Actor Tab Hunter Dies At Age 86

Actor Tab Hunter Dies At Age 86

Now, "sad news" regarding Tab Hunter, who made hearts thump in general in the '50s: The actor and singer has died, just three days before he would have turned 87, per a Facebook page tied to the star.

Hunter's partner for more than three decades, producer Allan Glaser, said the actor died Sunday at his Santa Barbara County, California, home from a blood clot in his leg that led to cardiac arrest, according to The Associated Press. Most notably Hunter started opposite John Wayne in The Sea Chase, was the lead in Battle Cry, and starring role in the 1958 musical film Damn Yankees.

Tab Hunter was a 1950s teen heartthrob, but he broke ground in his 2005 memoir by speaking openly about being a closeted gay actor in old school Hollywood.

The fuss over the young actor began two years later when he appeared bare-chested opposite Linda Darnell in the British-made "Island of Desire".

Hunter's failure to win the role of Tony in the film adaptation of West Side Story (1961) prompted him to agree to star in a weekly television sitcom.

Huffington Post movie critic Matt Jacobs tweeted photos of Tab with Anthony Perkins, detailing the lengths the couple had to go to to hide their relationship: "Tab Hunter and Anthony Perkins: Hollywood's sexiest not-so-secret relationship". The film had originally been a Broadway show, but Hunter was the only one in the film version who had not appeared in the original cast.

"This was sudden and unexpected", Glaser added.

He was also a music star, and his recording of "Young Love" knocked Elvis Presley off the top of the charts in 1957.


Born Arthur Andrew Kelm in NY in 1931, Hunter shot first broke into the movie industry with a small role in 1950 drama The Lawless.

"I had my fling, and I was very fortunate", he said.

Hunter appeared on Broadway in 1964 in Tennessee Williams' "The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore" opposite the formidable Tallulah Bankhead.

He joined the U.S. Coast Guard at age 15, but eventually was discharged when the service discovered his age.

"I believed, wholeheartedly - still do - that a person's happiness depends on being true to themselves", he wrote.

"I thought, 'Look, get it from the horse's mouth and not from some horse's ass after I'm dead and gone, '" he told the Reporter in 2015.

"I never mentioned my sexuality to Warner Bros.at all, and they never mentioned it to me, thank God", Hunter revealed.

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