Actor-Singer Tab Hunter Dies in Santa Barbara Days Before 87th Birthday

Hollywood star Tab Hunter has died aged 86

Hollywood star Tab Hunter has died aged 86

His spouse, film producer Allan Glaser, said Hunter died Sunday of a blood clot in his leg that caused cardiac arrest.

In his '50s-'60s heyday, Hunter appeared in both films and TV, with credits including 1952's Island of Desire, Battle Cry and The Sea Chase ('55), and two 1956 co-starring roles opposite Natalie Wood, The Burning Hills and The Girl He Left Behind.

"Hunter came out as gay with his 2005 autobiography Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star - later the basis for Jeffrey Schwarz" 2016 Netflix documentary Tab Hunter Confidential - clearing up longstanding Hollywood rumors that. He later pursued an acting career after his time in the service, changing his name to Tab Hunter.

He has died, much beloved, age 86 - 13 years after finally feeling able to come out and to live his life openly. His slide followed the classic pattern: to a television series ("The Tab Hunter Show", on NBC, 1960-62); European films ("The Golden Arrow") and cheap kid flicks ("Ride the Wild Surf.") In his memoir, he took pains to note that "Ride the Wild Surf" was his only beach-party movie; his "Operation Bikini", despite its title, was "yet another war movie".

Glaser also told the Times that Hunter was a religious man who worked with paralyzed veterans and animals. In addition to his hit movies, he tried his hand at singing and his recording of "Young Love" shot to No. 1 on the Billboard pop chart in 1957.

Hunter was born Arthur Andrew Kelm on July 11, 1931, in New York City.

"We were walking home and he collapsed in my arms in our front yard", Glaser said. At the age of 15, he entered the Coast Guard after lying about his age. "He said he couldn't breathe, so I called 911, and we went to the hospital".

Tab Hunter circa 1955.

His blond surfer image nabbed him magazine covers and the role of Washington Senators star Joe Hardy in 1958's Damn Yankees.

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

Hunter said he hadn't admitted it to himself at that point - while he was considering getting married, he was also in a relationship with a world-class male figure skater, Ronnie Robertson. "I never mentioned my sexuality to Warner Bros.at all and they never mentioned it to me, thank God", the actor recalled to THR in 2015. I was just brought up that way.

In June it was announced that JJ Abrams and Zachary Quinto are producing the movie "Tab & Tony" about the secret love affair.

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