Arthur Andrew Gelien, a.k.a. Tab Hunter, became a 1950s screen idol thanks to his all-American good looks and a string of popular roles playing soldiers and lovers in such films as “Battle Cry” and “The Sea Chase.”
Around that time, Hunter enjoyed a brief singing career after releasing the chart-topping single “Young Love.” He also acted and sang in the 1958 movie version of the hit musical “Damn Yankees!”
Meanwhile, the closeted gay actor, always at risk of being outed by the era’s powerful tabloids, was romantically linked (by studio publicists) with such friends as Debbie Reynolds and Natalie Wood while he pursued his private life.
During the 1960s, Hunter augmented his middling film work with TV roles, later acting in a series of European-made spaghetti westerns. The 1970s and ’80s found the actor back in episodic television, as well as in such movie spoofs as "Polyester" and "Lust in the Dust" and the musical sequel "Grease 2."
Hunter "told all" in his 2005 autobiography, "Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star."
Hunter died July 9, 2018 at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. He was 86.