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techkenyot.com September 23, 2018


Tab Hunter, Star of Damn Yankees!, Dead at 86

10 July 2018, 05:58 | Elsie Buchanan

Tab Hunter, Star of Damn Yankees!, Dead at 86

Actor Tab Hunter arrives at The Hollywood Reporter's Academy Awards Nominees Night at Spago on Monday

Tab Hunter, a former on-screen heartthrob and gay icon, has died.

The film star released his autobiography, Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star in 2005, in which Mr. Hunter came out as a gay man after years of industry rumors. He continued to work into his 70s as a film producer, and his recording of the song "Young Love" topped the Billboard pop chart in 1957.

Willson, whose client roster included Rock Hudson, Robert Wagner, Troy Donahue and Rory Calhoun, was once described wryly as having a knack for "discovering and renaming young actors whose visual appeal transcended any lack of ability".

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, that was being true to myself - and I'm talking sexually now - was impossible in 1953".

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Glaser also told the Times that Hunter was a religious man who worked with paralyzed veterans and animals.

Hunter was born Arthur Andrew Kelm on July 11, 1931, in New York City, but later moved to California when he was young.

"I had my fling, and I was very fortunate", he said.

By 1950 the new actor had nabbed a small role in the film "The Lawless". At the age of 15, he entered the Coast Guard after lying about his age.

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"I believed, wholeheartedly - still do - that a person's happiness depends on being true to themselves", Hunter said. Noted for his All-American looks, Mr. Hunter became one of the studio's most popular star, paired with fellow Warner Bros. favorite Natalie Wood in such films as The Burning Hills and The Girl He Left Behind.

A highlight was the 1958 "Damn Yankees!", an adaptation of the hit Broadway musical with Gwen Verdon and Ray Walston in their Tony-winning NY roles and the original director, George Abbott, sharing direction with Stanley Donen.

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. J.J. Abrams, Hunter's husband and producing partner Allan Glaser and Neil Koenigsberg are working on on a movie about the star for Paramount titled Hunter, with Zachary Quinto set to star. "I just didn't like any suggestions or questioning of my sexuality".

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