It is with great sadness to report that Tab Hunter, the 1950s Hollywood heartthrob who appeared in “Damn Yankees!” and also made a name for himself in the music industry, has died. A rep for the actor told The Hollywood Reporter that Hunter died three days shy of his 87th birthday.
Producer and spouse Allan Glaser said Hunter died Sunday of a blood clot in his leg that caused cardiac arrest. Glaser called the death was “sudden and unexpected,” Fox News reports.
A Facebook page for the star announced his death and asked fans to “honor his memory by saying a prayer on his behalf.” The post added, “He would have liked that.”
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.
He starred in more than 40 films and was a well-known Hollywood star of the 1950s and 1960s.
He joined the U.S. Coast Guard at the age of 15, lying about his age to enlist. While in the Coast Guard, he gained the nickname “Hollywood” for his penchant for watching movies rather than going to bars while on liberty. When his age was discovered, he was discharged by the Coast Guard. He met actor Dick Clayton socially; Clayton suggested that Hunter become an actor.
Hunter’s first film role was a minor part in a film, The Lawless. (1950)
Hunter made a flurry of movies in the latter half of the 1950s, aimed at capitalizing on his popularity with young girls. The films included such war dramas as “Battle Cry” (with Van Heflin) and “Lafayette Escadrille” (Clint Eastwood in a small role). He made the Westerns “The Burning Hills” (Natalie Wood) and “They Came to Cordura” (Gary Cooper, Rita Hayworth). And he made romantic comedies like “The Pleasure of His Company” (Fred Astaire, Debbie Reynolds.)
A highlight was the 1958 “Damn Yankees!,” an adaptation of the hit Broadway musical with Gwen Verdon and Ray Walston in their Tony-winning New York roles and the original director, George Abbott, sharing direction with Stanley Donen.
Besides the movies, he displayed his athletic skills — he had been a figure skater as well as horseman — in a TV special, “Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates.”
YouTube video courtesy of Rest in Peace
He had a long career and his list of accomplishments are way too long to put in this article!
Rest in peace brother and thanks for the memories.