Hotel July 21 and was taken to the American Hospital.

His Paris spokeswoman, Yanou Collart, said last week the actor had been diagnosed as suffering from AIDS a year ago, but told a news conference Monday that Hudson was not treated for AIDS at American Hospital.

Olson said fans from around the world had called the Paris hospital, as had President Reagan and such former co-stars as Doris Day, Elizabeth Taylor and Susan Saint James, with whom Hudson starred in the TV series 'McMillan & Wife.'

An airline official familiar with charter flights said it probably cost in the neighborhood of $250,000 for the 747, including the cost of flying the jumbo jet back to Paris without passengers.

Hudson appeared in more than 60 movies and received an Oscar nomination for his performance in the classic 'Giant.'

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