Tab Hunter  

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"My work with John Waters and Divine was a high point of my professional life, even though it led to another label being hung on me that I have no use for: Gay Icon." --Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star(2006) by Tab Hunter

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Tab Hunter (born Arthur Andrew Kelm; July 11, 1931 – July 8, 2018) was an American actor, pop singer, film producer, and author. He starred in more than 40 films and was a well-known Hollywood star of the 1950s and 1960s.


Hunter was born Arthur Andrew Kelm in New York City to German immigrants. His father, Charles Kelm, was Jewish and his mother, Gertrude Gelien, a Roman Catholic who later converted to Judaism. Hunter was raised as a Roman Catholic. His father was an abusive man, and within a few years of his birth, his parents divorced and his mother moved with her two sons to California. She reassumed her maiden surname, Gelien, and changed her sons' name to that as well. As a teenager, Hunter was a figure skater, competing in both singles and pairs, and an ardent horseback rider.

In later years, Hunter's mother was institutionalized and underwent shock treatments, and he supported her financially until her death. His older brother Walter, whom he idolized, became a medic and was killed in Vietnam.

Selected filmography

Year Film Character Notes
1950 The Lawless Frank O'Brien also released under the title The Dividing Line
1952 Island of Desire Marine Corporal Michael J. "Chicken" Dugan also released under the title Saturday Island
1953 Gun Belt Chip Ringo
1953 The Steel Lady Bill Larson also released under the title Treasure of Kalifa
1954 Return to Treasure Island Clive Stone
1954 Track of the Cat Harold Bridges
1955 Battle Cry Danny Forrester
1955 "While We're Young" Gig Spevvy Episode of Ford Television Theatre, with Claudette Colbert
1955 "Fear Strikes Out" Jimmy Piersall 2 episodes of Climax!
1955 The Sea Chase Cadet Wesser
1956 "The People Against McQuade" Donald McQuade Episode of Conflict"
1956 The Burning Hills Trace Jordan
1956 The Girl He Left Behind Andy L. Shaeffer
1956 "Forbidden Area" episode of Playhouse 90 directed by John Frankenheimer with Charlton Heston
1957 "Mask for the Devil" episode of Climax!
1958 Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates Hans Brinker TV movie
1958 "Portrait of a Murderer" episode of Playhouse 90 directed by Arthur Penn
1958 Gunman's Walk Ed Hackett
1958 Lafayette Escadrille Thad Walker
1958 Damn Yankees Joe Hardy Also released under the title What Lola Wants in the UK
1959 They Came to Cordura Lt. William Fowler
1959 That Kind of Woman Red Directed by Sidney Lumet
1960-61 The Tab Hunter Show Paul Morgan Star of regular series
1961 The Pleasure of His Company Roger Henderson
1961 Summer on Ice Himself TV movie
1962 The Golden Arrow Hassan
1962 "Three Columns of Anger" episode of Saints and Sinners
1962 "The Celebrity" episode of Combat!
1963 Operation Bikini Lt. Morgan Hayes
1964 Ride the Wild Surf Steamer Lane
1964 Troubled Waters Alex Carswell
1965 City Under the Sea Ben Harris released as War Gods of the Deep in US
1965 The Loved One Whispering Glades Tour Guide
1966 Birds Do It Lt. Porter
1967 The Fickle Finger of Fate Jerry AKAS: El Dedo del Destino and The Cup of San Sebastian
1967 Hostile Guns Mike Reno
1968 Vengeance Is My Forgiveness Sheriff Durango
1968 The Last Chance Patrick Harris
1969 Bridge over the Elbe Richard
1970 The Virginian Cart Banner
1971 Hacksaw Tim Andrews TV movie
1972 Sweet Kill Eddie Collins
1972 The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean Sam Dodd
1975 Timber Tramps Big Swede
1976 Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood David Hamilton
1978 Katie: Portrait of a Centerfold Elliot Bender TV movie
1979 The Kid from Left Field Bill Lorant TV movie
1981 Polyester Todd Tomorrow
1982 Pandemonium Blue Grange
1982 Grease 2 Mr. Stuart
1982 And They're Off Henry Barclay
1982 Natalie: A Very Special Tribute to a Very Special Lady Himself Made-for-TV documentary
1985 Lust in the Dust Abel Wood
1988 Out of the Dark Driver
1988 Grotesque Rod
1988 Cameron's Closet Owen Lansing
1988 James Stewart's Wonderful Life Himself Made-for-TV documentary
1992 Dark Horse Perkins
1995 Wild Bill: Hollywood Maverick Himself Documentary
1996 Ballyhoo: The Hollywood Sideshow Himself Documentary
1998 The Best of Hollywood Himself/Presenter/Narrator Made-for-TV documentary
2002 Elvis Forever Himself Made-for-TV documentary about Elvis Presley
2003 Rita Himself Made-for-TV documentary about Rita Hayworth
2007 The Brothers Warner Himself Documentary
2008 Hollywood Singing and Dancing: A Musical Treasure Himself Made-for-TV documentary
2008 Hollywood Singing and Dancing: A Musical History Himself Made-for-TV documentary
2013 I Am Divine Himself Documentary about regular co-star and drag queen Divine
2015 Tab Hunter Confidential Himself Documentary about Hunter's life as a matinee idol, based upon his book of the same name

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Tab Hunter" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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