Out actor Tab Hunter died on Sunday,
just three days shy of his 87th birthday.
Hunter's longtime partner Allan Glaser
said that he died “unexpectedly” from cardiac arrest brought
about by a blood clot in his leg.
Hunter starred in more than 40 films in
the 1950s, including Battle Cry and Damn Yankees. At
the height of his success, he had his own television show, The Tab
Hunter Show, and a hit single, “Young Love.”
Hunter came out gay in his 2005 memoir
Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star.
“I believed, wholeheartedly – still
do – that a person’s happiness depends on being true to
themselves,” Hunter wrote. “The dilemma, of course, that was
being true to myself – and I’m talking sexually now – was
impossible in 1953.”
Harvey Fierstein, Zachary Quinto,
Wilson Cruz and George Takei were among the celebrities who honored
Hunter on Monday.
Fierstein called Hunter a “gay icon”
and a “true gentleman,” while Quinto called him a “pioneer of
“Tab Hunter was so much more than a
teen heartthrob – he was a celebrated actor, trailblazer, and an
icon for the LGBT community,” said Takei on Instagram.
Glaser is currently producing a film
based on Hunter's secret love affair with Tony Perkins, titled Tab
Hunter says he never got to say goodbye to Anthony Perkins.)