Rochelle Hudson

A Biography and Career Record


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About the Book

Rochelle Hudson’s career as an actress was planned from the start (born in 1916) by her ambitious stage mother. Given rigorous dance and musical training as a child, Hudson won her first film contract at the age of 14. A WAMPAS Baby Star in 1931, she co-starred with actors such as W.C. Fields, Henry Fonda, Claudette Colbert, Will Rogers and Fredric March in classic films like Imitation of Life (1934) and Les Misérables (1935). But within a few years, she was stuck in B movies and frustrated. Stepping away from Hollywood, Hudson worked as a realtor and a rancher, and even did wartime espionage work for the Navy. She continued acting occasionally, in Rebel Without a Cause (1955), the TV sitcom That’s My Boy (1954-55), and the campy horror film Strait-Jacket (1964). A timeless beauty, she was married (and divorced) four times before her untimely death in 1972 at age 55. Drawing on personal papers, interviews with family and friends and genealogical research, this first account of Rochelle Hudson’s life and work depicts a talented and outspoken woman who built a successful career on her own terms. The annotated filmography provides synopses, critical commentary and reviews for nearly 60 feature films.

About the Author(s)

David C. Tucker is the author of numerous books about classic film and television history. A retired public library administrator, he lives just outside Atlanta, Georgia.

Bibliographic Details

David C. Tucker
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 218
Bibliographic Info: 41 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8950-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4799-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Preface 1
Rachael Elizabeth 5
Baby Star 11
“It Stinks” 17
The Men in Her Life 26
TV and Movie Mom 39
Final Act 47
Major Film Roles 51
Minor Film Roles and Short Films 183
Animation and Voice Work 185
Radio Performances 187
Television Performances 188
Guest Appearances 193
Chapter Notes 199
Bibliography 205
Index 207

Book Reviews & Awards

“David C. Tucker, who has already authored several superior book studies on show business personalities gives his subject grade A treatment in Rochelle Hudson: A Biography and Career Record. He has really done his research on this talented lady…This book is highly recommended!”—James Robert Parish, author of The RKO Gals