Rochelle Hudson

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Rochelle Hudson
Rochelle Hudson promoting Show Them No Mercy (1935)
Rachael Elizabeth Hudson

(1916-03-06)March 6, 1916
DiedJanuary 17, 1972(1972-01-17) (aged 55)
Years active1930–1967
Harold Thompson
(m. 1939; div. 1947)

Dick Irving Hyland
(m. 1948; div. 1950)

Charles K. Brust
(m. 1956; div. 19??)
Robert L. Mindell
(m. 1963; div. 1971)

Rochelle Hudson (born Rachael Elizabeth Hudson;[3] March 6, 1916 – January 17, 1972) was an American film actress from the 1930s through the 1960s.[1] Hudson was a WAMPAS Baby Star in 1931.

Early years[edit]

Hudson was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the daughter of Ollie Lee Hudson and Lenora Mae Hudson.[1] While in Oklahoma, she studied dancing, drama, piano, and voice. She began her acting career as a teenager, and completed her high school education at a high school on the Fox studios lot.[3]


Hudson signed a contract with RKO Pictures on November 22, 1930, when she was 14 years old.[4]

She may be best remembered today for costarring in Wild Boys of the Road (1933), playing Cosette in Les Misérables (1935), playing Mary Blair, the older sister of Shirley Temple's character in Curly Top, and for playing Natalie Wood's mother in Rebel Without a Cause (1955). During her peak years in the 1930s, notable roles for Hudson included Richard Cromwell’s love interest in the Will Rogers showcase Life Begins at 40 (1935), the daughter of carnival barker W.C. Fields in Poppy (1936), and Claudette Colbert’s adult daughter in Imitation of Life (1934).[citation needed]

She played Sally Glynn, the fallen ingenue to whom Mae West imparts the immortal wisdom "When women go wrong, men go right after them!" in the 1933 Paramount film, She Done Him Wrong. In the 1954–1955 television season, Hudson co-starred with Gil Stratton and Eddie Mayehoff in the sitcom That's My Boy,[5] based on a 1951 Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin film of the same name.

Personal life[edit]

Rochelle Hudson in Argentina magazine

Hudson was married four times. All the unions were childless. Her first marriage was to Harold Thompson, in 1939. He was the head of the Storyline Department at Disney Studios.

After their divorce in 1947, (but the trade publication Billboard reported that they divorced on September 4, 1945)[6] she married a second time the following year to Los Angeles Times sportswriter Dick Irving Hyland. The marriage lasted two years before the couple divorced. She married her third husband, Charles K. Brust, in Jackson, Missouri on September 28, 1956.[7]

Little is known of the marriage other than they were divorced by June 1962 (he remarried). Her final marriage was to Robert Mindell, a hotel executive. The two remained together for eight years before they divorced in 1971.

She actually was born in 1916, but the studio reportedly made her two years older for her to play a wider variety of roles, including romantic roles. In That's My Boy, she was cast as the mother of Gil Stratton, who was only six years her junior.


In 1972, Hudson was found dead in her home at the Palm Desert Country Club. A business associate with whom she had been working in real estate discovered her body sprawled on the bathroom floor. She was 55 years old.[2] Hudson died of a heart attack brought on by a liver ailment.[8]



  1. ^ a b c d "Hudson, Rochelle (1916–1972)", Dictionary of Women Worldwide: 25,000 Women Through the Ages. Gale. 2007. Retrieved January 7, 2013 from HighBeam Research
  2. ^ a b "Former Screen Star Rochelle Hudson Dies". Arizona Daily Star. Tucson, Arizona. Associated Press. January 19, 1972. p. 5 – via Walter Price, a real estate business associate, found the body Monday alter being summoned by Miss Hudson's widowed mother, Mae Hudson, who got no response from her daughter by telephone or at the door. A friend, Evelyn Young, said Miss Hudson recently had been ill with a cold and laryngitis.
  3. ^ a b Houston, Noel (October 9, 1934). "Film Stardom Beckons to Rochelle Hudson, Oklahoma City Girl, Who Was 'On Her Toes' When Contract Arrived". The Oklahoma News. Oklahoma, Oklahoma City. p. 3. Retrieved October 30, 2019 – via
  4. ^ "Films Give Career To Oklahoma Girl". The Akron Beacon Journal. Ohio, Akron. November 22, 1930. p. 10. Retrieved July 24, 2018 – via open access
  5. ^ Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 1067. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.
  6. ^ "Divorces". Billboard. September 15, 1945. p. 70. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  7. ^ "Missouri, County Marriage, Naturalization, and Court Records, 1800-1991". FamilySearch. The Church of Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Retrieved March 6, 2020.
  8. ^ Beaver County Times: "Death is investigated". January 19, 1972.


  • Forty Years of Screen Credits, 1929-1969. Two volumes. Compiled by John T. Weaver. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1970. Entries begin on page 57.
  • Biography and Genealogy Master Index. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, Cengage Learning. 1980–2009.

External links[edit]