Tab Hunter death: Multi-talented Hollywood star dies aged 86

The 50s heartthrob's fame arrived at a time when homosexuality was a taboo subject in Hollywood

Jacob Stolworthy
Monday 09 July 2018 10:33 BST
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Multi-talented Hollywood star Tab Hunter dies aged 86

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

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Tab Hunter has died at the age of 86.

The news was confirmed on the Facebook page affiliated with the Hollywood star which has acted as the official source of information regarding Hunter over the years.

Tributes have since poured in for the actor-musician-novelist on social media with a cause of death yet to be announced.

Born Arthur Gelien in 1931, the multi-talented star grew up in California before finding fame in the Fifties playing Robert Mitchum's younger brother in Track of the Cat (1955) and enjoying the spotlight as one of cinema's most popular male stars in the latter stages of the decade thanks to roles in films such as Battle Cry (1955) and The Burning Hills (1956).

In 1956, he topped the Billboard Hot 100 as the singer of “Young Love.”

(Kobal/REX/Shutterstock)

Hunter's fame arrived a time when homosexuality was a taboo subject leading the star to lead what he described as a “double life.” During that time, the famously closeted Hunter had relationships with Psycho star Anthony Perkins and figure skater Robbie Robertson despite participating in a fictitious romance with Natalie Wood.

He confirmed his sexuality in 2005 best-selling autobiography Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star which he co-wrote with Eddie Muller. He has been in a relationship with producer Allan Glaser for 35 years.

The star later found acclaim with a younger generation following a tole in cult John Waters film Polyester in which he starred opposite Divine in 1981.

Just last month, a film charting Hunter's love affair with Perkins was announced starring Star Trek star Zachary Quinto.

He's also the source of Netflix documentary Tab Hunter Confidential in which he reflects on his career and discusses being a closeted gay man while becoming one of Hollywood's biggest heartthrobs in the 50s.

Hunter's death comes just three days shy of his 87th birthday.

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