One of Hollywood's most interesting actors from the golden era has died. Tab Hunter, who played Joe Hardy in the hit movie Damn Yankees, passed away at age 86, according to his Facebook page.
Hunter was always known for his charm and good looks, but it wasn't until years after he left Hollywood that the truth about his life finally started to emerge.
The Burning Hills actor hid his homosexuality throughout the Golden Age, with studio-setup relationships with actresses like Natalie Wood trying to throw everyone off.
"I never mentioned my sexuality to Warner Bros. at all and they never mentioned it to me, thank God," Hunter said in a 2015 interview. "I just loved going out with Natalie. She was like my kid sister."
Hunter was also open about how tricky it was to navigate his closeted sexuality while in Hollywood, noting it was the person who discovered him who almost sold him out.
It all came about because Henry Willson, who "discovered" me and many other "pretty boy" actors, was upset when I left him to be represented by another agent. Around the same time, he learned that Confidential was planning to out Rock Hudson, who still was one of his clients, so he cut a deal with them to keep Rock out of their pages, feeding them dirt on me instead.
Specifically, he made them aware of the fact that five years earlier, before I was anybody, I had been arrested for disorderly conduct when police raided a party at which I — and a number of other gay people — were in attendance.
When the Confidential article came out, though, I thought my career was over. Thankfully, at just about the same time, Photoplay, which had a much bigger circulation, came out with an issue featuring me and Natalie Wood on the cover, identifying us as the year's most popular new stars.
That probably saved me. After all, in Hollywood, everybody talks, but nothing matters more than the bottom line.
In his 2005 autobiography, Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star, the actor also revealed he had many affairs with gay men in Hollywood. Most notably, Hunter admitted that he and Anthony Perkins, star of Psycho, had been in a long relationship.
"I know that when Tony Perkins and I were seeing each other, Paramount told him they didn’t want him to see me anymore," Hunter said. "But Warners didn’t say anything. They just were supportive of you."
Most recently, Hunter was the subject of a Netlfix documentary, called Tab Hunter Confidential. Just days before his death, it was also announced that his and Perkins' romance would be turned into a movie called Tab & Tony. JJ Abrams and Zachary Quinto will be producing the film for Paramount Studios.
Hunter leaves behind his partner Allan Glaser. The couple has been together since 1983.