Sunday, July 11, 2010

July 11

Today, we tell the story of Tab Hunter, ex-teen heartthrob. His second film, 1952's "Island of Desire" made him a box-office draw, and the 1955 war film "Battle Cry" (where he was cast over James Dean) made him the box office king for the rest of the 50's. This period includes his most enduring role, in the film version of the Broadway smash "Damn Yankees"

Like any respectable 50's teen idol, Hunter began a music career: his first single "Young Love" hit number 1 in 1957. Hunter was such a cash cow for Warner Brothers, they blocked Hunter's recording contract and started Warner Bros Records, just so they could release his records. In 1960, he got his own sitcom, The Tab Hunter Show.
Five years later, he was on the dinner theater circuit. So, what happened?

Well, there's the whole 'growing up' thing, which usually ends a teen idol career all by itself. Then, there's the whole 'acting range of Paul Walker/Megan Fox' thing. His homosexuality may have also been a factor (Henry Wilson, the agent that named him, sold him out to the tabloids to buy silence about another Wilson client - Rock Hudson.) While it was never entirely out (until 2005), his other life was a persistent rumor, even at his career's height.
On the other hand, his reputation may have led to his resurgance.

He returned to the big screen in the 80's, starting in John Waters' "Polyester", then in such films as "Lust in the Dust", "Grease 2", and "Cameron's Closet". While he hasn't returned to A-list status, he seems to have become something else: a genuine actor.

No comments:

Post a Comment