Tab Hunter: The Hollywood heartthrob who hid his homosexuality


Tab Hunter

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Tab Hunter: “No-one took me seriously… I wanted so much to be accepted as an actor.”

Actor Tab Hunter, one of Hollywood’s biggest heartthrobs of the 1950s, has died at the age of 86.

Hunter was a screen idol in the 1950s and early ’60s thanks to hit movies like Damn Yankees and Battle Cry.

He also hosted his own TV show, and his song Young Love went to number one on both sides of the Atlantic.

But he hid his homosexuality and his relationship with actor Anthony Perkins. JJ Abrams is reportedly making a movie about the pair’s relationship.

The film, titled Tab & Tony, will be produced by the Star Wars: The Force Awakens director, Variety reported last month.

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Natalie Wood and Tab Hunter on a “date” in the mid-1950s

Hunter was often photographed on “dates” with actresses like Natalie Wood, his co-star in 1956’s The Girl He Left Behind. But they were just fabricated for the press.

The other producers on the new film will include Hunter’s longtime partner Allan Glaser and Star Trek actor Zachary Quinto, Variety said.

Hunter’s breakthrough came as a shipwrecked marine in 1952’s Islands of Desire, with other popular roles including a brother seeking revenge in 1956’s The Burning Hills and a baseball fan in 1958’s Damn Yankees.

But he later said: “No-one took me seriously… I wanted so much to be accepted as an actor.”

He appeared in about 50 films in total, including That Kind of Woman, The Pleasure of His Company, They Came to Cordura and The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean.

After his movie career waned, he turned to television and Broadway.

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