Tab Hunter, the handsome heartthrob of Hollywood’s golden age, has passed away at the age of 86 in his home in Santa Barbara, California.
The news was announced on the Facebook page for the 2015 documentary about his life, Tab Hunter: Confidential:
SAD NEWS: Tab passed away tonight three days shy of his 87th birthday. Please honor his memory by saying a prayer on his behalf. He would have liked that.
A representative reported the death was due to a blood clot. Hunter would have turned 87 the Wednesday, July 11.
With a career spanning over 40 films from the 1950s like Damn Yankees! and Battle Cry to the 1980s in Grease 2, and John Waters’ movies Polyester and Lust in the Dust, Hunter had recently returned to the spotlight after coming out in his 2005 memoir, Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star.
Hunter also enjoyed some success in the music world, scoring a hit single with “Young Love” in 1957.
A revealing documentary based on his memoir was released in 2015 simply titled, Tab Hunter Confidential.
His most notable recent public appearance was attending a performance of the acclaimed revival of The Boys in the Band on Broadway. The 86-year-old was spotted backstage speaking with one of the play’s stars, Zachary Quinto, who is producing a new biopic regarding the longtime, secret romance between Hunter and actor Anthony Perkins.
Fearful of losing his all-American image, Hunter never spoke about his sexuality until his memoir in 2005.
In an interview from last year with the Pocono Record, he said:
“If I had come out during my acting career in the 1950s, I would not have had a career. Not much in Hollywood has changed in 60 years. I really didn’t talk about my sexuality until I wrote my autobiography. My film career had long since been over by then. I believe one’s sexuality is one’s own business. I really don’t go around discussing it. Call me ’old school’ on that topic.”
Hunter would have turned 87 this Wednesday, July 11.