Tab Hunter dies

Fifties heartthrob passes away aged 86

by Jennie Kermode

Tab Hunter as seen in documentary Tab Hunter Confidential
Tab Hunter as seen in documentary Tab Hunter Confidential

Tab Hunter, actor, singer, producer and Hollywood legend, has died just three days before what would have been his 87th birthday, it emerged today. The star of Damn Yankees, The Virginian and Polyester had previously survived a heart attack and stroke, but died from a blood clot.

Hunter first came to public attention in 1955 when he appeared alongside Robert Mitchum in Track Of The Cat. In 1956, he had a number one hit record with Young Love.

A committed Catholic, Hunter was uncomfortable with press interest in his sexuality at a time when homosexuality was strictly taboo in Hollywood, and considered marrying a woman but didn't feel he could make it work. He had a long term relationship with fellow actor Anthony Perkins which was recently announced as the subject of a new film being made by Zachary Quinto. Despite the challenges he faced, he always remained upbeat and described his life as having been "wonderful."

Unwilling to let other people spin his story, Hunter wrote an autobiography, Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making Of A Movie Star, and spoke at length in the documentary Tab Hunter Confidential.

He is survived by his partner of 35 years, producer Allan Glaser.

Share this with others on...

For the love of lemurs Mark C Smith on taking the plunge into stop-motion animation with Two Balloons

The image maker Tiffany Bartok on Isabella Rossellini, Tori Amos and Larger Than Life: The Kevyn Aucoin Story

Filming family Cyril Aris talks about documenting his grandparents' lives in The Swing

A sixth sense David Frenkel discusses the subjects of Claude Lanzmann's The Four Sisters

Faith on the doorstep Amy Geller and Gerald Peary on their upcoming documentary The Rabbi Goes West

San Sebastian announces first New Directors titles A look at the 13 up-and-coming directors selected.

More news and features

We're bringing you all the latest from the Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal.

We're looking forward to Frightfest in London.

We've recently been at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, the Edinburgh International Film Festival and the Cannes Film Festival.

Read our full for recent coverage.

Visit our festivals section.


Win some great merchandise in our latest competition. To celebrate the release of The Secret Of Marrowbone in cinemas, we've got a bundle of goodies up for grabs, plus win a copy of Sweet Country on Blu-ray.