Tab Hunter Confidential | Chicago Reader

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Tab Hunter Confidential


90 minutes · 2015

A major Hollywood hunk in the 1950s, actor Tab Hunter comes out of the closet in this documentary portrait by Jeffrey Schwarz, based on Hunter's 2006 book of the same title and produced by his longtime partner, Allan Glaser. Hunter's memories of a double life in the waning days of the studio system are fascinating—the secret trysts with Olympic skater Ronald Robertson and actor Anthony Perkins, the arranged dates with starlets, the tense negotiations with tabloid magazines. Other than that, he hardly merits a feature-length profile—his acting was nothing to write home about, and as a chart-topping pop singer in the late 50s he made Pat Boone sound funky. His story follows the standard trajectory of a handsome face aging out of the business, though extending the story into the present does allow Schwarz to consider Hunter's late emergence as a devout Catholic and his brief comeback as a camp presence after John Waters cast him opposite Divine in Polyester (1981).

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