LGBT celebrities pay tribute to late heartthrob Tab Hunter

Tab Hunter, 50s Hollywood heartthrob and LGBT icon who came out in 2005, is being paid tribute to by celebrities including Zachary Quinto and Divine.

Hunter was one of Hollywood’s original golden boys, starring as the man of many people’s dreams in the 1950s but ‘living a double life’ as he feared being exposed as gay.

He has died, much beloved, age 86 – 13 years after finally feeling able to come out and to live his life openly.

Hunter had a serious – and hidden – relationship with fellow Hollywood actor Anthony Perkins and another with figure skater Ronnie Robertson. He is survived by Allan Glaser, his partner of more than 35 years, who directed the 2015 documentary about Tab, Tab Hunter: Confidential. 

Tab starred opposite Divine twice, included in Lust In The Dust, produced by Glaser. Her official accounts have joined Matthew Bourne, Zachary Quinto and many others in heartfelt tributes to Tab.

Divine’s official Twitter account sent out “Divine’s dear friend, Tab Hunter, passed away this evening. #tabhunter #divine #johnwaters #polyester #toddtomorrow #lustinthedust #rip”

Matthew Bourne tweeted “RIP Tab Hunter, one of the most charming men I ever met. #Actor #Heartthrob #Singer #Icon”

Photography archive Magnum tweeted a photo of Tab jumping joyously in a series from 1958 by photographer Philippe Halsman:

Huffington Post movie critic Matt Jacobs tweeted photos of Tab with Anthony Perkins, detailing the lengths the couple had to go to to hide their relationship: “Tab Hunter and Anthony Perkins: Hollywood’s sexiest not-so-secret relationship. They used to go on double dates with women and then go home together!”

George Takei tweeted “Tab Hunter was so much more than a teen heartthrob – he was a celebrated actor, trailblazer and an icon for the LGBTQ community. Brad and I extend our deepest condolences to his husband, Allan Glaser. RIP Tab, you will be sorely missed.”

Broadcaster John Fugelsang tweeted a photo of himself and Tab, saying “Tab Hunter was such a popular movie star in the 50s but spent decades fearing that he’d be outed for being gay. He eventually came out and at age 84 joined me on SIRIUSXM episode 121 to discuss how far we’ve come and what it’s like to hide in the spotlight.”

Zachary Quinto posted a photo of Tab in his 50s heartthrob prime to Instagram, saying “Sso sad to wake up to the news of the passing of tab hunter. i was honoured to get to know him in the past year and am so grateful to have experienced his sheer joy and love of life. and what a life! such a rich experience. such a vital and generous nature. and such a pioneer of self-acceptance and moving through this world with authenticity as his guide. he will be missed greatly, may he rest in peace.”

Fellow Boys In The Band cast member Matthew Bomer also instagrammed a tribute, saying “Grateful that we were able to meet the incredible Tab Hunter and thank him for his authenticity and courage. Rest in Peace.”