Tab Hunter, iconic 1950s actor, dead at 86

TAB HUNTER Various- 1960's

Tab Hunter, the blond teenage heartthrob in the 1950s who made his name with such films as "Battle Cry" and "Damn Yankees!", has died at age 86.

Glaser said the cause of death was a blood clot that caused cardiac arrest.

Years later Hunter would speak about how the entire time he was being hailed as a sex symbol, he was keeping his sexuality a secret.

After decades of silence, Hunter confirmed long-standing rumors about his homosexuality in his autobiography, Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star, published in 2005.

Tab Hunter in 2015. The films included such war dramas as "Battle Cry" (with Van Heflin) and "Lafayette Escadrille" (which featured Clint Eastwood in a small role).

A list of Hunter's co-stars reads like a who's who of Hollywood, and includs John Wayne, Lana Turner, Natalie Wood, Gary Cooper, Rita Hayworth, Sophia Loren, Fred Astaire, Debbie Reynolds, Vincent Price, Divine and many others.

Despite being publicly closeted for much of his life, Hunter had relationships with Psycho star Anthony Perkins and figure skater Ronnie Robertson before settling down with Glaser.

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

More news: Donald Trump isn’t concerned about Michael Cohen flipping on him: Giuliani

Hunter with actress Tuesday Weld in July 1959. Now, "sad news" regarding Tab Hunter, who made hearts thump in general in the '50s: The actor and singer has died, just three days before he would have turned 87, per a Facebook page tied to the star.

"I believed, wholeheartedly - still do - that a person's happiness depends on being true to themselves", he wrote.

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

He starred as Joe Hardy in the 1958 musical Damn Yankees! and was paired twice with fellow contract star Natalie Wood in The Burning Hills and The Girl He Left Behind.

In his memoir, he took pains to note that "Ride the Wild Surf" was his only beach-party movie.

In the 1980s, he won new fans by appearing in cult movies with Divine, the 300-pound transvestite, notably John Waters' 1981 "Polyester" and Paul Bartel's 1985 "Lust in the Dust", co-produced by Hunter himself.

Glaser told the Los Angeles Times that Hunter collapsed in his arms at their home, and he was rushed to the hospital.

In June it was announced that JJ Abrams and Zachary Quinto are producing the movie "Tab & Tony" about the secret love affair. And it was not what people, you know, perceived. Hunter said he had been told by his longtime romantic partner Glaser that someone was planning to write a book about him, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "I just didn't like any suggestions or questioning of my sexuality".

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