We find it difficult to understand what it would be like to have to keep certain aspects of ourselves hidden from the public.
Sadly, this famous actor spent the majority of his life having to do that.
In the 1950s and 1960s, Tab Hunter, who was well-known for his blond, trim good looks, appeared in numerous films and rose to fame as a major Hollywood heartthrob.
He was the rage among bobbysoxers in the 1950s, and his most well-known film was Damn Yankees. Some people may also be familiar with him from The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean.
In Manhattan, New York City, he was born in the year 1931. He lied about his age to join the US Coast Guard when he was 15 years old.Due of his passion for movies, Tab gained the moniker Hollywood while serving with the Coast Guard. Tab stayed home and watched movies after work while his coworkers went to the pub.
When Tab turned 17, he was introduced to the legendary agent Henry Willson – the mastermind behind developing the beefcake craze of the 1950s. Willson had previously found male superstars like Robert Wagner and Rock Hudson.
“Acting skill was secondary to chiseled features and a fine physique,” Hunter said while discussing Willson’s standards in his book Tab Hunter Confidential.
With his “Malibu beach boy looks,” Tab Hunter was the ideal Hollywood fit and went on to become one of the era’s most beloved adolescent idols.
”I was sort of a product of. I was thrown into it, and kind of wondered where does one serve one’s apprenticeship. I was one of those people who had to learn while doing. I learned on the job,” he said.
However, Tab’s sudden fame was not without its challenges. Being a homosexual actor in the 1950s was nearly impossible because of how conservative the USA was at the time.
A seasoned actor with passionate admirers, Tab Hunter was adored for both his talent and good looks. He was regarded as a Hollywood hunk in his time and had countless female admirers.
Unfortunately, he was compelled to conceal his true identity and sexuality, like many other gay actors of the period, in order to protect his profession. Before he finally came out and met his future partner, he had to pursue a number of relationships in secret to keep them from the public.
When Tab Hunter was older and more at ease with himself, he talked up about working as a secret gay guy in Hollywood in the 1940s. At one point, Hunter told The Hollywood Reporter that it was preferable to “get it from the horse’s mouth.” Later in life, the late actor wed Allan Glaser, his lifelong partner.
Film producer Glaser and Hunter enjoyed a successful and happy marriage. He had been dating Glaser in the past. Hunter did, however, have a covert relationship with actor Anthony Perkins.
After hearing rumors of the contentious romance between the two Hollywood heartthrobs for years, Tab finally made the decision to come clean.
”We just chatted and got on and soon we were starting to see each other But it was difficult; we couldn’t just go out for dinner together or go see a movie because we were both getting so popular back then. I didn’t talk about my personal life to anyone back then at all. The way I saw it it was nobody’s damn business,” he
His husband, Allan Glaser, had told him that a book about Hunter’s life was going to be written, which was one of the main reasons he made the decision to become public. The actor made the decision that he would prefer to be the one to reveal his private relationships to the public.
The movie actor said in his interview that he had known from his teen years that he favored guys. But given the era, he would never have acknowledged or been OK with the label “gay.”
His life was revolutionized throughout his career when friend and fellow performer Dick Clayton advised him to meet with Henry Wilson, a “gay svengali” agent who was connected to other gay performers including Rock Hudson.
Wilson assisted Hunter in acquiring a number of parts before he eventually found himself in the 1955 film “Battle Cry,” which catapulted the budding star to fame. He became into Hollywood’s bad boy, whose image could be seen on the covers of magazines all over the nation.
Due to his fame, Warner Bros. offered him a unique seven-year contract. He first met Natalie Wood, his “Burning Hills” co-star, at the business.
The two young celebrities were paired off by Warner Bros., and they gave off the impression of being romantically involved in public. They were sent to numerous events and award shows together. Hunter was reputedly good friends with Debbie Reynolds at the time, and he was inundated with female fans’ letters.
Of all, all of his appearances and alleged partnerships were marketing gimmicks. During the height of his career, Hunter was even scandalously detained at a pajama party where the majority of the attendees were gay males.
Hunter was having an affair with Anthony Perkins, an actor best remembered for his lead role in “Psycho,” while he pretended to date Wood. When discussing the connection, Hunter said:
“Tony and I had a very, very good relationship. We double-dated a lot.”
Over the years, he had numerous discreet relationships, but there were no rumors or controversies that seemed to have an impact on his work. Eventually, there were suspicions that Hunter’s former agent Wilson was the one who told the media the star was gay.
After they wed, Hunter and Glaser resided in a modest cottage in a community outside of Santa Barbara.
After Hunter’s reputation started to wane in the 1960s, they chose to live a quiet life. They were content with their decision to lead a modest life far from Hollywood. Hunter explained that achievement is not the sole aspect of life in a 2005 interview with the New York Times.
Sadly, Hunter passed away at the wonderful house he lived with Glaser. It was determined that the 86-year-old celebrity’s heart attack-related death occurred when a blood clot got lodged in his lungs.
What do you think about Tab Hunter’s complicated career?
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