Just how much do you know about Tab Hunter, anyway?
Did you know that he passed away last Sunday (July 8) of cardiac arrest in Santa Barbara, Calif. He was 86.
Sure, Hunter was by no means in the top rung of late classic-period Hollywood stars (but he WAS a star for a while). Notably, he flourished when the big studios were in their collective senescence in the 1950’s.
Hunter’s career comprised some 75 film and TV credits including 1955’s Battle Cry and 1958’s Damn Yankees. He is best remembered as a teen idol of the Fifties who actually recorded a No. 1 hit single. His career had its ups and down, of course, with Hunter enduring bouts of bad health and a late-in-career surge in questionable ventures.
Hunter’s superbly written 2005 autobiography (coauthored by Eddie Muller) Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star is an unqualified gem, says Frank. It’s easily one of the most honest and interesting star biographies he’s ever read, and is highly recommended. The book is also the inspiration of today’s quiz.
Ok, on to our questions (and no peeking at the official Tab Hunter website nor recent obits):
1) Question: Tab Hunter’s real name was: 1) Jason Epstein; 2) Arthur Kelm; 3) Art Gelien; or 4) Jamie Gurman?
2) Question: Who was the Hollywood agent responsible for Hunter’s distinctive stage name? 1) Lew Wasserman; 2) Irving “Swifty” Lazar; 3) Henry Willson; or 4) Myron Selznick?
3) Question: Hunter says he abandoned his Roman Catholic faith because: 1) he fervently embraced atheism as a young man; 2) he was molested by his parish choirmaster at the age of twelve; 3) he disagreed with the church’s teaching about sex; or 4) he was too lazy to attend church regularly?
4) Question: Which one of these actresses were NOT leading ladies in a Hunter movie? 1) Linda Darnell; 2) Lana Turner; 3) Sophia Loren or 4) Natalie Wood?
5) Question: Which of the following promotional labels were attached to the young Tab Hunter: 1) Swoon Bait; 2) Hollywood’s Most Eligible Bachelor; 3) the Sigh Guy; or 4) the all-American boy?
6) Question: What was the title of the hit single Tab Hunter recorded in 1957? 1) “I left My Heart In Nutley, New Jersey”; 2) “Young Love;” 3) “Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb;” or 4) “Red Sails In The Sunset?”
7) Question: Was (is) Tab Hunter gay? 1) True; 2) false; 3) none of your business.
8) Question: Hunter almost proposed marriage to which one of his leading ladies? 1) Lainie Kazan; 2) Divine; 3) Etchika Choureau; or 4) Gwen Verdon?
9) Question: The established Hollywood actor whom Hunter idolized was: 1) Clark Gable; 2) Spencer Tracy; 3) Van Heflin or 4) Keenan Wynn?
10) Question: How exactly was Hunter’s “stage name” formulated? 1) Darts were tossed at a list of possible names attached to a bar room wall; 2) suggested names were put on slips of paper and one was pulled out of a hat; 3) the name cropped up during a get-to-know-you conversation; 4) the name came to Hunter in a dream?
Stay tuned. Answers tomorrow.