Hunter also appeared in early TV’s prestigious anthology series like Climax! and Playhouse 90. Possibly his biggest splash in movies was in 1958’s Damn Yankees, playing a star ballplayer crafted by the devil to beat the title team, the only cast member who was not in the original stage production. The handsome young actor then landed his own series in 1961 with The Tab Hunter Show, portraying a happy-go-lucky cartoonist living in Malibu Beach.

That show only lasted a single season, however, and Hunter’s cinematic output in the 1960s slid a bit to shallow beach fare like Ride The Wild Surf. The 1970s saw the actor guest-starring in shows from Charlie’s Angels to The Six Million Dollar Man. Hunter had a cinematic resurgence in the ’80s by appearing in John Waters films like Polyester, in which he romanced Divine; he called the experience “wonderful.” He also was cast as a Rydell High teacher alongside Connie Stevens and Eve Arden in 1982’s Grease 2.

Polyester was produced by Hunter and Glaser, his partner of many years. Hunter released a memoir in 2005, Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making Of A Movie Star, in which he “confirmed long-standing rumors about his homosexuality.” He told The Hollywood Reporter in 2015, “I thought, ‘Look, get it from the horse’s mouth and not from some horse’s ass after I’m dead and gone. I didn’t want someone putting a spin on my life.” Glaser turned the book into a documentary, Tab Hunter Confidential, in 2015.

Last month, J.J. Abrams and Zachary Quinto announced that they were working on a new film called Tab & Tony, about the brief romance between Hunter and Psycho star Anthony Perkins. For a star that came of age in an extremely closeted era, Tab Hunter was refreshingly candid about his life. He said, “the real important thing is, I think, not labeling a person. The first line in my book is, ‘I hate labels.’ It’s who we are as human beings. What kind of human being are you? Are you a contributor?” Hunter certainly was.