The 1950s heartthrob refused to open his mouth during the scene shot in 1984 for the iconic TV series and used several kinds of mouthwash to try and disinfect himself.
Despite repeated takes he did not give her the kind of passionate on-screen kiss he was known for, according to All That Heaven Allows – named after the classic film with Jane Wyman – which had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Evans broke down in tears in the upcoming documentary All That Heaven Allows, which had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival last weekend.
In the film Evans breaks down in tears as she says that only later did she realize that Hudson was ‘protecting me’ as best he could, as nobody knew how AIDS was transmitted at the time.
SEE VIDEO OF THE KISS BELOW:
‘All That Heaven’, directed by Stephen Kijak, re-examines the life of Hudson, who became a matinee idol for hit films like Pillow Talk in 1959 opposite Doris Day.
He was the Tom Cruise of his day but he hid a secret about his sexuality that he was unable to be open about at the time due to widespread homophobia.
It was only with his AIDS diagnosis, which he made public shortly before his death in 1989 aged 59, that he tacitly acknowledged that he was gay.
‘All That Heaven’ reveals the pirate diaries of Hudson’s close friend George Nader who, along with Mark Miller, stayed loyal to him for decades until his death.
Hudson was diagnosed with AIDS in June 1984 and Nader’s diaries give a searing account of how it affected his inner circle.
On May 31, 1984, Nader wrote: ‘Mark called at 7am. Something (was) seriously wrong. Nancy Reagan sent photos from the dinner party with a note saying Rock must have that pimple on his neck checked. Mark insisted Rock go to the doctor immediately’.
The dinner party in question appears to have taken place at the White House – photos showed him posing with Nancy and Ronald Reagan, who was President at the time.
One June 5 1984, Nader wrote that Miller called and said Hudson told he had AIDS and possible cancer and had just had a lymph gland removed’.
After being told to keep the news quiet, Nader wrote: ‘Who the hell am I going to call?
Dr. Michael Gottlieb, the immunologist and pioneering AIDS researcher, told the film that after he saw Hudson he sent him to France to participate in an experimental trial of a drug which could have saved him.
But despite his health problems, Hudson agreed to shoot several episodes of Dynasty, saying at the time he thought it was a ‘great show’ and he wanted to be part of it.
His visible weight loss became the talk of the set – and the tabloids.
Evans tells the documentary that Hudson looked ‘so much thinner’ than she was used to when they shot their scenes, while a producer thought he had lost at least 5lbs.
One of Nader’s diary entries from December 19 1984 said that Hudson looked ‘bad, very bad’ in some of the shots because of the loss of weight.
The show aired the following February and in a diary entry Nader told of his terror at watching it.
On February 5th 1985, Nader wrote: ‘Tonight: Dynasty and we get to watch Rock give Linda Evans a dose of some virus in a kissing scene.’
Nader described the scene as a ‘horror’ akin to ‘watching somebody receive a possible lethal injection’.
He wrote: ‘Rock returned from work the day they shot the kiss scene and said this has been the worst day of my life. I used every type of mouthwash known to man. An awful day. He said I kept my mouth closed’.
Evans tells the film: ‘When we had that scene with the kiss, it didn’t turn out like they wanted.
‘Nobody knew quite what to do. I knew he could deliver that kiss.
‘The director did it over and he did it (the same thing) consistently’.
In tears Evans, now 80, says: ‘It makes me cry because I know he was protecting me. At the time I was confused. Thinking back, part of the reason I get so upset is that he was doing everything he could for me because nobody knew in those days about that. It breaks my heart, even now’.
After Hudson’s diagnosis was made public, Evans said that people refused to work with her because they were worried she had AIDS.
Friends would not even come over for dinner because they were so paranoid about catching it.
As Hudson’s condition worsened he went back to Paris to continue treatment, but he began to deteriorate.
‘All That Heaven’ says that once it became clear he had AIDS the hospital which was treating him ordered him to leave.
Hudson could have continued treatment at another hospital but it would have needed the intervention of the Reagans to make it happen.
Despite their friendship they refused and ‘All That Heaven’ suggests it was to appease the evangelical voters who backed Reagan’s Presidential campaign.
Lying in his hospital bed, Hudson approved his French PR to deliver a message to the media that he had AIDS.
He told her: ‘If that’s what they want, go and give that to the dogs. God what a way to end a life’.
Hudson spent his final days at his home in Beverly Hills, but before doing so he had to spend $250,000 of his own money to charter a plane – because no airline would take him.
All That Heaven Allows will be streaming on HBO on June 28th.