HOLLYWOOD -- Rock Hudson left the UCLA Medical Center in August knowing he was going home to die in the bedroom of his Beverly Hills mansion.
The first celebrity who publicly acknowlged he suffered from AIDS, Hudson was allowed visitors on days when he felt well enough. Among those who stopped by to cheer his last days were many of his co-stars in movies, on stage and in television.
'Every day his friends checked Rock's doctors to see if he was up to seeing visitors,' said Hudson's publicist, Dale Olson. 'He smiled and talked as if he were physically comfortable. Thank God Rock was never in any pain.'
Among the visitors were Elizabeth Taylor, Nancy Walker, Julet Prowse, Claire Trevor, Carol Burnett, Tab Hunter, producer Ross Hunter and Jack Scalia, who co-starred with Hudson in his last TV series, 'The Devlin Connection.'
His friends invariably reported that Hudson was in good spirits, although weak and losing weight. Many were appalled at his emaciated appearance.
With Hudson most of the time during his final days was his longtime friend and personal manager, Tom Clark.
Hudson left the UCLA medical center Aug. 25 after a stay of about a month, which followed a brief visit to Paris, where he sought -- but did not receive -- treatment with an experimental drug.
Besides his estate in Beverly Hills, where he died, Hudson spent some of his time after leaving UCLA medical center at a property he owned in Malibu.
Hudson was too ill to read the thousands of letters sent to him by fans and admirers and to send replies. But he did read books and watch movies.
'Rock loved to read, especially history and biography,' said Olson. 'Frequently when I stopped by to see him, Rock had a book propped up on the bed.'
One of Hudson's friends added that movie cassettes were brought in for him to watch and he enjoyed seeing old movies on TV. The friend also said Hudson had a healthy appetitie almost until the end.
Nurses were posted 24 hours a day in his rambling, earthquake-roof home. He was visited regularly, too, by his personal physician, Dr. Rexford Kennamer.
Hudson refused to be interviewed or to release statements until last month, when the AIDS Project Los Angeles Commitment to Life banquet was held. The event raised $1 million to fight the disease.
The actor's message, read at the banquet, was an impassioned plea to Americans for funds to fight AIDS.
Hudson, who was known to be homosexual but chose not to acknowledge publicly that he was gay, gave permission for a biographer to write his life story. But he did not actively participate in the writing of the book, which was still being prepared at the time of his death.