Tab Hunter Confidential: the Making of a Movie Star
"a story of picking oneself up and keeping going through a not always A-list career. " Booklist
Featuring: Tab Hunter
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He became an instant star and a #1 box office attraction,
recorded a #1 hit song, and survived a major sex scandal—
all by the time he was twenty-five. Five years later, new
stars had been developed to meet the demands of fickle
fans, and Tab Hunter found himself scrambling to find work,
struggling just to survive. Yet survive he did, re-creating
himself as a cult star and film producer in a career that
spans five decades and more than fifty films, from Island
of Desire to Lust in the Dust.
But first, he was Art Gelien, an introverted and extremely
attractive young boy who was discovered by a Hollywood
agent and transformed—with the help of studio publicity
hacks—into Tab Hunter, Movie Star. This book tells how it
all happened, and what it felt like to be created,
packaged, and sold to the American public. How it felt to
appear on-screen, off-screen, and on every newsstand in
America with the biggest leading ladies of the day—Linda
Darnell, Natalie Wood, Debbie Reynolds, Lana Turner, and
Rita Hayworth—while dealing with the reality of being gay
in a time when the word didn’t exist. It’s his story of how
he kept his bearings when he was suddenly no longer the boy-
next-door heartthrob, no longer under the protective wing
of the Warner Bros. publicity department, no longer in
demand as a “star.” It is his story of how he soldiered on—
with perseverance, determination, and faith. And, like the
best-loved Hollywood movies, it has a happy ending.
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