Hunter was the studios number one grossing star from 1955-1959 appearing in films such as The Sea Chase alongside John Wayne, World War II drama Battle Cry and opposite Natalie Wood in The Burning Hills and The Girl He Left Behind.
Hunter came out as gay in 2005 with the publication of his autobiography, Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star. According to reports, he died at 86-years-old from a blood clot in his leg which triggered cardiac arrest.
A career revival of sorts was triggered by his casting in Polyester, the hitherto-underground John Water's 1981 paean to all things cheesy-50s; Hunter starred alongside Waters regulars Divine and Mink Stole.
During his most prominent years in Hollywood, despite the fact that being gay at the time was very taboo, Tab Hunter had relationships with Psycho star Anthony Perkins and figure skater Robbie Robertson.
Hunter was born on July 11, 1031 as Arthur Kelm in New York City, but grew up in California with his mother, brother and maternal grandparents.
A Facebook page to promote the 2015 documentary on his life, Tab Hunter Confidential, also confirmed Hunter's death alongside two photos. His slide followed the classic pattern: "to a television series (The Tab Hunter Show, on NBC, 1960-62); European films (The Golden Arrow) and cheap kid flicks (Ride the Wild Surf") In his memoir, he took pains to note that Ride the Wild Surf was his only beach-party movie. The actor was also a sometime recording star, his version of the tune "Young Love" for Dot Records in 1957 reached No. 1 and stayed there for six weeks.
At the age of 15 Hunter ran off to join the Coast Guard, but was dismissed from service after it was discovered he had lied about his age.
Writing the book was hard, he told The Associated Press in 2005, "because I'm a really private person". Directed by Jeffrey Schwarz, the film was produced by Hunter's life partner Allan Glaser, who survives him and is developing, with J.J. Abrams, Zachary Quinto and playwright Doug Wright, a feature film based on the section in Hunter's memoir about his affair with Perkins. The film helped introduce Hunter to a younger audience, some of whom were unfamiliar with his pin-up past. You can check out more social media tributes to Hunter for yourself below.
After living in New Mexico for a time, Hunter returned to live in a home in Montecito in Santa Barbara County with Glaser. "They'd say, 'Can I have your autograph?' and he'd sign Troy Donahue's name", Stevenson said.
"I thought, 'Look, get it from the horse's mouth and not from some horse's a* em *THR's Scott Feinberg in 2015".