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Hollywood star Tab Hunter died Sunday evening just three days shy of turning 87, according to the Facebook page affiliated with the actor. The cause of his passing was not confirmed.
Born Arthur Gelien on July 11, 1931 in New York City, Hunter’s first film role was a minor part in drama “The Lawless” in 1950. His first prominent role was as Robert Mitchum’s younger brother in “Track of the Cat” in 1955, which was followed by “Battlecry,” Warner Bros’ biggest hit of the year. Hollywood stardom ensued, and he was Warner’s most popular male star between 1955-59.
He also had a number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Young Love,” and headlined his own NBC sitcom in the 1961-62 TV season called “The Tab Hunter Show.” Additionally, Hunter found acclaim with a younger generation following a role in cult John Waters film “Polyester,” in which he starred opposite Divine in 1981. And he is the source of Netflix documentary, “Tab Hunter Confidential,” where he reflects on his career and discusses being a closeted gay man while becoming one of Hollywood’s biggest heartthrobs in the 1950s.
Hunter’s TV show guest star roles included “The Six Million Dollar Man,” “The Love Boat,” the original “Hawaii Five-O” and “Charlie’s Angels,” “Benson” and “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.”