The American actor Rock Hudson, famous for a prominent Hollywood career in the 1950s and 1960s, was recorded confessing to his wife about his sexuality by a private detective she had hired in 1958.

Transcripts of the recording, posted by the Hollywood Reporter, reveal that Hudson’s wife, Phyllis Gates, confronted him about his sexuality decades before his death in 1985, when his being gay became highly publicised.

In the recorded conversation, Gates asks Hudson if he had told his therapist about his homosexuality, to which he responds, “I told him everything.”

Gates also grilled Hudson on his sexual performance, asking about his “great speed with me, sexually. Are you that fast with boys?”

Hudson replied: “Well, it’s a physical conjunction. Boys don’t fit. So, this is why it lasts longer.”

Gates goes on to reason with Hudson that being gay is “an emotional state” and “it’s up to the individual to grow out of it”.

“You told me you saw thousands of butterflies and also snakes,” she said “[A therapist] told me in my analysis that butterflies mean femininity and snakes represent that male penis. I’m not condemning you, but it seems that as long as you recognize your problem, you would want to do something about it.”

She accused Hudson of “picking up boys off the street” after they were married, to which Hudson retorted “I have never picked up any boys, other than to give them a ride.”

The recording was made at Gates’ request, unknown to Hudson, by private detective Fred Otash, once described by an interviewer as the “most amoral” person he had met.

Hudson, who starred in over 70 films before his death from AIDS-related illness, reportedly once seduced James Dean to win a bet against Elizabeth Taylor.