Tab Hunter Had A Clandestine Love Life With Fellow Star Years Before Coming Out & Marrying Allan Glaser

Years before Hollywood became accepting of different sexual orientations and celebrating gay icons, stars like Tab Hunter had to remain in the closet as he attained fame on the big screen. With a career that spanned over 60 years, Hunter made a name for himself, becoming one of the most popular actors of the 1950s.

While his good looks and boyish charm, combined with his acting prowess, made him Hollywood’s heartthrob, he had to remain in the closet to maintain his status. However, Hunter had a secret affair with fellow star Anthony Perkins during those years in the 1950s.

Born Arthur Andrew Gelien, Hunter, who changed his moniker at the start of his Hollywood career, always knew he was different as far back as his early teenage years. However, he did not come to terms with his orientation until much later. As a youngster working in a local horse stable, Hunter’s career trajectory went up a notch the day he met actor Dick Clayton who visited the stables for a photoshoot.

Clayton pitched Hunter the idea of becoming an actor and introduced him to talent agent Henry Wilson. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter in 2015, Hunter confirmed this by stating, “There would be no Tab Hunter if it were not for Dick Clayton.” Wilson, who worked with other stars like Rock Hudson, Rory Calhoun, and Guy Madison, proceeded to change Hunter’s name, and so his Hollywood career began.

Hunter’s first film role was very minor in Joseph Losey’s 1950 movie, “The Lawless.” However, his second movie, “Island of Desire,” gave his career the early-needed boost. After starring in 1955’s “Battle Cry,” more doors of opportunity were opened, and Hunter signed a seven-year contract with Warner Bros. This was followed by a ground-breaking fame that saw Hunter gracing the covers of magazines.
From 1955 to 1959, the movie star recorded success that made him Jack Warner’s top-grossing talent. As an A-lister, Hunter was required to attend red-carpet events and star-studded gatherings alongside Natalie Wood, who was the belle of the moment. Through it all, he never informed Warner Bros. of his sexuality, and it never came into question.

Due to his constant outings with Natalie Wood, Hunter maintained his heterosexual personality, and he was popular among his female fans. However, in 1955, the star came under scrutiny after Confidential, a radical tabloid, published news that he was arrested at a homosexual pajama party. Although it was quite a sensation, Hunter’s career went on fine. He was named the Most Promising New Personality, and Warner Bros tried to save the situation by rolling out constant images of him and Wood.

For the next two decades, Hunter witnessed tremendous career success, including his foray into music. He attained so much fame that when he released his debut single, “Young Love,” its success surpassed Elvis Presley on the charts. The “Damn Yankees” star lived a double life with his fame and closeted real self.

Hunter met Pekins in 1956 when mutual friends introduced them at the Chateau Marmont. The actors had a lot in common, from being up-coming stars to being marketed to fans as Hollywood heartthrobs. In a 2018 interview with Attitude, Hunter revealed that he and Perkins got along, although they had different approaches to their careers. He noted that the “Friendly Persuasion” star was more career-driven.

Despite this, the actors got on fine and soon started dating. Hunter revealed that they enjoyed each other’s company, although they actively stayed clear of the public eye. In all, it was not the best time for them to start a relationship, but they did.
Hunter told the news outlet that it was difficult for him and Perkins to keep up with each other because they had become quite popular. The secret lovers also faced opposition from Perkins’ contractor studio, Paramount, who forbade Perkins from seeing Hunter. While the challenges had a strain on their relationship, it was something else that made them go their separate ways.

Hunter recalled how he had been pitching for a new movie titled, “Fear Strikes Out,” but unknown to him, Perkins also wanted to star in the movie. The latter eventually convinced Paramount to buy the feature version of the film, and he got the role Hunter wanted. Hunter recalled how he felt to Attitude:

“I felt betrayed; I was really disappointed by that. We sort of separated, I guess we just outgrew each other, and then we lost touch for a while.”

“The Burning Hills” actor moved on with his love life when he met Allan Glaser. The pair were together for thirty years before getting married in 2013. The last time Hunter saw Perkins was in 1984, when the latter had already gotten married and started a family. Perkins would later pass on in 1992, two years after he was diagnosed with HIV.

In 2005, Hunter released his best-selling memoir “Tab Hunter Confidential” detailing his life as a closeted gay star in the golden age of Hollywood. Hunter, who was private about his personal life, decided to share his story after Glaser informed him that someone else planned to write about his life. He shared:

“I thought, ‘Look, get it from the horse’s mouth and not from some horse’s ass after I’m dead and gone.”

Tab Hunter passed away 13 years after penning his memoir. The star died aged 86 due to a blood clot after he suffered a cardiac arrest.

Please don't forget to SHARE this with your friends and family.

Click here for Comments

0 commentaires :