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Tab Hunter

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Biography

Tab Hunter (born Arthur Andrew Kelm on July 11, 1931) is an American actor and singer.

Early life
Hunter was born in New York City, New York to immigrants from Germany. His father, Charles Kelm, was Jewish and his mother, Gertrude Gelien, a Lutheran who later converted to Judaism. Within a few years of his birth, his parents divorced and his mother moved with her two sons to California. She reassumed her maiden surname, Gelien, and changed the sons’ name to that as well. Hunter’s older brother, Walter, a medic, was killed in Vietnam. As a teenager, Hunter was a figure skater, competing in both singles and pairs.

Career
Hunter was signed to a contract at Warner Bros. and re-named “Tab Hunter” by his first agent, Henry Willson. His good looks got him pegged as a teen idol. He landed a role in the film Island of Desire opposite Linda Darnell. Although he believed that he had a mediocre singing voice, he had a 1957 hit record with a cover of the Sonny James song, “Young Love,” which was #1 for Hunter for over a month. Hunter’s success led Warner Bros. to form Warner Bros. Records.

Hunter was perhaps best known for his starring role in the 1958 musical movie, Damn Yankees. In the movie, Hunter plays Joe Hardy of Washington D.C’s American League baseball club. (The movie had originally been a broadway show, but Hunter was only in the movie version. The show was based on the 1954 best-selling book, “The Year The Yankees Lost the Pennant” by Douglass Wallop).

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