Monday, July 9, 2018

Tab Hunter, 1931-2018

Tab Hunter kissing Diana Lynn in Track of the Cat (1954)

The death has been announced of actor Tab Hunter, three days before what would have been his 87th birthday. Hunter's career in Hollywood began in the 1950s with quite a few westerns. Hunter worked steadily, if not as a lead in the most notable films, for a good 30 years.

However, Hunter became an icon above the status of the movies he was in. Despite his handsome looks that made him a natural for romantic comedies, Tab was gay and it was a fairly open secret in Hollywood. The execs had him go out with Natalie Wood and, as the joke went, "Natalie Wood and Tab wouldn't."

Hunter didn't actually reveal any of this publicly until much later in life, when he found out that somebody else was going to write an unauthorized biography of him, outing all this stuff and distorting it. So Tab decided he'd better put it all out first, in the book and later documentary film Tab Hunter Confidential. Apparently, that included a relationship with Anthony Perkins, which is currently the subject of a movie in development.

As far as I know, TCM hasn't announced whether they're going to do anything to honor Hunter.

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