Phyllis Lucille Gates
(December 7, 1925 - January 4, 2006) was an American secretary and interior decorator notable for her three year marriage to the actor Rock Hudson.
She was born in Dawson, Minnesota and raised on a farm. She was employed as a secretary to the Hollywood talent agent, Henry Willson when she met Rock Hudson in October 1954. They started dating several days later and were married in Santa Barbara on November 9, 1955, shortly after he finished filming Giant
(1956). It is generally accepted that the marriage was arranged by Hudson's agent in an attempt to prevent press revelations that Hudson was gay. In her autobiography, published after Hudson's death from AIDS in 1985, Gates claimed that she was not complicit in the deception and did not know Hudson was homosexual when they married, and that she only became aware of his true sexual orientation after they were married.
However, after her death, press articles appeared saying she was a [[lesbian]] who was complicit in the deception. No conclusive proof has been definitely established regarding her knowledge or motives, and speculation continues.
Following a brief honeymoon, the marriage began to disintegrate. They separated following rumors that he had committed adultery while on location in Italy for the film A Farewell to Arms
in 1957. These were confirmed by a close friend of hers, who also revealed to her that the individual Hudson had the affair with was a man, and the couple was divorced in 1958.
She later became a successful interior decorator. She died from lung cancer at her home in Marina del Rey, Los Angeles aged 80.