888 4 GAY NEWS or 888-442-9639

Tab Hunter has died, he was 86

Tab Hunter: 1931 - 2018
Photo credit:
Flickr

Hollywood heartthrob, actor, and activist Tab Hunter has died at the age of 86 according to his partner of over 30 years, Allan Glaser, in a Facebook post. "SAD NEWS: Tab passed away tonight three days shy of his 87th birthday. Please honor his memory by saying a prayer on his behalf. He would have liked that."

Hunter practically invented the boy-next-door trope in films, becoming an early pin-up boy to millions of female fans in the 50's. But Hunter held on to a secret that would become the basis for the critically acclaimed book and documentary "Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star." 

Featured in FilmOut's 2016's LGBT San Diego Film Festival, Confidential chronicled the chiseled star's rise to fame and ultimately his coming out story, a move that some actors are too afraid to do even today. 

Early in his career Hunter took on the role as Joe Hardy in Damn Yankees, then later in his career appeared alongside drag icon Divine in "Polyester." and "Lust in the Dust." These later roles kept his leading man status while broadening his fan reach to many in the LGBT community. 

Although early-on, major studios tried to set up beards for Hunter including Natalie Wood, but it wouldn't be until 20 years later that Tab would confirm rumors of his homosexuality in an autobiography with an award-winning film to follow a decade later. 

Hunter's story will continue in the new film by J.J. Abrams called "Tab & Tony," about his life with "Psycho" star Perkins.

While visiting San Diego for the film Tab Hunter Confidential, he met FilmOut organizers and fans with his signature smile and jovial personality. 

"R.I.P Tab Hunter," FilmOut wrote in a Facebook post upon hearing of his death. "We loved honoring you with a Lifetime Achievement Award and screening the Award Winning documentary Tab Hunter Confidential at FilmOut San Diego in 2015."