(AP) — Tab Hunter, the blond actor and singer who was a heartthrob for millions of teenagers in the 1950s with such films as “Battle Cry” and “Damn Yankees” and received new attention decades later when he revealed that he was gay, has died. He was 86.
Producer and spouse Allan Glaser said Hunter died Sunday of a blood clot in his leg that caused cardiac arrest. Glaser called the death “sudden and unexpected.”
Hunter was a star for several years. In addition to his hit movies, his recording of “Young Love” topped the Billboard pop chart in 1957.
But in his 2005 memoir, “Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star,” Hunter recounted the stresses of being a love object to millions of young women when he was, in reality, a gay man.
Born Arthur Andrew Kelm, his screen tab (slang for “name” at the time) was fabricated by Henry Willson, the same talent agent who came up with the names Rock Hudson and Rory Calhoun.