Published: Вт, Июля 10, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Laurence Reese

1950s Teen Heartthrob, Gay Icon Tab Hunter Dies At 86

1950s Teen Heartthrob, Gay Icon Tab Hunter Dies At 86

Tab Hunter, the actor who found fame in the 1950s as a Hollywood heartthrob but who was forced to cover up his gay sexuality, has died aged 86.

Producer Allan Glaser, Hunter's spouse, said died Sunday in Santa Barbara, Calif., of a blood clot in a leg that caused cardiac arrest.

The news of his death was confirmed by the Tab Hunter Confidential Facebook page, which has been an official source for news regarding Hunter in recent years. He also scored a chart-topping pop hit in 1957 with "Young Love".

During his life, actor Tab Hunter was the definitive posterboy for the fiction of Hollywood's golden age: adored by millions of women around the world, he was, in his private life a gay man, and known to the world as Tab Hunter, he was in fact born Arthur Andrew Kelm.

Clayton encouraged a young Hunter to consider acting and set him up with agent Henry Willson.

Playing a WWII soldier in 1955's "Battle Cry", adapted from the Leon Uris novel of the same name, made Hunter a star and he followed with roles in films including "The Burning" and "The Girl He Left Behind", both opposite a young Natalie Wood. "The dilemma, of course, was that being true to myself, and I'm talking sexually now, was impossible in 1953". Glaser also shared with THR that Hunter's passing was "unexpected and sudden". He began his film career with a small role in 1950's The Lawless. RIP, Tab Hunter. This news was previously reported by Variety.

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He joined the U.S. Coast Guard at age 15, but eventually was discharged when the service discovered his age. "But this was very hard for me".

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

It was Willson who gave him his stage name of "Tab Hunter" and he soon signed with Warner Bros., which is now owned by CNN's parent company AT&T.

A highlight was the 1958 "Damn Yankees!", an adaptation of the hit Broadway musical with Gwen Verdon and Ray Walston in their Tony-winning NY roles and the original director, George Abbott, sharing direction with Stanley Donen.

In 1981, a career revival came in the form of an appearance in John Waters' Polyester, with Divine.

And Hollywood, in that strangely serendipitous way, has one final act of Hunter's life to replay: a month ago the studio Paramount announced it was developing a film from J.J. Abrams and Zachary Quinto about Hunter's relationship with Perkins.

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