Tab Hunter: A Hollywood Heartthrob Remembered

CEO Tam DT
Tab Hunter in a promotional portrait for Battle Cry (1955) Tab Hunter, born Arthur Andrew Kelm on July 11, 1931, was an American actor, singer, film producer, and author. With his blond hair and clean-cut...

Tab Hunter Tab Hunter in a promotional portrait for Battle Cry (1955)

Tab Hunter, born Arthur Andrew Kelm on July 11, 1931, was an American actor, singer, film producer, and author. With his blond hair and clean-cut good looks, Hunter became a Hollywood heartthrob during the 1950s and 1960s. He starred in numerous films and graced the covers of hundreds of magazines. His notable screen credits include Battle Cry (1955), The Girl He Left Behind (1956), Gunman's Walk (1958), and Damn Yankees (1958). Hunter also had a successful music career, with his hit single "Young Love" reaching the top of the charts in 1957.

Tab Hunter with Natalie Wood Tab Hunter with Natalie Wood at the 28th Academy Awards in 1956

Early Life

Arthur Andrew Kelm, later known as Tab Hunter, was born in Manhattan, New York City. He was raised in California by his mother and maternal grandparents after his parents' divorce. As a teenager, Hunter was a figure skater and even competed in both singles and pairs. He joined the United States Coast Guard at the age of fifteen and gained the nickname "Hollywood" for his love of watching movies. It was during this time that he met actor Dick Clayton, who encouraged him to pursue a career in acting.

Career

Hunter's career in acting took off when he was introduced to agent Henry Willson, who renamed him "Tab Hunter." His first major role came in the film Island of Desire (1952), where he starred opposite Linda Darnell. The film was a hit, and Hunter's popularity continued to rise. He signed a contract with Warner Bros. and appeared in successful films like Battle Cry (1955) and The Sea Chase (1955), where he worked with John Wayne and Lana Turner.

One of Hunter's breakthrough roles was in the film adaptation of Leon Uris' bestseller Battle Cry. As the young Marine Danny, Hunter showcased his acting talent and became one of Hollywood's most sought-after romantic leads. The film was a commercial success and solidified Hunter's position in the industry.

Tab Hunter Tab Hunter with Debbie Reynolds in January 2016

Music Career

In addition to his acting career, Hunter also found success in the music industry. His hit single "Young Love" topped the charts in 1957 and sold over two million copies. He followed up with another hit, "Ninety-Nine Ways," which further solidified his status as a multi-talented entertainer. Hunter's success in music led to the creation of Warner Bros. Records specifically for him.

Later Years and Legacy

Hunter's career experienced a revival in the 1980s with films like John Waters' Polyester (1981) and Paul Bartel's Lust in the Dust (1985). He also appeared in the musical Grease 2 (1982) as Mr. Stuart, the substitute teacher who sang "Reproduction." Hunter continued to act in films throughout the 1980s and 1990s, with his last film role being in Dark Horse (1992).

In 2005, Hunter released his autobiography, Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star. In the book, he officially came out as gay, confirming rumors that had circulated since the height of his fame. The memoir became a New York Times bestseller and was later adapted into an award-winning documentary in 2015.

Tab Hunter passed away on July 8, 2018, at the age of 86. Throughout his career, he left an indelible mark on Hollywood and will always be remembered as one of the iconic heartthrobs of his time.


Note: This article is based on the original content and has been rewritten using Markdown.

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