Remembering Tab Hunter (1931 – 2018)

Tab Hunter, iconic 1950s American actor, television host, pop singer, and film producer, passed away on July 8, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California at the age of 86.

Tab Hunter is remembered for his starring roles in feature films such as Battle Cry (1955) and Damn Yankees (1958). Hunter’s stardom expanded with roles in other popular films including two Westerns, The Burning Hills (1956) and The Girl He Left Behind (1956), both played alongside a young Natalie Wood. As a product of the star system in Hollywood, he became a sex symbol to millions of women and girls around the world.

Expanding his career beyond film, Tab Hunter also found success as a pop performer. His first hit single, “Young Love”, in 1957 superseded Elvis as the number one single on charts worldwide, where it remained on top for six full weeks. Achieving television fame as well, Hunter starred in his own series for NBC, The Tab Hunter Show, as well as guest starring in dozens more.   

In the 1980s, Hunter’s film career took a more avant-garde turn with his role in John Waters’ film Polyester (1981). In 1985 Hunter and his longtime partner, Allan Glaser, starred in and produced Lust in the Dust.  

In fear of jeopardizing his image, Tab Hunter never felt comfortable disclosing his sexual identity, and did not come out as openly gay until his 2005 autobiography, Tab Hunter Confidential. In 2015, his autobiography was subsequently adapted into a documentary of the same name. Hunter expressed that he wanted people to hear his story “from the horse’s mouth and not from some horse’s ass after I’m dead and gone.” Tab Hunter’s story and outlook on life adds a new voice to the present day LGBTQ+ movement.

In 1976, Tab Hunter analyzed his career in an interview that was featured in the documentary Making it in Hollywood. Hunter expresses how he preserved his sense of reality after achieving fame as a Hollywood megastar.  

The documentary was produced by Frank and Laura Cavestani and Tom Weinberg. Jodie Sibert was an interviewer and Elan Soltes the videographer for the shoot with Hunter in the Chateau Marmont Hotel in Hollywood.   

What follows is the original raw footage from the hotel room in 1976.



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