If we’re being honest, HBO’s ‘Rock Hudson: All That Heaven Allowed’ is a documentary unlike any other owing to its candid insight into a legendary yet closeted actor’s life, career, and death. After all, it incorporates not just archival footage but also exclusive interviews to shine a light upon the way Roy “Rock” Fitzgerald led a double life right until his unfortunate 1984 AIDS diagnosis. Yet for now, if you simply wish to learn more about the two individuals to have consistently stood by him in every sense of the term — George Nadar and Mark Miller — we’ve got you covered.
Who Were George Nadar and Mark Miller?
Although not openly gay while serving in the entertainment industry in the period before the disco years, George and Mark never feigned connections with women to conceal their truth either. In fact, they kept their personal lives exceptionally private, especially once they got together during their 20s (in 1947) upon meeting while acting in a local play together and never separated. As for their bond with Rock; well, they first came across the actor in 1951, just for there to be such a spark they developed a deep friendship that lasted till the latter’s demise on October 2, 1985.
According to biographer Mark Griffin in the original production, this trio of Geroge, Mark, and Rock was “virtually inseparable” for 34 years: “Their bond is forged through, you know, things like a similar sense of humor and this tendency towards mischief. There’s also this shared misery of the closet. There are countless lovers, short-term boyfriends, and weekend flings that passed through Rock Hudson’s life. But the friendship with Nadar and Miller endured,” remaining platonic at every step of the way.
Even when George and Mark relocated to Germany for a few years in the 1960s for the former’s thriving career, their association with the California-based actor never wavered. In fact, once they had to return to Hollywood in 1972 with plans for the latter to do real estate while his partner did his best to serve as a writer despite battling glaucoma, their long-term pal intervened. He actually appealed to Mark to be his secretary as a way to not only guarantee the couple’s stability but also maintain their closeness as a trio, which he soon humbly accepted — this again lasted until 1985.
It thus comes as no surprise George and Mark were right there for Rock as he began declining owing to AIDS as well as untreatable lung cancer, the proof of which was in the former’s journal. That’s how we know the couple even got to have a proper farewell with him on April 6, 1985, with the former writing, “The three of us drove through Joshua Tree, where Rock had never been before.”
George continued, “On the way there, the old song “Mockin’ Bird Hill” came on. We all roared with laughter. Thirty years before, this song had been our favorite, and we sang in unison with the singer on the radio. By the time we finished, we were all in tears. Mark and I knew for sure Rock had come down to the desert… to say goodbye. Even if we see him again, this is still it,” and he was right.
George Nader Died of Illness While Mark Miller Died a Natural Death
Following 1985, George and Mark seemingly led relatively quiet lives in the home they’d built together in Coachella Valley, where they remained until their own deaths in 2002 and 2015, respectively. The former sadly passed away of cardiopulmonary failure, pneumonia, as well as multiple cerebral infarctions at the age of 80 on February 4, 2002 — though he’d been having health issues since 2001.
On the other hand, George’s loving partner of 55 years Mark Miller died in Palm Springs at the age of 88 on June 9, 2015 — the cause of his death hasn’t ever been specified, making us believe it was natural. As the last of his generation in the family, he was survived by merely nieces, nephews, and a myriad of friends he’d acquired during his time in California as a gay public figure; he and George had actually acknowledged their sexual orientation in the 1970s.
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