Tab Hunter Dies: ‘Damn Yankees’ Hollywood Heartthrob Was 86

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Actor, recording artist, film producer, and author Tab Hunter has died at the age of 86.

He passed away in Santa Barbara, California from a heart attack caused by a blood clot, his longtime partner Allan Glaser told The Hollywood Reporter.

Most of Hunter's fame was found on stage, appearing notably in "Battle Cry", "The Burning Hills", "The Girl He Left Behind", and many more.

He also enjoyed musical success with the release of "Young Love" which stayed number one atop the Billboard charts in 1957 for six weeks.

But in his 2005 memoir, "Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star", Hunter recounted the stresses of being a love object to millions of young women when he was, in reality, a gay man.


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

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. "The dilemma, of course, was that being true to myself, and I'm talking sexually now, was impossible in 1953".

A Facebook page to promote the 2015 documentary on his life, Tab Hunter Confidential, also confirmed Hunter's death alongside two photos.

Glaser told the Los Angeles Times that Hunter collapsed in his arms at their home, and he was rushed to the hospital. "I'm very grateful for this road that I've been on - it's been a good one". Records after Jack Warner became irritated he didn't have his own record company to showcase the voice of his studio's star.

He was working as a stable boy when he was discovered, and his first film was a minor part in The Lawless in 1950.


Hunter was a mega star, most remembered for 1958's classic Damn Yankees. At the age of 15, he entered the Coast Guard after lying about his age.

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.

Many who were touched by Hunter's legacy paid tribute to the late actor on social media ― including Andrew Rannells, Harvey Fierstein and Zachary Quinto, who is set to produce a film with J.J. Abrams about Hunter's romance with Perkins.

"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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