Actor and '50s heartthrob Tab Hunter, best known for his roles in Battle Cry and Island of Desire, died Sunday. He was 86.
Hunter's husband, Allan Glaser, told the Los Angeles Times on Monday they were at home in Santa Barbara, California, when Hunter went into cardiac arrest after a blood clot in his leg went to his lung. "It was more important that Tab was known for being a good human being," Glaser said. "That was most important to him than being an actor and a recording artist. He didn't place importance on his movie career or his celebrity." Hunter was three days shy of turning 87.
Born Arthur Gelien, Hunter was discovered while working as a stable boy in Los Angeles, and his agent gave him the name Tab Hunter. He starred in movies like Track of the Cat and The Sea Chase, and recorded the song "Young Love," which was so successful his movie studio head, Warner Bros.' Jack Warner, launched Warner Bros. Records in 1958 in order to profit from Hunter's hit. Hunter was romantically linked to several actresses, after being forced to hide that he was gay and in relationships with men, including actor Anthony Perkins, the Times reports. After retiring from acting, Hunter moved to Santa Barbara to ride horses, and Glaser said he volunteered his time working with paralyzed veterans and animals.