Tag Archives: Rochelle Hudson

A Writer’s Notebook-Rochelle Hudson

This is the first post on a series about forgotten women.


I have found the perfect person in Rochelle Hudson to be my inspiration for the protagonist in my next novel. Once again, as in Castle of Dreams,  my novel will be a duel narrative story and I can see Rochelle in the earlier narrative. And she was a family friend of Edgar Rice Burroughs the creator of Tarzan. I love Tarzan stories!

Rochelle Hudson (born Rochelle Elizabeth 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 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 Forty (1935), the daughter of carnival barker W.C. Fields in Poppy (1936) and Claudette Colbert’s adult daughter in Imitation of Life (1934).

She also 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.

Rochelle was married four times. Her first husband was Charles Brust. Little is known of the marriage other than it ended in divorce.

Espionage work during World War Two.

Rochelle remarried in 1939 to 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. There is a story in this! 

After their divorce in 1947, Rochelle married a third time the following year to Los Angeles Times sportswriter, Dick Irving Hyland. The marriage lasted two years before the couple divorced. Her final marriage was to Robert Mindell, a hotel executive. The two remained together for eight years before they divorced in 1971.

Rochelle died in 1972 of a heart attack.

A beautiful tribute to Rochelle

youtube tribute: sebasj1978


Filed under A Writer’s Notebook, Castle of Dreams, Elise McCune, What Elise Wrote