11-17-1925 – 10-02-1985 Rock Hudson – Born Roy Harold Scherer, Jr. in Winnetka, Illinois. He was an American film and television star. Hudson was known as a leading man in the 1950s and 1960s. Later in his career, he found success in television. His acting career spanned over four decades. His first leading role was in the film Magnificent Obsession (1954), co-starring Jane Wyman. Modern Screen Magazine proclaimed Hudson as the most popular actor of the year. His popularity soared with the film Giant (1956) where he co-starred with Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean. He and James Dean were both nominated for Oscars in the Best Actor category. In the 1960s he starred in many romantic comedies, including Pillow Talk, Lover Come Back, and Send Me No Flowers with Doris Day. He also made Come September and Strange Bedfellows with Gina Lollobrigida His most successful television series was McMillan & Wife, which ran from 1971 to 1977. In 1955, Confidential magazine threatened to publish an exposé about Hudson’s secret homosexual life. His agent Henry Willson kept it out of the magazine by revealing information about two of his other clients. Soon after the Confidential incident, Hudson married Willson’s secretary Phyllis Gates. Gates filed for divorce in April 1958, citing mental cruelty. After her death, the LGBT news magazine, The Advocate published an article by Willson’s biographer, who claimed Gates was actually a lesbian who believed from the beginning of their relationship that Hudson was gay. He died in 1985, becoming the first major celebrity to die from an AIDS-related illness. It was well known among his Hollywood colleagues, including Elizabeth Taylor, Susan St. James, and Carol Burnett, that Hudson was gay.
11-17-1960 Daniel J. O’Donnell – Born in Queens, New York City, New York. He is a Democratic member of the New York State Assembly, representing the 69th district in Manhattan. He is the first openly gay man elected to the NY State Assembly. O’Donnell sponsored the Marriage Equality Act that finally became law in June 2011. In 2011, he was featured in Out magazine’s “Out 100,” the magazine’s list of the year’s 100 most inspiring individuals. On January 29, 2012, O’Donnell married his partner of 31 years, John Banta. He is the older brother of Rosie O’Donnell.
11-17-1960 RuPaul Andre Charles – Born in San Diego, California. He is best known as RuPaul. American actor, drag queen, model, author, and recording artist. He currently hosts the reality television show RuPaul’s Drag Race. The show has spanned seven seasons and has become the highest-rated television program on Logo TV. It airs internationally, including Australia, Canada, and the UK. He is also known for his hit song Supermodel (You Better Work). His partner for 19 years, Georges LeBar, is a rancher with a 50,000-acre ranch in Wyoming. They married in January 2017. In 2018, RuPaul was one of the actors who voiced the audiobook A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo.
11-17-1961 Mary L. Wiseman – Place of birth unknown. She is an American lawyer and judge from Ohio. A lesbian, she was the first openly gay person elected to public office in Dayton. With her appointment to the bench, she became the first openly gay judge in the history of the state of Ohio.
11-17-1969 Rebecca Walker – Born in Jackson, Mississippi. She is an American writer and in 1994, Time magazine named her as one of the fifty future leaders of America. In 1992, she graduated cum laude from Yale University and co-founded the Third Wave Foundation, a non-profit organization to encourage young women to get involved in activism and leadership roles. In its first year, the organization registered over 20,000 new voters across the United States. Walker was a contributing editor to Ms. magazine for many years. Author of four books, she spends much of her time speaking about her multicultural identity, enlightened masculinity, and feminism at universities and conferences around the world. She is the daughter of African-American writer, Alice Walker and Mel Leventhal, a Jewish American.
11-17-1981 Kyle Dean Massey – Born in Jonesboro, Arkansas. He is an American actor and director. He is best known for his roles in the Broadway musicals Wicked, Pippin, and Next to Normal. Massey was on Out’s 3rd Annual 100 Most Eligible Bachelors (2013). On January 23, 2015, it was reported that Massey was cast in a recurring role as openly gay country star Kevin Bicks on the ABC television series, Nashville. Massey is openly gay. He supports the It Gets Better Project. On October 1, 2016, he married actor, Taylor Frey.