Home #Hwoodtimes 50’s Matinee Idol Tab Hunter Dies at 86

50’s Matinee Idol Tab Hunter Dies at 86

Hollywood, CA, July 9, 2018, (The Hollywood Times) – Tab Hunter, actor and singer, one of the hottest teen idols of the 1950’s era, has died. He was 86. Just three days shy of his 87th birthday, the former heartthrob went into cardiac arrest on Sunday after a blood clot in his leg traveled to his lung, said Allan Glaser, Hunter’s husband of 35 years, on Monday. Hunter was nicknamed “The Sigh Guy” by the Hollywood studio system yet managed to continue his career long after his “golden boy” prime.

A product of Hollywood’s golden age, Tab Hunter became Hollywood’s golden boy. His first starring role, at the tender age of 19, was opposite Linda Darnell in the romantic South Seas adventure Island of Desire. An instant success, Tab went on to star in over 40 major motion pictures, including Battle Cry, The Pleasure of His Company, That Kind of Woman, Gunman’s Walk, They Came to Cordura, Ride the Wild Surf, The Loved One, The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, and the Academy Award-nominated Damn Yankees. A few of Tab’s leading ladies include Sophia Loren, Natalie Wood, Gwen Verdon, Rita Hayworth, Lana Turner, Debbie Reynolds, Kim Basinger and Michelle Pfeiffer. Multi-talented Tab also enjoyed a very successful recording career that culminated with one of the top records of the rock and roll era. His recording of Young Love zoomed to number one on the charts worldwide (knocking Elvis out of the top spot) where it remained for six weeks.


Tab subsequently starred in his own television series for NBC, was nominated for an Emmy for his performance opposite Geraldine Page in Playhouse 90’s Portrait of a Murderer and has guest starred in dozens of television shows. He also appeared on Broadway with Tallulah Bankhead in Tennessee Williams’s The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore.


Tab’s film career took off once again in the 1980s/90s as he starred in such films as John Waters’ Polyester, Grease 2, and the cult comedy-Western Lust in the Dust. Turning to producing, Tab teamed up with Allan Glaser to produce Lust in the Dust and Dark Horse.

RIP Tab.