<script async src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js"></script> <!-- Showbiz Portal Bottom 1 300x250, created 10/15/10 --> <ins class="adsbygoogle" style="display:inline-block;width:300px;height:250px" data-ad-client="ca-pub-1272644781333770" data-ad-slot="2530175011"></ins> <script> (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); </script>
Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Mar 28, 2016

Tab Hunter Confidential: Documentary On The Confessions Of A Hunky Closeted Gay Actor

THE OTHER Documentary we saw is “Tab Hunter Confidential”, a very revealing portrait of the popular hunk of the 50s who confesses here how it is to be a closeted gay actor during that time. Archival footage shows the contrast between his private life and his public image. Our own secretly gay actors who cannot come out of their closets should certainly watch this docu.

Tab’s real name is Arthur Gellen and in high school, all his female classmates had a crush on her. But he is very shy and when they pursue him, he’d hide in empty classrooms and lock the door behind him. Hollywood then discovered him and more women are soon swooning over him as a top matinee idol. He’s drop dead gorgeous and advertised as “six feet of rugged manhood” who can act and sing. Jack Warner put up Warner Bros Records for him and he sold millions of albums while also hitting it big as an actor paired with stars like Natalie Wood and Debbie Reynolds. But his studio has to hide his being gay as homosexuality was then considered a criminal offense and a mental illness.

Tab attended a party in 1950 in Los Angeles where boys are shown dancing with boys. He says: “Parties like this were illegal”. Cops then showed up “to arrest a bunch of queers” and he’s among them. He was then given a warning about protecting his own blossoming career. It’s said that his story was actually traded to cover up a bigger story about Rock Hudson’s own secret gay-ness.

Tab candidly talks about his relationship with another actor, Anthony Perkins of “Psycho” fame (who broke his heart but they patched things up before Perkins died of AIDS) and Olympic figure skater Ronnie Robertson. He and Perkins covered up their affair by double dating with women. Tab’s affair with Robertson became so suspicious it may have cost Robertson’s winning first place in the U.S. Figure Skating Championship.

Fast paced and very informative, the docu also shows film clips from Tab’s movies, like “Damn Yankees” and “Lust in the Dust”. Tab makes it clear that he’s not a tortured gay but a clean cut, well adjusted young man who followed his feelings and loved who he wanted to love, but only, he has to guard it. There are also interviews with stars like Clint Eastwood and Connie Stevens and writer Rex Reed who all knew Tab and his current partner, Alan Glaser. They all have something colorful to say.

The docu says that being gay may now be more acceptable than the 50s, as many actors have already admitted being gay (like Neil Patrick Harris, Ian McKellen, Ricky Martin, to name a few), but an actor’s being gay still carries some kind of stigma as it surely ruins the fantasy of fans swooning over them. And this is true because we have yet to see an admitted LGBT actor being as hugely popular today as Tab was in his day. What we have is a lesbian host who has her own successful talk show, “Ellen”. Even if you have no idea who Tab Hunter is, this docu will still be engaging and enlightening for you.