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|Also Known As:||Arthur Andrew Kelm,Arthur Andrew Gelien||Died:|
|Born:||July 11, 1931||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||New York City, New York, USA||Profession:||Cast ... actor singer writer producer|
Tab Hunter parlayed his all-American blond good looks and wholesomeness into screen stardom, becoming an idol for 1950s teenagers who adored his boy-next-door persona and physique. He was cast in Joseph Losey's "The Lawless" (1950), despite having no previous acting experience, and earned his first starring role in 1952's "Island of Desire" opposite Linda Darnell. He went on to play the ingénue for the likes of Raoul Walsh ("Battle Cry," 1955), William Wellman ("Lafayette Escadrille," aka "Hellbent for Glory," 1958) and Sidney Lumet ("That Kind of Woman," 1959). He also launched a recording career, and had a hit record in 1957 with the song "Young Love," which appeared at #1 on the Billboard charts for six straight weeks and sold over one million copies. Hunter appeared in "Gunman's Walk" (1958), as well as performed the song "I'm a Runaway" in the film. Later that year he delivered his memorable portrayal of long-suffering Washington Senators fan Joe Hardy in George Abbott and Stanley Donen's Faustian musical, "Damn Yankees," and appeared opposite Geraldine Page in the Emmy-nominated "Portrait of a Murderer" installment of "Playhouse 90." In the 1960s, he starred in pictures such as "Operation Bikini" (1963) and "Ride the Wild Surf" (1964), and appeared in Tony Richardson's "The Loved One" (1965). During this time, he also starred in his own series on NBC, and, in 1964, performed on Broadway opposite Tallulah Bankhead in the Tennessee Williams play "The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore."
Hunter returned to the big screen in the 1970s with John Huston's "The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean" (1972), then attempted to reinvent himself in parts running counter to his popular image. He also had a regular role during the last year of the syndicated soap send-up "Fernwood Tonight/Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman." Perhaps his finest performance was as the lonely Venice Beach psychopath of Curtis Hanson's directing debut, "The Arousers" (1973), but he also acted in three movies with Divine, most notably John Waters' "Polyester" (1981). Hunter produced Paul Bartel's Western spoof "Lust in the Dust" (1984), as well as starred opposite Divine, and picked up a story credit for David Hemmings' "Dark Horse" (1992). In recent years, he has been featured as an interview subject in documentaries about Hollywood figures, including "Wild Bill, Hollywood Maverick: The Life and Times of William A. Wellman" (1995) and "I Am Divine" (2013), and on TV in "Sophia Loren: Actress Italian Style" (A&E, 1997) and "Natalie Wood: The E! True Hollywood Story" (1997). In 2005, Hunter released his autobiography, "Tab Hunter Confidential," which became a New York Times bestseller. The book was the basis for a documentary film in 2015, produced by Allan Glaser and directed by Jeffrey Schwarz, which premiered at the South by Southwest festival and subsequently played at a number of other festivals and screenings, and received a theatrical release in October of that year.
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