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As Rock Hudson In ‘Hollywood,’ Jake Picking Renders The Man Behind The Marquee


In the premiere episode of Ryan Murphy’s “Hollywood,” an aspiring actor named Roy Fitzgerald (played by Jake Picking) visits a gas station-turned-brothel called the Golden Tip in search of male companionship. Attempting to meet other gay men elsewhere, the character explains, is to risk being outed and thus blacklisted by the studio system.

Over the course of the next six episodes, Fitzgerald changes his name to Rock Hudson and lands a debut part in a movie ― all while being verbally and sexually abused by a Svengali-like manager, Henry Willson (Jim Parsons). By the season finale, Hudson finds the courage to denounce Willson’s exploits, go public about his sexuality and attend the 1947 Academy Awards on the arm of a screenwriter boyfriend, Archie Coleman (Jeremy Pope).

“Hollywood,” which debuted on Netflix last week, presents an alternate history of cinema’s golden age. It follows an ensemble of artists and industry moguls, including a director (Darren Criss) and the wife of a studio executive (Patti LuPone), pushing for on-screen diversity. Along the way, the limited series also reimagines the career trajectories of several legendary stars,…



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