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Tab Hunter

Tab Hunter (born 11 July 1931 in New York City) was one of many Hollywood B-picture actors whose rights were owned by the studios. He was born Arthur Kelm, the son of Charles Kelm and Gertrude Gelien. A few years after his birth, his mother divorced his father, took her two sons to California, and all three took her maiden name of Gelien. Tab's older brother Walt was killed in the Vietnam War.

Tab's fantastic good-looks pegged him as a teen idol and he appeared in Island of Desire chiefly for this reason. Based on his teen idol status, he had a 1957 hit with a recording of 'Young Love', which topped the charts for over a month. His own Tab Hunter Show had a brief run (1960-61). During this time he met Anthony Perkins, with whom he had an off-and-on sexual relationship for several years.

His career revived in the 80s by starring opposite Divine in two films. He also wrote the story for, and appeared in, the movie Dark Horse (1992).

Tab Hunter currently lives in Santa Barbara and has signed a contract with Simon and Schuster to write his biography.

He has appeared in over fifty films which include:

  • 'Saturday Island' aka 'Island of Desire' (1952)
  • 'Gun Belt' (1953)
  • 'The Steel Lady' (1953)
  • 'Return to Treasure Island' (1954)
  • 'Battle Cry' (1955)
  • 'The Burning Hills' (1956) (opposite Natalie Wood)
  • 'Damn Yankees' (1958)
  • 'That Kind of Woman' (1959)
  • 'Operation Bikini' (1963) (with Frankie Avalon)
  • 'Ride the Wild Surf' (1964) (with Fabian)
  • 'The Loved One' (1965)
  • 'Judge Roy Bean' (1972)
  • Polyester (1981) (opposite Divine)
  • Lust in the Dust (1985) (opposite Divine)

Note: This profile was written in or before 2004.

Tab Hunter Facts

Birth NameArthur Gelien
BirthdayJuly 11, 1931 (91)

Selected Filmography

War Gods Of The Deep
50 Years the Best of Hollywood
The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean
Battle Cry
Damn Yankees
Tab Hunter Confidential
Gunman's Walk
Continue » Find more details on the Tab Hunter Movies page