TAB HUNTER, American actor, born (d: 2018); In Hunter’s 2005 autobiography, Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star, he acknowledged his sexuality, confirming rumors that had circulated since the height of his fame. According to William L. Hamilton of the New York Times, detailed reports about his alleged romances with very close friends Debbie Reynolds and Natalie Wood were strictly the fodder of studio publicity departments. As Wood and Hunter embarked on a well-publicized and groundless romance, promoting his apparent heterosexuality while promoting their movies, insiders developed their own headline for the item: ‘Natalie Wood and Tab Wouldn’t.'”
Hunter did become close enough with Etchika Choureau, his co-star in Lafayette Escadrille, and Joan Cohn, widow of Harry Cohn, to contemplate marriage, but thought he never could maintain a marriage and remained merely platonic friends with both women. During Hollywood’s studio era, Hunter says, life “was difficult for me, because I was living two lives at that time. A private life of my own, which I never discussed, never talked about to anyone. And then my Hollywood life, which was just trying to learn my craft and succeed …” The star emphasizes that the word ‘gay’ “wasn’t even around in those days, and if anyone ever confronted me with it, I’d just kinda freak out. I was in total denial. I was just not comfortable in that Hollywood scene, other than the work process.”
“There was a lot written about my sexuality, and the press was pretty darn cruel,” the actor says, but what “moviegoers wanted to hold in their hearts were the boy-next-door marines, cowboys and swoon-bait sweethearts he portrayed.” Hunter had long-term relationships with actor Anthony Perkins and champion figure skater Ronnie Robertson before setting down with his surviving partner of 25 years, Allan Glaser. They lived in Montecito, California until Hunter’s death in 2018.