One year ago: Marc Christian MacGinnis
Here's another entry in our new feature looking back at news obituaries a year later:
Marc Christian MacGinnis achieved notoriety in the 1980s when he sued the estate of his ex-lover, actor Rock Hudson, for $10 million, alleging emotional distress after learning from television news reports that Hudson had AIDS. Christian never contracted the disease, but said he lived in fear that he had been exposed to it during his relationship with the handsome star. He died of a lung ailment June 2, 2009, at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank at age 56.
From The Times' obituary:
"It was obviously a groundbreaking case," said Tammy Bruce, a former president of the National Organization for Women's Los Angeles chapter and an openly gay conservative talk-show host. "It was the first public acknowledgment that gay relationships are complicated, important, and that responsibility is attached to them.... A lot of people owe a great deal to that man and the way he handled it with particular grace, not only at the trial but in the years afterward."
-- Elaine Woo
Photo: Marc Christian MacGinnis with his lawyer Marvin Mitchelson in 1985, when MacGinnis announced he was suing Rock Hudson's estate. Credit: Los Angeles Times