Rock Hudson's former wife PHYLLIS GATES died on 4 January (06). She was 80.

American Gates, who married Hudson in 1955 before they divorced in 1958, died of lung cancer complications, according to her lawyer MARK WALDMAN.

Movie star HUDSON passed away in 1985, aged 59, after succumbing to AIDS. After their divorce Gates learned their marriage had been arranged in a bid to camouflage his homosexuality. On their honeymoon Gates claimed the GIANT actor told her, "Hollywood is full of a lot of vicious people who spread rumours. You must never believe any of them."

But in her 1987 book MY HUSBAND, ROCK HUDSON Gates wrote: I couldn't believe that this was really happening to me, that Phyllis Gates of Montevideo, Minnesota, was marrying Rock Hudson, the movie star."