Hollywood legend Tab Hunter dead at 86 — How did the Damn Yankees star die?

Tab Hunter discusses his incredible Hollywood career in an interview about his own biography
Tab Hunter rose to fame as a Hollywood heartthrob in the 1950s, later shocking fans when he came out in 2005

Hollywood legend Tab Hunter has died. It was learned that the actor, known for starring in Damn Yankees, passed away at 86 years old, just days away from his 87th birthday.

News of Tab’s passing was shared via the Tab Hunter Confidential Facebook account. They wrote, “SAD NEWS: Tab passed away tonight three days shy of his 87th birthday. Please honor his memory by saying a prayer on his behalf. He would have liked that.”

It has been reported that Tab Hunter passed away in Santa Barbara, California according to The Hollywood Reporter. He reportedly died from a blood clot that caused a heart attack. Tab’s death was “unexpected and sudden.”

Tab Hunter rose to fame in the 1950s after landing roles in movies like Saturday Island and Battle Cry. He quickly became known as a Hollywood heartthrob, dating starlets like Jayne Mansfield, Natalie Wood, and other leading ladies. Hunter’s big secret would be revealed decades later.

It wasn’t until 2005 when his book, Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star cleared up any questions about the Hollywood legend’s sexuality. It turns out that all those dates with beautiful women was just a ruse.

As Tab explained, he was hired to act and that is exactly what he did. One thing he made clear is that Tab was never confused about his sexuality, he just chose to keep it to himself in order to continue on in his successful acting career.

In 1957, Tab Hunter was even able to top the pop charts with his song, Young Love.

Though he was immensely popular for several years in Hollywood, like many others, Tab’s shine started to lose its luster. By the mid-70s, he was just another struggling actor trying to make ends meet.

He started working the dinner theater circuit for a few years before attempting a Hollywood comeback in the 1981 film Polyester. After dealing with a host of health issues including a heart attack, stroke and later, a heart bypass surgery, Tab Hunter seemingly accepted that he would never make the acting comeback that he dreamed about.

Tab is survived by his partner of more than three decades, Allen Glaser. It was Glaser who was instrumental in the production of Tab’s biography, Tab Hunter Confidential, in which he opened up about his life.

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