The star of Brokeback Mountain, Heath Ledger, who won accolades for his performance as a gay cowboy, looks set to play a gay man again.

He is rumoured to be lined up for the role of gay icon, Hollywood actor Rock Hudson.

Movie site AintItCoolNews.com claims the Australian actor is favourite to land the role of the closeted actor, who died of an AIDS-related illness in 1985.

“After playing a straight man who has a gay relationship, Heath Ledger will do a 180 and play a gay man who has a straight relationship,” an insider said.

Rock Hudson was the first major public figure to announce he had AIDS, and his worldwide search for a cure drew international attention.

After his death his long-time lover Marc Christian successfully sued his estate, again calling attention to the homosexuality Mr Rock had hidden from most throughout his career.