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DAMN YANKEES Star Tab Hunter Dies at 86

10 July 2018, 06:13 | Regina Holmes

American actor Tab Hunter in about 1955

American actor Tab Hunter in about 1955

Tab Hunter, the blond actor and singer who was a heartthrob for millions of teenagers in the 1950s with such films as Battle Cry and Damn Yankees and received new attention decades later when he revealed that he was gay, has died.

After living on a ranch in New Mexico for a time, he took a home in Montecito in Santa Barbara County with Glaser.

At the age of 15 Hunter ran off to join the Coast Guard, but was dismissed from service after it was discovered he had lied about his age. That was most important to him than being an actor and a recording artist.

Those two films framed Hunter in one of Hollywood's oldest lies: a false romance with Wood, meant to create a protective smoke screen in front of his homosexuality.

In 2015 we interviewed the director of a documentary film about Tab's life as a Hollywood star, we were fortunate enough to speak to the man himself who gave the following piece of coming out advice.

Just a couple of years later, he shot to fame after making an impression with his muscle-bound appearance in Island of Desire.

Perhaps Hunter's best-known role was that of Washington Senators slugger Hardy in the film adaptation of the Tony-winning Broadway musical Damn Yankees! in 1958.




Tab Hunter has passed away at the age of 86.

Tab Hunter's headshot, circa 1955.

With no dramatic training, Hunter was cast in a minor role in the 1950 drama, "The Lawless". After that, Warner Bros. picked up his option and signed him to a seven-year contract, and he appeared in The Girl He Left Behind (1956) and Burning Hills (1956), according to THR.

A career revival of sorts was triggered by his casting in Polyester, the hitherto-underground John Water's 1981 paean to all things cheesy-50s; Hunter starred alongside Waters regulars Divine and Mink Stole. And this guy said, 'Turn around Tab, this is for the next issue of Confidential magazine.' I went, 'Oh God!' and turned away.

Hunter came out as gay in his 2005 memoir "Tab Hunter Confidential", where he detailed his experience of being a closeted actor in Hollywood.

"I thought, 'Look, get it from the horse's mouth and not from some horse's a* em *THR's Scott Feinberg in 2015".

However, he was forced to disguise his sexual orientation and relationships with Anthony Perkins, star of Psycho, and figure skater Ronnie Robertson. J.J. Abrams, Hunter's husband and producing partner Allan Glaser and Neil Koenigsberg are working on on a movie about the star for Paramount titled Hunter, with Zachary Quinto set to star.



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