The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson: The Pretty Boys and Dirty Deals of Henry Willson, Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 2005.
Contributor to periodicals, including the Los Angeles Times, Newsday, Premiere, and the Washington Post.
Robert Hofler is a journalist who has contributed to a number of national periodicals. Prior to becoming senior editor with Variety's Los Angeles office, he was based in New York covering theater for the publication. It was during this time that he put together his first book, The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson: The Pretty Boys and Dirty Deals of Henry Willson.
The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson tells the story of Henry Willson, a Hollywood talent scout who molded the careers of several 1950s actors, including Tab Hunter, Rory Calhoun, Guy Madison, Troy Donahue, and Chad Everett. While Hudson figures strongly throughout the book, Willson's life and work in Hollywood are the main feature. Topics range from how Willson lured young men into show business by including sexual favors to how he manipulated the media to create extra publicity through scandals. Chris Freeman, writing in the Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide, wrote that the book provides "fascinating insights into what it meant to be gay in Hollywood in the middle of the 20th century." Henry Goldblatt, however, commented that Hofler is "a decent researcher but a poor writer," in his review in Entertainment Weekly. Booklist reviewer Brad Hooper felt that The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson "is an important contribution to the behind-the-scenes history of the movie industry."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, September 1, 2005, Brad Hooper, review of The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson: The Pretty Boys and Dirty Deals of Henry Willson, p. 38.
Entertainment Weekly, October 14, 2005, Henry Goldblatt, review of The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson, p. 156.
Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide, January-February, 2006, Chris Freeman, review of The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson, p. 39.
Hollywood Reporter, September 19, 2005, Jerry Bartell, review of The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson, p. 34.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center Web site,http://www.gaycenter.org/ (December 15, 2005), author profile.
Variety.com,http://www.variety.com/ (April 10, 2006), author profile.