Happy birthday to actor Rock Hudson, born Nov. 17, 1925 in Winnetka, IL. Rock Hudson had a prolific and highly successful career as an actor, but film noir is certainly not what comes to mind when assessing his body of work, which is understandable, considering the vast majority of his starring roles were in romances, dramas, and romantic comedies. When we think of Hudson, we recall films like Magnificent Obsession (1954), Giant (1956), A Farewell to Arms (1957), Pillow Talk (1959), Send Me No Flowers (1964), and the television series McMillan & Wife (1971-77), among many others. But in the early stages of his career, before he emerged as a heart throb and leading man, Hudson had a few brief encounters with the delightfully dark cinema we call film noir. Hudson decided to pursue an acting career after a stint in the Navy during WWII. After more than a year of struggling and making no headway, he finally landed a small part in the film Fighter Squadron (1948). For the next five years, Hudson continued to have bit parts in over two dozen films, while Universal International groomed him to be a leading man. Among these, were three noir films: Undertow (1949), One Way Street (1950) uncredited, and Shakedown (1950) uncredited. In 1951, he received second-tier billing and a considerably larger role in the noir drama, Iron Man (1951), with Jeff Chandler and Evelyn Keyes. That would be Hudson’s last encounter with film noir. In 1954, he emerged as a bona fide leading man in Magnificent Obsession and never looked back. Hudson appeared in over 65 films and television shows until his death of AIDS-related complications in 1985 at age 59.