Official Edgar Rice Burroughs Tribute and Weekly Webzine Site
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Volume 2757

Longtime Friend of the Burroughs Family
Actress ~ Songwriter ~ Espionage Agent ~ Realtor
John Coleman Burroughs Biography
Edgar Rice Burroughs: The War Years
Florence Gilbert Burroughs Biography
Rochelle Hudson
Born: March 6, 1914 Oklahoma City, OK 
Died: January 17, 1972 Palm Desert, CA (pneumonia)
Height: 5' 4" (1.63 m)
Harold Thompson  (1939-1947) (divorced): 
WWII Naval officer who became a Disney Studios story editor
Richard Hyler (1948-1950) (divorced): A Los Angeles Times sports writer
Charles Burst  (?-?) (divorced): A businessman
Robert L. Mindell  (1963-1971) (divorced): Hotel Executive

A longtime friend of the Burroughs family was Rochelle Hudson, a movie starlet at 13. Since she lived near Ventura Boulevard, she was often given a ride to school by Jack and Hulbert. Snubbed by most of her schoolmates because of her fame as a movie star, she became a good friend of the Burroughs family and even took vacation trips with them.On one occasion, sixteen-year-old Jack drove Rochelle and her mother on a trip to Oklahoma City. 

While in Hawaii during the war, Ed Burroughs often visited Rochelle and her naval officer husband Hal Thompson. By that time Rochelle had worked for many years in film. (The Bosko series, Mr. Moto, Curly Top, Boston Blackie, Rebel Without A Cause [later in the '50s]). Rochelle's film career was interrupted during the coming war years when she worked for the Naval Intelligence Service in Central and South American and Mexico. 

Rochelle Hudson

Born: 6 March 1916, Oklahoma City
Died: 17 January 1972, Palm Desert, CA ~ (pneumonia) 
Movies: A long career from 1929-1966: Voice of Honey in the Bosko films ('30s) ~ Mr. Moto Takes a Chance (1938) ~ Pride of the Navy (1939) ~ Meet Boston Blackie (1941) ~ Queen of Broadway (1942)  ~ Bush Pilot (1947) ~ Rebel Without a Cause (1955) ~ "That's My Boy" TV Series (1954)

Rochelle Hudson - Actress and Songwriter
From 1929-1967 she worked with:

James Dean
Natalie Wood
Fredric March
Charles Laughton
W.C. Fields
Cary Grant
Mae West
Will Rogers
Bruce Cabot (Herman Brix)
Claudette Colbert
Joan Crawford
Rosalind Russell
Shirley Temple
Peter Lorre

See Wild boys of the Road clip saved

Ref: Find-a-Grave Site
Actress and voice-over artist. Died aged 55 of Pneumonia. Appeared in Les Miserables (1935), Curly Top (1935) co-starring with Shirley Temple, and played Natalie Wood's mother in Rebel Without a Cause (1955).
Burial: Cremated, Ashes scattered.
Ref: ERB: The War Years - 1941

Jungle Girl was released as a 15-part Republic serial starring Frances Gifford. Ed's friend Rochelle Hudson had hoped to get the role. Rochelle starred in many films including: Savage Girl (1932), Girls Under Twenty-One, Men Without Souls, and Island of Doomed Men.
Ref: ERBzine: The Florence Gilbert Burroughs Bio

After a few months of beachcomber style existence at Kailua, Ed wrote friend Bert Weston that Florence was discouraged with the cost-saving measures, as well as the remoteness and condition of the house with its rats, bugs and scorpions.  Ed maintained a daily writing schedule in his makeshift garage office but he and Florence still attended regular evening social affairs with friends - including many film people such as John Halliday and Janet Gaynor. Special friends were naval officer Hal Thompson and his wife, longtime family friend, Rochelle Hudson. Rochelle's film career was interrupted during the coming war years when she worked for the Naval Intelligence Service in Central and South American and Mexico. 
Ref: ERB Bio 1930

February 26: Ed buys two new side mirrors for the Cord (now part of the Danton Burroughs Collection) ~ Rochelle Hudson visits ~ rides with Hully and then he and Emma go to Phil's for bridge.

Ref: ERB Bio 1940s
1940: December 5: Ed is flown to Canton Island and on to New Caledonia where he meets naval lieutenant Hal Thompson - Rochelle Hudson's husband.
1943: January 10: ERB returns to New Caledonia and checks into the Grand Hotel du Pacifique where he was glad to see old friend, navy Lt. Hal Thompson, husband of family friend Rochelle Hudson.
Ref: September 23, 1944 Letter to Joan
I have not been behaving very well lately.  Two or three Marines from Saipan have been making my room their headquarters when they come in town from the hospital (they are all casualties).  They have brought in half a dozen bottles of Bourbon and a couple of cases of beer, and they come in and make whoopie.  One of them is Capt. Don Jackson, a friend of Rochelle and Hal Thompson.  I met him through Hal down in Noumea.  When his division was in rest camp on one of the other islands here after Tarawa I saw quite a little of him when he got leave to come to Oahu.  They have to be back in the hospital by 9:50 every night - thank God! But I like them.

Ref: War Years Letters: September 2, 1941
Some day!   A letter from you. Hulbert. Jack, Ralph. Rochelle Hudson, Caryl Lee and a birthday card from Esther and Paul Speyer. That's an idiotic science for a literatus to evolve, but you will gather at what I was driving - I got six letters and a greeting card.
Ref: Lee Chase Interview

Your mother starred in a film called The Johnstown Flood.
LEE: Yes, I guess you could call her the star of that film. That was also the film that introduced Janet Gaynor, who was a good friend of mother. She had all kinds of friends in the business, Rochelle Hudson and Mary Martin, others that I can remember back before the War. That was one of her last pictures. Uncle Eddie got me a copy of that and a couple other of her films. She did twenty or thirty films, all of them silent. 
Wikipedia Entry Highlights
Rochelle Hudson

Rochelle Hudson (March 6, 1916 - January 17, 1972) was an American film actress from the 1930s through the 1960s.
The Oklahoma City-born actress 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 the movie 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), Claudette Colbert's adult daughter in Imitation of Life (1934). She played Sally Glynn, the fallen ingenue to whom Mae West imparts the immortal wisdom, "When a girl goes wrong, men go right after her!" in the 1933 Paramount film, She Done Him Wrong. Hudson was a WAMPAS Baby Star in 1931.

In 1939 she married Harold Thompson, who was the head of the Storyline Department at Disney Studios. She assisted Thompson, who was doing espionage work in Mexico as a civilian during World War II. They posed as a vacationing couple to various parts of Mexico, to detect if there was any German activity in these areas. One of their more successful vacations uncovered a supply of high test aviation gas hidden by German agents in Baja California. 

She was actually born in 1916, but it would be unusual for a 15 year old to do romance, so they "made her older." In 1972, Hudson died of pneumonia brought on by a liver ailment.

Rochelle Hudson - Biography
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.
HOLLYWOOD by Henry Major and Bugs Baer

Sports writer, humorist and cartoonist Arthur "Bugs" Baer put this book together in 1938 with Henry Major in which Major did caricatures of the celebrated players of the day and Baer wrote accompanying humourous commentary. The book was released in a limited edition of 800 copies.

IMDB Trivia and Bio
  • Died of pneumonia brought on by a liver ailment.
  • Spoke fluent French and Spanish.
  • Was a WAMPAS Baby Star in 1931.
  • Abandoned Hollywood for a time after playing Natalie Wood's mother in Rebel Without a Cause (1955) to run a 10,000 acre ranch in Arizona. She later moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma and worked for a petroleum factory. Missing California, she returned in 1963 and, briefly, restarted her career, but left Hollywood for good in 1967. She moved to Palm Desert where she found success in real estate.
  • Prior to the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941, in a minor way she assisted her husband Harold Thompson, who was doing espionage work in Mexico as a civilian. Together they posed as a vacationing couple to various parts of Mexico, to detect if there was any German activity in these areas. One of their more successful vacations uncovered a supply of high test aviation gas hidden by German agents in Baja.
  • Father, Ollie Lee Hudson, worked for the State Employment Bureau in Oklahoma and was a direct descendant of famed explorer Henry Hudson, who discovered the Hudson River and Hudson Bay.
  • Took singing and dancing lessons at the Ernest Belcher Academy in Hollywood. Belcher was the father of famed dancer Marge Champion.
  • Prodded by an ambitious stage mother into an early career, some sources state that Rochelle, who was quite mature for her age, was actually born in 1916. It seems that RKO Pictures, which had signed the teenager, shaved two years off her age because the public would never accept or condone a 15-year-old in romantic leads.

An ingenue of the 1930s, Rochelle Hudson insisted to interviewers that her career was due to a "friend of a friend of a friend" of her mother's, who happened to have connections with Fox film studios. Signed to a Fox contract in 1930, Hudson studied with the studio's voice coach, who farmed the girl out for singing work on radio and in cartoons; Hudson was briefly the voice of Honey in Warner Bros.' "Bosko" cartoons. Her first on-camera appearance, on loanout to RKO, was in Fanny Foley Herself. Though often stuck in girl-next-door parts, Hudson was also effectively cast as tomboys and slatterns. She appeared in several Will Rogers pictures, mainly because Rogers liked sharing the spotlight with actors from his home state of Oklahoma. Her career dwindling into "B"-picture leads at Columbia and PRC, Hudson left Hollywood in 1942, spending the war years working in Naval Intelligence with her first husband, reserve officer (and former Disney story editor) Hal Thompson. She returned to films in 1955 to play the mother of Natalie Wood in Rebel Without A Cause. Though her subsequent movie appearances were infrequent, she kept busy on television, co-starring on the 1954 sitcom That's My Boy and showing up on many an anthology series. Retiring from show business for good in 1967, Rochelle Hudson spent her last years as a successful real estate agent.
~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

with Shirley Temple
With Shirley Temple in Curly Top
with John Boles
With John Boles

In Hawaii
In Hawaii

An auto racer turned cab driver faces off against gangsters with the help of a dangerous woman.
Cast: Rochelle Hudson, Brian Donlevy, Barton Maclane, Robert Kent, Harry Carey, Pauline Moore, Chick Chandler

1937: American actress Rochelle Hudson (1914 - 1972) is a modern version of Victorian elegance in this cellophane lace negligee, posed over ice-green satin and decorated at the shoulders with pink ostrich feathers. The dress was designed by Eerschel for the film 'Born Reckless'. Title: Born Reckless Studio: TCF Director: Malcolm St Clair (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

1937: American leading lady Rochelle Hudson (1914 - 1972) wearing a floral print dress and white fox cape designed by Hershel for the 20th Century Fox picture 'Born Reckless'. The film was directed by Malcolm St Clair for 20th Century Fox. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Rochelle Hudson signs her name to a fan on a card advertising the appearance of Myrus - The Man With the X-Ray Eyes.

Hollywood 1387; 1930s; One-Piece Frock and Cape.
One-piece frock and cape in either of two length.
The skirt has a sectional front panel and
joins the blouse under a belt or soft girdle. 
Soft pleats radiate from the neck which has a shaped turn-over collar,
and very short sleeves. 
The collarless cape is darted at the broad shoulders and
may be either of two lengths. 
Featuring Rochelle Hudson of 20th Century Fox on the front cover.

Two styles of blouse, a tuck-in shirt-waist, 
and a waistcoat style. 
Shirt-waist blouse is gathered at the shoulder yoke in front, 
and has an inverted pleat below the yoke in back. 
Shirt collar, patch pocket and long or short sleeves.
Waistcoat is dart-fitted front and back, 
has a shirt collar, half belt, and short sleeves.

The Savage Girl (1932)


The Rochelle Hudson - Burroughs Family Connection

1. Meet Rochelle
2. Rochelle in Films
3. Rochelle on Camera
4. Rochelle Portraits

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