Tab Hunter was a movie star in the 1950s. His blond good looks made the California native into a matinee idol. He played Robert Mitchum’s younger brother in The Track of the Cat and also starred in movies like Battle Cry and The Burning Hills. Later on, Hunter became a chart-topping musician with a single called “Young Love.”
Hunter, who was born Arthur Gelien in 1931, was a gay man at a time when homosexuality was taboo. He carried on a fictitious relationship with the actress Natalie Wood, even as he had love affairs with Anthony Perkins and others.
In 2005, Hunter officially “came out” to the world as a homosexual in an autobiography called Tab Hunter Confidential: the Making of a Movie Star. Hunter has been in a relationship with Allan Glaser, a producer, for 35 years.
On Monday, a Facebook page closely associated with Hunter reported that the actor had passed away at the age of 86. No cause of death was announced.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Hunter Was In a 35-Year Relationship With the Producer Allan Glaser
Hunter met Allan Glaser in in early 1980s, when Hunter was 52 and Glaser was 23.
The two men live in a cottage near Santa Barbara, not far from Oprah Winfrey’s 55 million dollar mansion. Glaser and Hunter keep horses and whippets.
In 2015, the two men worked together to produce a movie about Hunter’s life called Tab Hunter Confidential.
2. Hunter’s Mother Left His Abusive Father And Moved the Family to California
Hunter was born in New York City. His parents were both German immigrants. His mother, Gertrude Gelien, was a nurse. His father’s name was Charles Kelm. Hunter had one brother, Walter. Hunter has said that his father was so physically abusive that his mother fled with the two boys when they were very young. They moved to California and lived in San Francisco, Long Beach and Los Angeles. His mother changed their last name to Gelien, which was her maiden name.
Hunter told the New York Times that when was a teenager, serving in the Coast Guard, he went to his father’s apartment in New York and knocked on the door. He introduced himself to the woman who answered the door. She slammed the door in his face, and he never came back.
Hunter has described his mother as “a very strong religious German mother.” He said that, thanks to her, he remained a devout Catholic throughout his life.
Hunter also said his mother taught him to be very private about his sexuality and his romantic life.
“I was brought up very quietly, very privately,” Hunter told the New York Times. “My mother was a very strict German, religious, and so you just didn’t discuss things like that.”
3. Hunter’s Only Brother, Walter, Died While Serving in Vietnam
Hunter had one older brother, named Walter. Walter, mutual funds salesman, joined the Navy and served in the Vietnam War. He was killed in …read more