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Thread started 07/09/18 8:07pm

Goddess4Real

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RIP Tab Hunter, Dies Age 86

Remembering Tab Hunter, Actor and Gay Icon https://www.vanityfair.co...unter-obit

The sex symbol and Damn Yankees star, who died on Sunday at the age of 86, was one of the rare stars of his era to speak openly about his homosexuality.
Tab Hunter, an icon of Old Hollywood who rose to fame in films like 1958’s Damn Yankees, has died. He was 86 years old. According to CNN, Hunter’s partner of 35 years, Allan Glaser, said the actor died Sunday at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, California, after a blood clot caused him to go into cardiac arrest.

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Reply #1 posted 07/09/18 8:14pm

Goddess4Real

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One of my all-time fav musicals is Damn Yankees (1958) starring Tab Hunter, Gwen Verdon and Ray Walston about Baseball and deal with the devil. It was directed by Stanley Donen and the cheorgraphy was all Bob Fosse worship The soundtrack was amazing and I loved the song Tab and Gwen performed in the film called Two Lost Souls. Tab was soooo great in this film nod and I will watch it today to remember what a great talent we lost.

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[Edited 7/9/18 20:18pm]

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Reply #2 posted 07/09/18 8:32pm

Goddess4Real

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Tab Hunter Appreciation: A Star Who Survived Both the Studio System and Hollywood Homophobia https://www.thetelegraph....060925.php

The actor moved from mainstream hits like "Damn Yankees!" to cult indies like "Lust in the Dust" -- and outlived all the gossip columnists who...

“To ask ‘Whatever happened to Tab Hunter?'” a reporter for The New York Times once wrote, “is to ask ‘Whatever happened to America?'”

As we remember Hunter — the Hollywood heartthrob who died this week a few days shy of his 87th birthday — it’s clear that his own career and personal path follows America’s (and Hollywood’s) arc of understanding homosexuality in the post-WWII era. A performer who was once deeply closeted in the industry could, in his later years, make two outrageous comedies in which his romantic co-lead was played by legendary drag queen Divine.

Born Arthur Gelien, Tab Hunter was one of a stable of performers (including Rock Hudson, with whom he had a thing or two in common) groomed for stardom by agent Henry Willson, who gave the neophyte performer his name and his first forays onto the big screen.

Hunter made his big-screen debut in 1950 and would become one of the decade’s biggest stars, both as an actor and as a pop singer, working alongside performers like Sophia Loren (“That Kind of Woman”) and Natalie Wood (“The Burning Hills”) and great filmmakers, including Raoul Walsh (“Battle Cry”), Stanley Donen (“Damn Yankees!”) and William Wellman (“Lafayette Escadrille”).

A darling of the fan magazines, where he was often photographed stepping out with Wood and other ingénues of the era, Hunter had a big secret — he was gay in an era when polite society never spoke of such things, where public acknowledgment would have been a career-ending scandal in almost any profession, but especially for a movie star. (After posing for the cameras with his studio-arranged dates, Hunter would often meet up with “Psycho” star Anthony Perkins, with whom he had a relationship for several years. Their tempestuous pairing is the subject of the upcoming film “Tab & Tony.”)

Hunter’s career had its ups and downs, with years of work in television and dinner theater followed by his audacious, career-redefining role in John Waters’ 1981 indie “Polyester,” an experience that prompted Hunter to reteam with co-star Divine in the Western spoof “Lust in the Dust” four years later.

It was on that latter film that he got to know producer Allan Glaser, who became Hunter’s romantic and professional partner for the rest of the actor’s life. (Glaser is currently producing “Tab & Tony” alongside Zachary Quinto and J.J. Abrams.)

On screen, Hunter had the good fortune to have a career that spanned from the golden age of the studio system to the independent-film explosion. And off screen, he knew joy and tragedy and love and heartbreak, all of which he has shared eloquently in his riveting memoir “Tab Hunter Confidential,” which was later adapted into Jeffrey Schwarz’s fascinating documentary of the same name.

Fame as a teen idol is always fleeting, but Tab Hunter has left behind a fascinating array of film roles, along with an exemplary off-screen life, one that saw him hearty, healthy and riding his beloved horses well into his 80s.

The gossip columnists who once hounded him are now long gone; Hunter, by living well, has enjoyed the best revenge.

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Reply #3 posted 07/10/18 7:35pm

Goddess4Real

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Tab Hunter “Had Every Right to Become Bitter and Resentful and Didn’t," Recalls Pal Robert Wagner https://www.hollywoodrepo...er-1125863

The 'Damn Yankees!' star and gay icon, who died July  8 at 86, is remembered by his friend and fellow studio player: "He was a big star — the top one in Hollywood, for a while — but he was also a very special human being"

I took a friend to the airport early this morning, and when I came home, my wife, Jill [St. John, the actress], was in tears. She told me about Tab, who was a wonderful friend of mine for so many years.

Tab and I both started out in the early ’50s during the last days of the studio system, and we more or less grew up together. Everyone — colleagues and fans alike — loved Tab not only because he was so handsome and talented, but because he had a kind of purity about him back then that he managed to retain for the rest of his life. He was a big star — the top one in Hollywood, for a while — but he was also a very special human being, a genuinely kind and loving person.

I guess that, even years ago, we all knew that Tab was gay, but it wasn’t something that we talked about. All that mattered was that he was our friend. Natalie [Wood, the actress to whom Wagner was previously married] also adored him. They made a couple of pictures that were very successful — The Burning Hills and The Girl He Left Behind — and they hung out together quite a lot. In those days, they had the fan magazines and all of that, so people always reported that they were a couple. The truth is they were the best of friends.

I imagine that was a very difficult time for young men who were gay, and it certainly couldn’t have been easy for Tab. After all that he had to deal with, he had every right to become a bitter and resentful guy, and yet he didn’t — he was one of the most sunny and positive people I ever knew.

When I think of Tab, I’ll think of him in movies like Damn Yankees!; him and his wonderful partner, Allan Glaser, with whom he had a marvelous personal and professional relationship spanning decades; him and his beloved horses, which he rode until the very end; and how kind he was to me, Natalie, Jill and our daughters [whom he and Allan put in one of their films] and just about everyone he met.

I had the greatest respect and affection for him — he was a first-rate, wonderful person — and I’ll miss him and his smile terribly.

Hunter and Wood arriving at the Academy Awards (she was nominated for 'Rebel Without a Cause') in 1956.

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Reply #4 posted 07/10/18 7:46pm

Hudson

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Very nice tribute from Wagner. More from Hollywood here. rose
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Reply #5 posted 07/10/18 7:57pm

Goddess4Real

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Tab Hunter: how Hollywood's boy next door became a gay icon https://www.theguardian.c...a-gay-icon

The actor, who died on Sunday at the age of 86, kept his sexuality a secret at a time when the industry wasn’t ready for an openly gay heartthrob

American actor Tab Hunter on a beach, circa 1955. Photograph: Archive Photos/Getty Images

Hollywood heartthrob Tab Hunter, the beloved boy-next-door of 1950s Warner Brothers classics like Battle Cry, The Burning Hills and Damn Yankees, died on Sunday at the age of 86. A blonde, square-jawed and wholesome symbol of mid-century American masculinity, Hunter, born in 1931 as Arthur Gelien, was gay but kept his sexuality a secret for the bulk of his career, until coming out in his 2005 autobiography Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star.

3856.jpg?w=460&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=0c0807137c686e2fd8af1714ef7190e9

“Tab passed away tonight three days shy of his 87th birthday,” read a post on the late actor’s Facebook page early Monday morning. “Please honor his memory by saying a prayer on his behalf. He would have liked that.”

A product of an era that was famously inhospitable to gay entertainers, Hunter kept up secret romances with film star Anthony Perkins and figure skater Ronnie Robertson as movie studios trotted him out alongside screen sirens Natalie Wood and Debbie Reynolds, with whom he’d go on pretend dates. Before the LGBT rights movement broke open in the late 60s, Hunter’s sexual orientation, like that of his contemporary Rock Hudson, was handled with innuendo by journalists covering the revolving door of romances among Tinseltown’s top brass.

Natalie Wood and Tab Hunter pose with trophies at the Audience Awards in Los Angeles on 6 December 1955. Photograph: AP

The gossip columns of the day, penned by Louella Parsons and Hedda Hopper, “made subtle references” to his sexuality, as Hunter wrote in the Hollywood Reporter in 2015, “wondering when I was going to settle down with a nice girl and then, after the studio began pairing me with my dear friend Natalie Woodon faux-dates, asking if I was ‘the sort of guy’ she wanted to end up with”.

Ultimately, Hunter would end up with producer Allan Glaser, his partner of 36 years. But not before an article in Confidential, the bimonthly gossip rag from which Hunter’s memoir borrows its name, reported on the then 24-year-old’s involvement in an arrest at a “limp-wristed pajama party” where other gay males were in attendance. The article, Hunter felt, insinuated he’d been party to a “gay orgy”, a rumor that might have torpedoed his career given the contemporaneous moral panic around homosexuality and the “lavender scare” that led to mass firings.

“When the Confidential article came out,” he recalled, “I thought my career was over.”

But Hunter, who by the late 50s felt “the publicity had exceeded the product”, was actually entering the most prolific stretch of his career. In 1956, he starred opposite Wood in The Burning Hills, a Western revenge tale about a pair of young lovers. The two teamed up again two years later in the 1958 romantic comedy The Girl He Left Behind. A year before that, Hunter’s version of the song Young Love charted at number one on the Billboard Top 100, introducing the world to his dreamy baritone. And, in 1958, he proved his musical bona fides yet again starring in Damn Yankees, an All-American movie musical that cemented Hunter’s status as the comely golden boy opposite James Dean’s rebel without a cause.

Bosley Crowther, reviewing the film adaptation of the 1955 musical in the New York Times, said Hunter was in possession of “the clean, naive look of a lad breaking into the big leagues and into the magical company of a first-rate star”.

That star, however, would begin to dim in the early 1960s, when Hunter bought himself out of his contract with Warner Bros for $100,000 and was replaced by Troy Donahue. He’d continue to make movies and appear on television – most notably in the short-lived Tab Hunter Show – but found himself mostly in B pictures like Operation Bikini while working the dinner theatre circuit in shows like Bye, Bye Birdie and The Tender Trap. As the studio era ended, the movie business changed inalterably; Hunter, as he says in his memoir, had to bite the hand that fed him stardom.

Tab Hunter, who died on Sunday at the age of 86, with his horse on 3 April 1967. Photograph: AP

“In my professional life, I longed to be more than the sigh guy,” he wrote in Tab Hunter Confidential, which was made into a documentary of the same name in 2015. “In my personal life, I was quite a different Boy Next Door than the one Mr and Mrs Middle America imagined me to be.”

Through the 60s and 70s, Hunter decamped to Europe, where he spent time in Capri, Monte Carlo, and Rome liaising with Luchino Visconti and Etchika Choureau while carrying on an affair with the Soviet dancer Rudolf Nureyev. What he really wanted, though, was to “chuck the whole rat race and move to Virginia’s horse country”. So, in 1973, he began leasing farms in rural getaways like Oregon and Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, paying the bills by touring with a dinner theatre troupe.

In 1977, Hunter attempted a comeback when he replaced Philip Burns as George Shumway in the late-night series Forever Fernwood. But what would revitalize his career in earnest was a phone call from John Waters, the transgressive gay film-maker whose campy sensibility hadn’t yet been fully embraced beyond midnight moviegoers. Waters had called to cast Hunter in Polyester, opposite drag queen and Waters muse Divine.

“How would you feel about kissing a 350-pound transvestite?” Waters supposedly asked Hunter. “Well, I’m sure I’ve kissed a hell of a lot worse!” he replied. The film would become a resounding success, Waters’ first in the mainstream, and the unlikely pairing that was Hunter and Divine would be reprised in the 1985 comic western Lust in the Dust. It was on the set of that film where Hunter met Glaser, the producer with whom he’d spend the next three and a half decades.

2776.jpg?w=300&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=a8060d9ee74632f70112a886d87070c9It was not until 2005, though, that Hunter came out publicly, using his memoir (co-written by Eddie Muller) to pre-empt another tell-all that was also in the works. Its opening words – “I hate labels” – reflect Hunter’s discomfort with an industry hellbent on typecasting him as the Sigh Guy, the Boy Next Door and “the even more ludicrous Swoon Bait”. But, in its Inside Baseball approach to revealing the inner workings of Hollywood before, during and after the studio era, it is a remarkably insightful, confident account of and by one of Hollywood’s first gay movie stars, a label by which the famously self-effacing Hunter would surely be chagrined. In death, though, Tab Hunter’s legend won’t fade. The 2015 documentary adapted from his memoir, which can be seen on Netflix, helped usher in a wave of discourse about the ills of the studio era – homophobia, misogyny and abuse among them – a topic that was revisited last year in Feud, the fictitious television recounting of the rivalry between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. And, just last month, JJ Abrams, Zachary Quinto, and Glaser announced they’d be producing a film called Tab & Tony, about the secret years-long dalliance between Hunter and Perkins.
1982.jpg?w=460&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=c463997167cc85f2a7f985da71862c05

Hunter, at any rate, preferred solitude and privacy to having his dirty laundry aired, the same way he preferred horses to humans. But there is a kind of poetic justice in that a man who spent much of his life in the shadows lived long enough to see his forbidden romance developed as a movie, one produced, as it ought to be, by two openly gay men.

[Edited 7/10/18 20:52pm]

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Reply #6 posted 07/10/18 8:07pm

Goddess4Real

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TCM‏Verified account @tcm 9h9 hours ago


#TCMRemembers Tab Hunter on Friday July 20th:

6AM THE STEEL LADY

7:30AM RETURN TO TREASURE ISLAND

9AM LAFAYETTE ESCADRILLE

10:45AM OPERATION BIKINI

12:15PM THE GOLDEN ARROW

2PM THE GIRL HE LEFT BEHIND

4PM THE BURNING HILLS

5:45 PM THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JUDGE ROY BEAN

[Edited 7/10/18 20:58pm]

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Reply #7 posted 07/10/18 8:16pm

Goddess4Real

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Tab Hunter’s LGBT Legacy: Hollywood, It’s Time to Come Out of the Closet https://www.thedailybeast...itter_page

1950s heartthrob Tab Hunter died Sunday. For much of his career he lived the life of a closeted Hollywood movie star. His legacy should be to encourage other stars to come out.

In Jeffrey Schwarz’s excellent 2015 documentary, Tab Hunter Confidential (streaming on Netflix), the actor Tab Hunter recounted his experience attending a private gay and lesbian Hollywood party in 1950.

He recalled a room full of same-sex couples dancing and how such parties were illegal back then. The cops burst in, and arrested “the bunch of queers” therein.

“They took us to the police station,” Hunter said. “I thought, ‘Oh my god this is terrible.’ What would my mother think of my being arrested?’”

Would it affect his career getting started in motion pictures, the then-young actor wondered. His attorney told him to be “sharper” if he wanted to be an actor in Hollywood.

“Sharper” was, of course, a euphemism for careful which was a euphemism for being closeted; and that was the way Hunter stayed until he finally came out in 2005 in his autobiography, upon which the documentary was based.

Hunter’s death, at 86, was announced Monday by his partner Allan Glaser. Glaser said Hunter had died on Sunday as a result of a blood clot that caused cardiac arrest.

“We were walking home and he collapsed in my arms in our front yard,” Glaser said. “He said he couldn’t breathe, so I called 911, and we went to the hospital.”

“This was sudden and unexpected,” Glaser added. “He was athletic, more like a 60-year-old not an 86-year-old.”

Glaser is thirty years Hunter’s junior, and the documentary sweetly documents their courtship which began when Glaser left a lucrative studio job to produce Lust in the Dust (1985), one of Hunter’s films he did opposite Divine (four years after John Waters’ Polyester).

Watching the documentary is an object lesson in how the Hollywood closet operates, which Hunter embraced and was suffocated by.

This closet, as actors like Noah Wyle and Portia de Rossi make clear in other interviews in the documentary, is still in existence. It’s not 1950 any more, but it may as well be; it’s just that the high-profile outings of stars like Ellen DeGeneres and Zachary Quinto (soon to make a movie about Hunter’s closeted love affair with Anthony Perkins) fool us with a veneer of an entertainment industry that is more open and accepting.

Fundamentally though, the closet that housed Tab Hunter still houses major movie stars today. And this closet, ironically, is presided over by LGBT and straight Hollywood producers and publicists in 2018 who would likely describe themselves as liberal, pro-LGBT. Their day jobs make a weird mockery of this.

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Reply #8 posted 07/10/18 8:18pm

Goddess4Real

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7h7 hours ago

Tab Hunter was as sweet & genuine as he was handsome. My heart goes out to Tab's partner Allan & their families. We worked together on "Ride the Wild Surf" & remained friends since. Such a warm & special man, always thinking of others. Rest in Peace dear sweet Tab. -Barbara

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Reply #9 posted 07/10/18 8:29pm

Goddess4Real

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I almost forgot Tab was also in Grease 2 (1982) as Mr. Stuart, I love this number Reproduction biggrin

Michelle May‏ @MichelleAMay87 Jul 9

Replying to @grease2dotnet

Rip Tab Hunter.. Reproduction!!! Thank You to Grease 2 Favorite Substitute Teacher Mr Stuart

DhrSAwIWsAAiOEQ.jpg

[Edited 7/10/18 20:33pm]

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Reply #10 posted 07/10/18 8:51pm

Goddess4Real

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Reply #11 posted 07/10/18 9:02pm

Goddess4Real

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The Life And Times Of Tab Hunter https://www.npr.org/secti...d-amicably

The peak of Tab Hunter’s career was brief. The 50s icon’s stardom barely outlasted the decade in which it shot forth. His resume is slim when it comes to quality work. He never won any major awards. He was an idol, but like many idols, he was not taken seriously.

This is not entirely fair.

Hunter was an impossibly handsome man. Blonde and bronzed by way of the California sun. He first gained notice for being shirtless in Island of Desire. A film about two castaways with a plot semi-similar to The Blue Lagoon, and a reputation just about as reputable. It would be two more years before Hunter would get his first quality credit in support of Robert Mitchum in William Wellman’s Western, Track of the Cat. A year later he was in the largely forgotten, but huge hit at the time, Battle Cry. He could be seen holding his own onscreen with the likes of Ingrid Bergman, Rex Harrison, Alain Delon (the mind reels at the thought of Delon and Hunter having between takes handsome offs), George C. Scott, and Jeanne Moreau.

A few more roles in nondescript movies followed before Hunter hit upon his defining role. As the lead in George Abbott and Stanley Donen’s huge hit from 1958, Damn Yankees in 1958. A faithful take on the hit Broadway musical from two years prior. As “Shoeless” Joe Hardy, Hunter’s looks and physicality were never put to better use. At least that’s what I thought the first time I saw it in the early 80s. I later learned that even in the most successful film of his career, Hunter received lukewarm notices. Matching up against the great Gwen Verdon was no easy piece, but I found Hunter to be relentlessly charming and engaging. It’s hard not to think that Hunter paid a price for being beautiful. Too beautiful, perhaps.

Upon failing to get the lead role of Tony in West Side Story, Hunter briefly turned to television with The Tab Hunter Show. Despite being a huge hit in Britain, it lasted only a year.

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After that, Hunter’s career quickly declined. He picked up roles in just three more notable movies. 1961’s The Pleasure of His Company across from Debbie Reynolds and Fred Astaire was his last significant starring role. 1965’s The Loved One and 72’s The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean garnered him smaller roles in worthwhile projects.

Beyond those three pictures, Hunter mostly parodied his own persona in films rarely worthy of mention.

Bet something interesting happened as the years went by. The former teen idol gained respect. A contingent of critics offered favorable reappraisals of his work. Yes, Hunter was handsome. Yes, young ladies loved him. He was so popular for a short period of time that he managed to land three songs on the Billboard top 40, including the massive #1 charter titled (what else?), “Young Love”. The truth of the matter is Hunter was better than he was given credit for. He had success onscreen, on the tube, and on the radio.

Perhaps even more significantly, many years after becoming a teen icon, he became a gay one. The most significant stretch of Hunter’s career was spent keeping his true self from view. Hunter had significant romantic relationships with Anthony Perkins and figure skater Ronnie Robertson. He eventually settled down with producer Allan Glaser, whom he was linked with for over 35 years.

Once Hunter came out, he spoke clearly and honestly of his experience in Hollywood as a gay man. What it was like to hide his love away and pretend to be something he was not. For those who would like to see this candor on display, I highly recommend the fine documentary from 2015, Tab Hunter Confidential. It’s a lovely film about a lovely man.

Tab Hunter died on July 9, three days before his 87th birthday. He was far more than he was thought of during his heyday. I think people know that now. And that is a very good thing.

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Reply #12 posted 07/11/18 5:53am

poppys

rose My mother and her friends loved him when I was growing up in the '60s.

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Reply #13 posted 07/12/18 10:09pm

Goddess4Real

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Pic of Tab Hunter with James Dean on the set of Rebel Without a Cause (1955). I read that he won the role in Battle Cry (1955) over Dean and Paul Newman.

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Reply #14 posted 07/22/18 8:52pm

Goddess4Real

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Also Tab appeared in one of my all-time fav episodes of The Fall Guy, in Season 2 (1982) called "P.S I Love You."

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