He may not be as famous now as some stars of the 1950s, but in his day Tab Hunter was pretty much the definition of the teen idol, making young women swoon around the world with his blond good looks, hunky physique and clean cut style. However what few knew at the time he was starring in the likes of Damn Yankees and What Lola Wants, was that Hunter was also gay, something he didn’t reveal publicly until he wrote about it in his 2005 autobiography.
Now the legendary Debbie Reynolds has been talking about Hunter in her tell-all book, Unsinkable: A Memoir about the so-called Golden Days of Hollywood, saying that he tried to kiss her in the early 1950s, but she pulled away. The duo starred together in the 1961 movie, The Pleasure Of His Company, where they played an engaged couple, but had known each other for many years before then.
In her book, Reynolds says that when Hunter tried to kiss her, ‘I thought it would be like kissing my brother. And I was right. Tab is like my brother. It was the early 1950s; there was no discussion about being gay back then. But I knew that Tab was, and that I felt friendship for him, not romance.’
She adds, ‘The studios used to put us together for premieres and publicity occasions. One night in my parents’ kitchen in Burbank, Tab tried to kiss me goodbye. I told him not to… We always laughed and had fun when we were together. Tab’s a wonderful man who is married to another man now. I’m glad we’ve been friends for so long.’ (Quotes via GayStarNews)