I would go out occasionally to a cockail party, and I was fascinated by all of what I saw there.
There were a few guys dancing with a few guys, a couple of gals dancing with a couple gals.
It was just a party, and people were dancing and having a good time.
Paries like this were illegal.
And the nex think I know the cops came in.
Doors burst open, there they were.
They were arresting a bunch of queers.
They took us down to the police station.
I thought, oh, my god, this is terrible.
I thought, what would my mother think of my being arrested?
Will it affect this career that I'm trying to get stared in the motion pictures?
An attorney, Harry Weiss, appeared.
He was well known for taking care of situations like that with many, many Hollywood people.
And he said, you've got to be a lot sharper than you are.
You're in Hollywood now.
You want to be an actor and really laid down the law to me.
And then I was released.
I had no idea it was going to jump up and be thrown at me years later.
He's the young fellow you've been waiting for, ladies and gentlemen, Tab Hunter.
MAN: Six feet of rugged manhood can stir the hear of every woman.
Oh, my goodness, I'm fabbergasted!
MAN: How do you shave, Tab'?
With Gillette Super Speed of course.
You tell me where I can fne Tab Hunter.
Well, you do pretty good.
MAN: What do you like about Tab Hunter?
Well, (LAUGHING) quite a few things.
MAN (SINGING): That clean cut, unaffected Tab Hunter.
MAN (SINGING): That All-American boy.
Shocking, but true story of a young man who found himself overwhelmed by a strange compulsion.
Hello, I'm Tab Hunter, and I've got a secret.
Well, I would never have talked about my personal life in the 1950s.
Something the matter, kid?
No, not a thing.
TAB HUNTER: I obviously was very closeted.
And I'm sure it's a very diffcult thing to think, what's the problem?
But there was a problem.
It's been very diffcult for me my whole life talking about that side of me.
For me to come out of myself like this and to share all of this is exremely diffcult.
I've never been as open as I am with you because it's been written about and what the heck?
You know, I'm an old man.
You know, this my life-- big deal.
When I count three, will all of the ladies in the audience please go, (SIGHING).
Tab, when I was young, when I frst saw him, looked-- beside acting, he just was amazing looking.
Whoa, this was like a fying saucer landed looking like that cute-- beautiful, California surfer, handsome that every single girl or boy wanted to make out with.
GIRL: Are you Tab Hunter'?
Uh, yeah-- yeah.
I think I've died and gone to heaven.
Kids and the fans just gravitated to him just like a magnet.
He was so popular, and so many people just thought he was it.
And he was.
(LAUGHING) I'll bet.
He was as big as they could come.
He had the star quality and he had the x-factor.
Mr. Tab Hunter- Tab.
And in every picture they managed to take his shir off.
Nobody could take their eyes off Tab Hunter.
He was the All-American boy, and nobody sold that image better.
He was the good-looking sailor, or he was the good-looking Marine, and he was the good-looking Air Force pilot.
I did so many military flms that I was waiting for the government to send me a pension.
I mean, my gosh, I was in uniform all the time.
I saw him in "Battle Cry."
He played a young Marine with Dorothy Malone.
They did have a love scene.
It caused a lot of comment at the studio.
Let's take a dip in the pool.
We can't have one of our young Marines having an affair with a married woman.
I think you're the most beautiful woman I've ever met.
What was the one he did was Sophia Loren'?
ANNOUNCER: "That Kind of Woman--"
"That Kind of Woman," yeah, and of course, I adored her too, and I thought, ooh, what a couple.
He doesn't look old enough to drink.
I'm old enough to do anything, With his charm and good looks and his magnetic presence, he was the embodiment of youthful American masculinity.
Thank you very much and thank you.
There he goes, the eligible bachelor from Hollywood.
By now I'm used to Tab Hunter, of course, after all these years.
I grew up as Ar Gelien.
I was born in 1931-- July, 11,1931.
My mother's name was Gerrude Gelien.
She was from Hamburg, Germany.
I always used to say she was a poor-man's Marlene Dietrich.
She had two children-- my older brother, Walt, who was 11 months older than me.
My mother and father did not get along at all.
He was terribly abusive to her.
Once my mother left my father, it was a lot of burden, a lot of stress for a single woman raising two children in those days.
She was very strict.
One moment she could be very explosive, and the other moment she could be terribly tender and dear.
My mother worked like a dog.
She held, sometimes, two jobs.
She wanted to create an environment of a family and a home, and that was very imporant to her and to us.
I was lost as a kid in many ways-- introvered.
And I was exremely shy.
I was never comforable around people.
It made me very nervous.
My brother was quite the opposite.
My brother I looked up to a great deal because he could handle every situation very well.
He was always prompting me on.
Otherwise I'd have stayed in my shell much, much longer.
We were raised as Catholics.
My mother put us in parochial school, where we had nuns.
She just was really, really concerned about our own development-- mental, physical, and spiritual.
I loved going to church.
I did sing in the choir.
Benediction was always wonderful to me, and mass was in Latin, and I loved that.
It was a good place to go and become a par of something that moved me.
ANNOUNCER: It's "The Black Swan," starring Tyrone Power, in his lustiest role as the daring Captain Waring.
Of course I went to movies all the time.
I lived at the movies.
There was an aura about movie stars.
It was quite wonderful.
They were total escapism.
I loved that.
Movies was a world away.
I did feel I was different from other boys.
The word gay was not around when I was a kid.
They used derogatory terms- fairy, queer.
And I might even have said that about someone, not wanting to be different, wanting to be like everyone else.
I was always taught if there's something bad just push it from your mind, push it from your mind.
So I never confronted those things, even though it was there and was very powerful.
I hated myself.
I went to confession.
And this one priest made me feel like I was the most miserable person that ever lived.
After my confession I fed from the church completely, even though it was something I really loved.
I came away from that more fearful than ever.
I when John Burroughs Junior High School with Arhur Gelien.
It with as if magic had dropped into the school.
Honestly, the girls would not leave him alone.
They had never seen anybody so handsome.
They were just mesmerized.
Girls were very attracted to me, and it made me exremely uncomforable when people would carry on in any way, shape, or form.
If he tried to walk down the hall, he simply was mobbed.
There were times that he'd have to run into an empty classroom and lock the door to get away from the girls.
I don't know how he survived.
The attention at school was so disruptive that I just felt I needed some sor of escape.
So I decided to join the Coast Guard.
I just had wanderlust.
My mother and I had a big argument just prior to my joining the Coast Guard.
Kelm was my father's name-- Charles Kelm.
My earliest memory was my father abusing my mother, and my brother and I crying.
I had no recollection of my father after that.
My mother never wanted to talk about him.
In fact, you'd mention his name and she would literally shudder.
I at times wished that we had a father.
I kept saying Charlie probably wasn't that bad after all.
And my mother said, oh, really?
Then I think you should go to New York and see him.
And when I was on libery in New York, I had his address, and I knocked on the door.
And this woman says, yes'?
And I said, is Charles Kelm here?
And she said, no.
And beyond her I could see a fgure sitting in a chair.
And I said to her, well, would you tell him that his son came by to say hello?
And she said, yes.
And she slammed the door in my face.
I knew that that was my father sitting in that chair.
And I could tell that he didn't want to see me.
I was devastated.
And I just walked in the snow for hours.
The Coast Guard found out I was under age and discharged me.
And then when they discharged me, I went back down to Los Angeles.
I worked as a delivery man.
I worked wrapping presents at Brothers in Hollywood.
I worked at the Orange Julius stand on Hollywood Boulevard.
I did an awful lot of jobs.
My brother was the one who introduced me to horses.
I wanted to do whatever my brother did.
And then my brother went on, of course, to other things, but I stayed with the horses.
I loved being around the horses when they were in their stalls.
I loved the smell of them.
I loved working around them.
I loved riding.
And I got a job mucking out and being at the barn.
When the horse came into my life, they totally consumed my life.
One weekend at the barn, Dick Clayton came out, who was an actor at the time, with an actress by the name of Ann Blyth.
And they were doing a photo layout for one of the movie magazines.
Well, I was fascinated, so I just stood there and watched.
And then Ann left, and I got to talking to Dick afterwards, and we became friendly.
Dick never came on to me like a lot of people did.
I never felt a hidden agenda from Dick Clayton because I just felt so comforable with him.
I never had a man in my life like that.
And he was the one who frst planted the seed for me-- how would you feel about being an actor'?
And I thought, oh, wow, that'd be terrifc.
I did star thinking about it.
But I didn't know what to do, where to begin, how to get stared in the business.
Henry Wilson was an agent for a lot of young actors.
Henry had a stable of stars- Guy Madison, Rory Calhoun, Rock Hudson.
Henry Wilson was a big-deal agent.
And it seemed like every actor he touched became a big star.
And he had a cerain style of client, and he was the one who would take the pretty boys and make stars out of them.
Dick Clayton said I want you to me Henry Wilson.
You know, he doesn't have the most sterling reputation.
And I went there and met him.
You know, he was giving you the look and the stare and all that.
I'm not an idiot.
I could see what was going on there.
Oh, yeah, Henry would put the make on me every now and then.
Occasionally his knee would push against your knee or something like that.
Well, I just wasn't interested.
I mean, Henry was an amusing, fun person to go out with once in a while, but that was it.
Henry was cerainly not my type.
We were sitting in his offce, and he said the name's gotta go.
So he said we've got to tab you something.
So that's how Tab came about.
And I showed horses-- hunters and jumpers.
And Henry said, that's it-- Tab Hunter.
That's a good name.
I can just see my new name, Tab Hunter, on the marquee.
I remember having a few drinks, and I was feeling no pain.
I said, I'm going to be a movie star. (LAUGHING)
Ar Gelein became Tab Hunter.
The new name was hard for me to get used to though.
And then Henry said, well, once you see it on "pay to the order of," it won't be so bad.
He was a man who was eager, excited, and enthusiastic, and wanted it.
Boy, it sure did come fast.
ANNOUNCER: A lush, topical paradise beyond your wildest most romantic dreams.
The frst interview I had was for "Island of the Desire."
So they sent me to meet the director.
He looked up and said, that's the boy I want.
And he asked me to take off my shir.
I was really embarrassed.
I then did a screen test with Linda Darnell.
She was a very big name.
Oh, I was a nervous wreck doing a screen test.
She said, don't worry.
I'm good luck for newcomers.
And they said, now you take her in your arms and you kiss her.
I took her in my arms and I kissed her.
(LAUGHING) I kissed her.
She looked at me.
And they said, cut, and she pinched me, and she said, that was nice. (LAUGHING) Audience response was phenomenal.
Critics, ha, they hated.
You're out of your mind!
This blasted island's got me loco.
I got roasted.
He doesn't demonstrate any shred of acting ability in that flm.
I was born too late, and I've got a lot to learn.
My mother and I did go to a screening of it.
The lights came up.
My mother said, you were lousy.
I was so bad in the movie that I couldn't get arrested.
It was a long spell between "Island of Desire" and my nex job.
The only pars I could get were grade-Z movies.
Interpreting hieroglyphics was par of my archaeological studies.
I felt that I was a B actor trapped in that genre of flm, and there was no way out.
TAB HUNTER: Acting was something that Dick Clayton was always on my case about.
This isn't something that just happens.
You've got to work.
There's so much to learn and so much to tap inside of myself.
And I wanted to go on to the nex step.
And he arranged for me to do "Our Town."
It was imporant for me to do it because it was great material and a chance to grow.
Marilyn Erskine, a Broadway actress, who was very good, did not want to do "Our Town" with me.
George was a marvelous par for a young actor.
But Tab Hunter playing George?
Well, I didn't see that.
And so I was a little bit concerned because that's such an imporant par of the play.
We did a read through.
And after we fnished the reading she agreed to do it with me.
She said, OK, young man, we've got a lot of work ahead of us.
Let's get to it.
Well, I wanted him to be comforable within himself that he can do this.
Tad had that desire to really be good.
I saw an actor who grew and grew, getting better and better and better.
TAB HUNTER: The only thing I really could rely on were my instincts and my feelings.
And they won't lead you too far astray.
And Tab was just fabulous.
He was George.
The play was exremely well received, got good notices-- the frst good notices I ever received in my life.
From that, it sor of whet the appetite.
I came away from that experience realizing that I wanted to be an actor.
The studios ran Hollywood.
Hollywood was MGM, Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Warner Brothers.
It was just a society in unto itself, Warner Brothers.
It was the best studio, so we were very proud.
But you did not cross to cross Jack Warner.
Colonel Warner- Colonel Jack Warner, ladies and gentlemen.
You know, Warner was quite a character.
He really was.
He looked like Lucifer with a little mustache of his.
Ha, you son-of-a-bitch. (LAUGHING)
When you had a guy like Jack Warner on your side, you had the whole Warner Brothers operation on your side.
You were in business.
The studio contract was really good because of the security of it.
At Warner Brothers, they had acting classes, singing, dancing.
And I said, Henry, I really need to go to work.
And Henry sent out wired to different producers saying Tab Hunter's available.
And he arranged for me to meet, casting director of Warner Brothers.
And I got a call from the studio.
They took out an option that they might put me under contract.
And your frst picture will be with John Wayne in and Lana Turner in "The Sea Chase!"
, more coffee.
All I had to say in the flm was, yes, sir.
"The Sea Change" was an all right flm, but I had nothing to do in it.
I was very disappointed.
Jack Warner was looking at rushes of the flm, and a director by the name of William Wellman, "Wild Bill" Wellman, happened to see a couple of my scenes and said, I want that kid for my nex picture.
And the nex picture was "Track of the Cat" with Rober Mitchum.
The place is just crawling with dreams.
Do you have any, kid'?
I go along Mitch very well.
He had great sense of humor and was full of hell.
I really like him a lot.
Well, the frst big flm I did at Warner Brothers was a flm called "Battle Cry." "Battle Cry" was the biggest picture Warner's had that year.
They tested me nine times for the role of Danny Forrester.
Sorry, I-- I felt kind of itchy.
I wasn't the only one who tested for that role.
Warner's tested Jimmy Dean and Paul Newman for the role.
They still couldn't make up their mind.
So they said, well, we'll give this kid one more test.
The morning I left to go to the test my mother stopped me at the door, and she said, think positive.
See yourself in this role.
And she said, if it's meant to be, it will be.
I thought I was so bad in that test I went home and was ready to kill myself.
And that was the test that got me the role.
Give me a cheeseburger and a cup of coffee.
And, uh, how about a piece that apple pie too.
I just liked the role.
It reminded me of my brother.
He was a very straightforward, decent human being.
Any guy in the world would be lucky to have you for a wife.
The flm was very successful.
It was a major hit for Warner Brothers.
ANNOUNCER: "Battle Cry," the Warner Brothers story of the Marines, having its world premier.
I stared getting so much recognition for doing it that I was offered the seven-year contract with Warner Brothers.
I thought, whoa.
And when that came on, it was like you struck a match, and off it went.
ANNOUNCER: Hollywood pays tribute to bright, new stars of tomorrow.
Awards go to blue-eyed and blond Tab Hunter.
They translated everhing into box offce receipts.
Jack Warner saw box-offce gold in Tab.
Once I was under contract to them, all this publicity came out on me, and the publicity exceeded the product.
ANNOUNCER: Actor Tab Hunter signs autographs in the time-honored way.
They were selling the All-American boy.
Take him home to mother.
It was a nice wholesome image.
How do you feel about dancing tonight?
Are you ready'?
A little awkward, but I guess I'm ready.
He was everhere.
We were being bombarded with Tab's presence.
And I was delighted because he was so exciting to be watching.
ANNOUNCER: America's favorite sweethears, Tab Hunter and Natalie Wood.
Natalie Wood was the sweetest little thing that ever came down the road.
I loved her.
She was like my kid sister.
You really got it made, haven't you?
TAB HUNTER: She had been a very successful in "Rebel Without a Cause" with Jimmy Dean, and I had been successful in "Battle Cry."
Warner Brothers put us together.
They wanted to make us into the new "dream team."
We went along with it, of course.
ANNOUNCER: Tab Hunter, Natalie Wood.
And they had a great time together.
She adored him.
I never met a gal with such spunk.
ROBERT WAGNER: He was on fre, and she was on fre.
They traveled a lot together.
They went on tours together.
TAB HUNTER: Oh, my gosh, there were thousands and thousands of kids.
He looked like he loved being a movie star, and he was a good one.
ANNOUNCER: Warner Brothers stars Natalie Wood and tab Hunter plant a Christmas parade for the annual Toys for Tots campaign.
But I knew Tab frst from his music.
TAB HUNTER: The recording career came about when Randy Wood of Dot Records said, how would you like to record?
I said, I'd love it.
Randy had me come over there.
I cut the record.
Randy yelled out, that's it.
It's gonna be a hit.
(SINGING)--for every boy and girl there's just one love in this whole world, and I-hi kno-ho I-hi-I found mine.
It became the number one song in the nation.
(SINGING) Young love.
When "Young Love" hit number one on the pop chars, it knocked Elvis out of number one and stays for a month and a half at the top of the national chars.
Jack Warner blew his stack.
He said, we own you for everhing.
He had totally prohibited me from recording for Dot any longer.
And I said, but Mr. Warner, you don't have a recording company.
And he said, well, we do now.
And, they stared Warner Brothers Records for me.
[MUSIC- TAB HUNTER, "NINETY NINE WAYS"]
Tab had a real genuine reporing career.
He was not a one-hit wonder.
He released dozens of singles and albums.
It was phenomenal, and it was noticed by everyone.
(SINGING) What a wonderful wedding there will be.
What wonderful day for you and me.
He came along at a very brilliant time.
It was the beginning of the teenage revolution in America.
He had a million and one crushes from the largest group of teenagers that has ever lived in the United States, the baby boomers.
They were the ones who would make a career overnight, and they cerainly did with mine.
I can't help it.
I've got a very bad case of Tab Hunter-itis.
I know just how you feel.
I had Tab's pictures on my wall.
We all did.
My wall was covered with pictures of Tab Hunter.
Young girls just were crazy about him.
The minute they took a look he became their guy, and he was marketed to those people.
It was the movie magazines that really made him a huge star, more than the flms that he was making.
TAB HUNTER: The kids kept demanding all of it, so I would get things like "Tab Hunter Buys a Hat," "Tab Hunter Drives a Car," "Tab Hunter Cleans a Window,"
"Tab Hunter Goes to the Beach-J' wee! (LAUGHING)
One of the magazines had a contest, and I won a date in Hollywood with Tab Hunter in 1956.
Was I nervous?
I could hardly breathe.
When I frst saw Tab Hunter, I was very intimidated.
And he smiled, and that smile was just truly magical.
Tab Hunter was the hearthrob that I had seen in the movie magazines.
And we had dinner and dancing.
I could not believe, Jo-Ann, here you are dancing with Tab Hunter.
My date was over, and he gave me a kiss.
I felt like Cinderella, and I had a kiss from my Prince Charming.
It was a dream-come-true.
In the 1950s love and marriage was the ideal theme.
It's not always very real.
The studios had a system.
And they always wanted their starlets to go out on a date with a beautiful, handsome boy.
And the one they chose was Tab Hunter.
He was a guy that all the girls wanted to go out with.
Of course I wanted to meet Tab Hunter because he was the big young male star at Warner Brothers, and I was the big female star at Columbia Pictures.
And so we had to date.
He was a gentleman.
He always came around and opened the doors.
He picked up checks.
And my parents liked him.
It was fun.
We did all sors of things.
We did all the things that normal people do on dates.
But we had a third person who was a photographer with us.
He was the kind of boy every mother would want to have married into her family.
He had an honesty.
He had a simplicity.
He a cerain strength of character.
He would not let anybody down.
We got along great because he was always fun and sweet.
And he wasn't after me, so he wasn't on the make.
And women like that.
I really was a very naive, young, innocent girl, and I would never think that the most handsome boy would be gay.
TAB HUNTER: I would never discuss my private life with anyone.
I was able to get close to them, but I never really went that deep in the relationship.
I had the ability to live behind this wall.
And you only allow people to break the barrier if you feel you can confde in them and you want to have that friendship.
INTERVlEWER: What was your frst relationship with another guy?
(LAUGHING) The frst relationship I had was when I was ice skating with a fellow skater.
INTERVlEWER: Can you tell me about that?
What do you want to know'?
(LAUGHING) I always loved fgure skating.
I competed in the regionals, and I went to the nationals.
I enjoyed just being on the ice.
He was a very good skater and a very strong competitor as well.
A lot of his friends were ice skaters- champion ice skaters with the Ice Capades.
Mouseketeers, meet Ronnie Roberson.
Ronnie Roberson was known as a great technician.
His skating was different than anybody else's skating.
And he could spin faster than anybody in the world.
Nobody ever spun that well.
He was a major talent.
We had an attraction for one another.
And I drove him home one evening after a skiing session.
Nex thing, we were in a relationship.
I'm sure there was talk about Ronnie and myself in the skating world, paricularly if you've got a talent and people are jealous of it.
There were times when I was cerainly stressed hearing things that had been said.
But you learn when you're in the public eye to comparmentalize.
A big issue as that Tab was around.
And the political game at that time is you don't do that.
There was one skater that didn't like the fact that Ronnie and I were friends and took a skate blade to my new car and just went right down the side, (SCRATCHING SOUND) to the paint.
Tab came to the championships with Ronnie Roberson.
Ronnie was told that he would not win the championships unless Tab would not come along.
And Ronnie said, it didn't matter.
He wanted him there.
And Ronnie skated- oh, magnifcent performance.
The fact that I was there with Ronnie might have hur his ability to win, and he should have won.
My mother never really approved of the Hollywood stuff.
Being private was very imporant to her.
She only visited me on a set twice in all of the years I was in the business.
She did one interview for a magazine, but it was like pulling teeth to get her to do that.
People would say, oh, Mrs. Gelien, aren't you excited about Tab'?
And my mother would say, yes, it's nice, but Walter's the intelligent one.
My mother was always a very intense woman.
She had a lot of pressure in her life.
She was very high strung.
While I was doing "Battle Cry" I was in touch with my mother a lot.
And I noticed a change in her behavior.
She would fy off the handle rather quickly.
She was ranting on behind a closed door in the bathroom in German.
And she ran out into the street and collapsed in my arms.
It just got more out of control and more out of control.
My mother totally lost it, and I had to commit my mother to a mental institution.
And it was very diffcult to do.
And on the way there I said, Mom, please try to understand what I'm saying.
I really feel bad about this.
And she said, I know.
I had to commit my mother.
I mean, there was nothing else that I could think should be done.
She had to have 37 electroshock treatments.
I went down there to see her, of course.
I remember walking in, and she was lying in bed, and they shaved her head where she had all the treatments.
And as I walked in she said, why did you do this to me'?
She was very fragile when I went to see her, but she was better.
When I saw my mother, as helpless as she was, I swore that she would never have to work another day in her life.
Hello, I'm Tab Hunter.
Did you know that mental illness claims more victims than any other disease?
One American in every 10 is suffering from some disabling mental or emotional disorder.
In the 1950s being gay was absolutely not acceptable.
It was against the law.
It was considered a mental disease.
There were very devastating consequences.
You couldn't have a life being gay back in the '50s Tab would be foolish not to hide, or he would not have a career.
What do you think of your dinner date here, Tab?
She's very lovely, I must say.
ANNOUNCER: Isn't She?
The public saw me as one person, and I was another.
I didn't feel good about myself.
Hollywood's most eligible bachelor, Mr. Tab Hunter!
TAB HUNTER: I never felt that I deserve a lot of that stuff that was happening.
You were rewarded for pretending that you were someone you're not.
Henry Wilson was a good agent, but people outgrow one another.
Then Dick Clayton became an agent.
I signed with him immediately because I could trust him, and he was family.
I told Henry I was leaving him.
He was furious.
Henry was very, very upset.
In fact, because of that, I'm sure it's why he turned over that story to "Confdential" magazine on me.
In the 1950s the magazine that you had to be most concerned about was "Confdential."
Oh, "Confdential" was the talk of Hollywood because everyone was afraid that if there was a skeleton in the closet, it would be released.
God knows I love you.
But I won't let Ned nor Kay or anyone else run our lives, Cary.
"Confdential" magazine, they had some information on Rock that was very damaging to his career.
And they were going to print it.
Rock Hudson was the biggest star that Henry Wilson ever had.
He built Rock, and that was his meal ticket.
He was gonna protect that.
To save Rock, Henry gave "Confdential" the story about me when I'd been arrested when I was just staring out in the business.
Inside the magazine the aricle read, "Tab Hunter caught at a limp-wristed pajama pary."
I would say I was thrown under the bus.
When the magazine came out, I was sure that my career was over.
I took Natalie to the Academy Awards.
That was about the time-- a little after the "Confdential" had come out.
The press of the world was there photographing us.
And one guy yelled out, smile pretty this way, Tab.
This is for the nex issue of "Confdential" magazine.
Jack Warner, god bless him, he turned me right back to the cameras and said, just remember this.
Today's headlines, tomorrow's toilet paper.
Everybody was nervous.
But in those days they could cover those things up.
So if you are a money maker for a studio, they are going to protect that image like there is no tomorrow.
The press knew just about everhing, and they kept it to themselves when it was to their advantage and to the advantage of the studios.
It was a gentleman's agreement-- just keep it out of the press and don't make waves.
Jack Warner and I never discussed my sexuality whatsoever.
I was making a lot of money for them.
As long as I didn't destroy this image that they were creating, that was imporant to them.
They created this persona.
That was your job to be that persona.
You played the game, so to speak, if that's what they want.
I did sign a contract, and I was willing to do whatever they wanted me to do to fulfll that contract.
Don't you ever think about marriage?
All the time, Ernie.
That's what keeps me single.
I thought of marriage a number of times because it's expected of you.
When I did the flm "Lafayette Escadrille," that's when I frst met Etchika Choureau.
She stopped me dead in my tracks.
She was gorgeous.
And we hit it off immediately.
She didn't speak a word of English.
My French was just awful.
I can't remember what we talked about because he did not speak one word of French and I only spoke three words of English.
I don't know how we communicated... undoubtedly with our eyes.
But in any case, we got on like a house on fre.
And he was irresistible.
I usually can think of a lot of things to say.
Suddenly I can't say anything.
We had wonderful times together, and I was drawn closer and closer to her.
Yes, I had heard that Tab was homosexual.
I think it was a soul-searching period of time about his sexuality.
It must have been very painful for him.
You know, actors often...always... have two faces.
I did feel discomfor, and I did feel a little bit of guilt also.
But I did seriously think of marrying Etchika.
I was fattered to have been chosen, of course.
If I was to marry Tab, it would have been for love.
I would inevitably have never accepted to share him with someone else.
And I cerainly would not have married him to protect him and hide his homosexuality.
I think Tab was too good of a man.
He would have never accepted such a thing.
It would have been a lovely story if it could have been rewritten.
She went back to Paris.
I just couldn't commit to her.
It wouldn't have been right to be with Etchika.
I felt that if you were with a man, you were sinning.
And if you were with a woman, you'd be lying.
Tony and I met at the pool of the Chateau Marmont.
He was in California doing "Friendly Persuasion."
I don't want to die.
I don't know if I could kill anyone if I tried.
He was a good actor.
ANNOUNCER: What is there about Tony Perkins that made the young people of America acclaim him as their star of the future?
I'd been in the business longer, but I respected the fact that he'd done Broadway plays.
I thought he was very intelligent, and he was just fun to be with.
We just kind of hit it off.
[MUSIC- ANTHONY PERKINS, "MOONLIGHT SWIM"]
And I went up to his room with him.
That's when Tony and I got together for the frst time.
And that's when we stared seeing each other.
When I frst saw Tab and Tony I knew that they were more than friends.
It was pretty obvious.
I had a wonderful relationship with him.
I did trust him.
I was comforable with him.
Tony and Tab were totally different.
Tony was East Coast.
Tab was West Coast.
Tab was very macho.
Tony was very sensitive, introvered.
Well, I would see him quite a lot.
And he would stay to my place, lived there for a while, got an aparment around the corner.
And then I would go back East.
I'd say with Tony at his place.
I knew that he was very dedicated to being an actor in Hollywood.
And the most promising male star of tomorrow is the fne young actor, Tony Perkins.
TAB HUNTER: Tony was very concerned about his image and doing the right thing.
They would go to a lot of pains not to be seen together.
TAB HUNTER: At frst, when Tony and I used to go out, we would go out together.
But he would get recognized.
I would get recognized.
He felt very uncomforable.
I always did too because the idea of two young actors around together might star some talk.
(SINGING) Yes, I'm in love.
Don't tell a soul.
TAB HUNTER (SPEAKING): Natalie Wood and I would go to a premiere.
Then we'd go to Ciro's afterwards.
We'd be photographed dancing.
Then we would leave, and she'd go out the back door.
She'd have a date with Dennis Hopper.
And I'd go see Tony.
(SINGING) Shh, don't let it get around.
(SPEAKING) Tony and I did go on couple dates together:
Tab and Tony and I went out together.
I suppose I was a beard.
But I was happy to be a beard because we were having a good / I knew the game, and we were playing it.
In the fan magazines there would being a picture of Tab and I.
And then in the nex page there'd be a picture of Tony and I doing something else, but never just Tab and Tony.
(SINGING) Shh, don't let it get around.
I did feel that Tab and Tony had a real relationship.
I could see them together:
But it was a painful relationship, at least for Tony.
Tony was more in love with Tab than Tab was with him.
Whenever Tab and Tony got into a fght, Tony would come to my house and cry on my shoulder about how mean Tab was.
My relationship with Tony, I never discussed with anyone.
And if one of my so-called friends or my friends would mention it, I probably would have gone berserk.
I would have hated it and denied it emphatically-- (EXPLOSION SOUND) where I could blow it up very quickly.
Tony, as the audience ovation indicates, your career is cerainly going full steam ahead.
Tony was on his way to being a pretty big star.
Tony's career was most imporant to him, more than anything.
He could be exremely charming.
But I think he had a hidden agenda, as far as his career was concerned.
You never really knew Tony 100%.
There was always a secretive side, and he was a bit of a game player with people's minds.
Can't you see it's a brush-of They're trying me out at a position.
They know I can't play it!
Just as soon as I make a few errors, they're gonna drop me!
Can't you see it?
TAB HUNTER: The frst live television show I did was "Fear Strikes Out."
I played Jimmy Piersall.
He was a ball player who had mental problems.
Tony caught my performance and told me how much he liked it.
I confded in Tony that I wanted Warner Brothers to buy the project for me to make a movie out of it.
One evening we were playing ping pong on a terrace, and he said, oh, by the way, Paramount just bought
"Fear Strikes Out" for me.
And it just was like, whoa.
He had mentioned it to the studio, and they got it for him.
He was a very ambitious young man and a very fne actor and he should be working.
But I did feel betrayed by that move.
When, Jimmy-- when that's all you ever cared about.
And you're killing me.
You've been killing me for years.
Yes, you have. And it's too much.
He was very good in the flm.
But our relationship was strained after that.
He told me that his studio didn't want him to see me anymore.
We saw less and less of each other, and we just sor of grew apar.
"Damn Yankees" was a huge Broadway hit.
Jack Warner bought "Damn Yankees" for me.
It was the frst really good project for me from Warner Brothers.
Jack Warner brought in the whole New York cast, except for the lead, and he wanted me to do that.
I was the only outsider in it.
It needed some sparkle, which he had.
What's the story on this kid'?
This Tab Hunter was like a breath of spring.
The director was George Abbott.
He didn't want me at all.
He wanted Don Murray.
Warner said, I want you to the use Tab Hunter.
He's the biggest star at my studio.
Every one of his pictures is popular.
Tab was cerainly at the top of his game.
George Abbott and I did not get along.
The frst time I met him was at the read through.
The whole New York cast was sitting there.
And after I read a few lines, he said, I want you to read it like this.
And he gave me a line reading, which actors do not like.
I want to exercise the escape clause which is to take place on the 24th, which is today.
So I read it the way he wanted me to.
We went on, and he stopped me about two or three or four times.
And fnally, I just had had enough.
So I stopped, and I said, Mr. Abbott, from what I gather, you'd like me to do it the way Stephen Douglas did it on Broadway.
He said, yes, yes.
That's exactly what I would like.
I said, well, I thought Stephen Douglas had a magnifcent voice, but I thought he was a real stick.
If I play the character, frst of all, he's got to be human being.
That was the wrong thing to tell him.
Oh, I'm honest, but, uh, I'm dumb too.
He closed his script, said, thank you all very much.
He got up and left the room, and I was fred off the picture.
Jack Warner went to Abbott and said, I bought it for Tab Hunter.
Tab Hunter's going to do it.
You don't say no to Jack Warner.
OK, you win.
Get a uniform. You mean it?
I mean it. Wow!
I made it!
Sol did the flm, but it was diffcult, knowing that he'd never wanted me right from the star.
(SINGING) Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets.
And Gwen Verdon- Gwen always called me like a New York cab driver-- Tab Huntah.
(LAUGHING) I loved it.
The choreographer was Bobby Fosse.
You can't get any better than that.
Bobby Fosse made me look like I could dance, even though I have two left feet.
And he said, don't worry about it, Tab.
You'll be fne.
You see, Mr., uh, Mr.--
Uh, Hardy- uh, Joe Hardy.
I just felt like I wanted to take him in my arms.
Well, he was perfect for the role.
He was delicious in it, and I think that Mr. Abbott was very very satisfed with him ultimately.
All right, a caron of Winstons, and Tab, thanks a million. Thank you very much.
He was always, always trying to be better.
Probably at that time his looks got in the way a bit.
I've had a great evening. really I have.
I'll never forget it.
The era that Tab got kind of stuck in was that era when we were all very attracted to the Brando angst and the Jimmy Dean angst.
You're tearing me apar!
TAB HUNTER: Warner Brothers had Jimmy as the rebel, and they had me as the all-American boy.
So they had their bases covered.
They did discuss me for the Jimmy Dean role in "Rebel Without a Cause."
Can you imagine that? (LAUGHING)
He didn't get the opporunities with some of those pars that he could've done very well.
And they were terribly complicated people.
And one of the great assets of Tab Hunter was the fact that he didn't look like a terribly complicated person.
You know, it's a curse and it's a blessing to have that kind of career where they think that you are that infectious smile or you are that person that jumps off the screen to them.
Tab had a very diffcult time trying to prove that behind this face there really is a talent.
ANNOUNCER: Playhouse 90, tonight starring Tab Hunter.
TAB HUNTER: The director Arhur Penn said, there's a great script I've just read.
It was called "Porrait of a Murderer."
He said, will you do it?
I said, oh, I don't think so.
That would clear the hell out of me.
I was awfully guilty of saying, I can't do that, or I'm afraid to do this.
But you've just got to go (SPLASHING SOUND) take the plunge.
ANNOUNCER: "Porrait of a Murderer," directed by Arhur Penn.
It was the true story of Donald Bashor a man who committed burglaries and murdered these people.
It was a very powerful piece of material.
Put than back right now.
I'm calling the police.
You're going to get arrested for breaking and-- ah!
He was frightening-- really frightening.
He played it so well because it seemed to be going against his own persona.
Here was Geraldine page from the Actor's Studio in New York.
It was a whole different way of working.
Tab kept up with her.
But I don't want to bring you bad luck.
You're my good luck, my best luck.
This was big time.
This wasn't just some teenage hearthrob who got a break.
Oh, I was proud of that show.
It was a good show.
Television was giving me the opporunity to do things that I could not do in motion pictures, with the most creative people in the industry, directors like Sidney Lumet, John Frankenheimer, really good actors and actresses and good writers.
I loved live television.
ANNOUNCER: Tab Hunter.
Then it stared to click, where he was getting cast in things that made sense, and he was no longer a joke.
Just me brand them.
I told you to put that gun away.
I'd played heavy on television but never in a flm.
It just was such a good character.
It's a pathetic.
From now on, I'm going my own way, me, Ed Hackett.
He's a complete psychopath.
I'm giving you an order.
You can go to hell!
He's a racist.
You mean to tell me you'd marry that no-good half breed?
He's a murderer.
Mister, you made a mistake in pulling that gun.
He's just waiting to explode.
Of all the flms I've done, "Gunman's Walk" was some of my best work as an actor.
After "Gunman's Walk," Hollywood stared to see me in a new way.
I stared getting cast in some very nice productions--
"They Game to Cordura," with Gary Cooper and Rita Hayworh, "The Pleasure of His Company," with Fred Astaire and Debbie Reynolds, "That Kind of Woman," with Sophia Loren.
These wonderful flms were not being made at Warner Brothers, where I was under contract.
Warners would loan me out for like $250,000 a picture.
Then they would pay me my regular Warner Brothers weekly salary, and they would pocket the difference.
I was getting a little upset about that.
The two flms that Natalie and I did together were both big hits.
So the studio went and put us together in another flm.
Well, I read the script, and I thought, I can't do this.
I turned it down because I knew what I liked, knew what I didn't like, and I wanted to grow.
I'm not a puppet.
So I asked the studio for my release.
Well, needless to say, Jack Warner wasn't about to have that happen.
And I said, well, Mr. Warner, how much would it cost'?
And he said, if you want out, you pay us $100,000 for the remainder of your contract.
That was a lot of money, like a couple million today.
But to express myself and be my own person, I fgured, I've got to do it.
Products of Hollywood are interchangeable and ultimately replaceable.
Get outta here, Dad.
If you weren't half drunk I'd throw you out.
Troy Donahue was a young actor.
He was one of Henry's clients.
Actually, Henry Wilson tried to stick me with that name before they gave me Tab Hunter.
Warner Brothers was trying to make Troy Donahue in the image of Tab Hunter.
They stared building Troy's career and have him a very good career.
You've been a good old wagon, but you done broke down.
(WHISTLING SOUND) You're out, and somebody else is in there.
Leaving Warner Brothers was career suicide.
I thought there'd be opporunity for me at other studios, but that was not the case.
The days of studio contracts were over.
I was now a freelance actor on my own, and my primary concern was taking care of my mother.
I had a lot of responsibilities.
And it was tough to keep your head above water.
I would do anything to pay down my debt.
ANNOUNCER: "Operation Bikini," starring Tab Hunter.
My career was really drying up in Hollywood.
So I would take whatever was available.
I was no longer looking for the keys to the kingdom.
ANNOUNCER: "The Golden Arrow," starring Tab Hunter.
Well, not many actors can say that they rode a fying carpet.
When you have to live and you need a job, you'll accept what's there.
ANNOUNCER: Tab Hunter in a dual role as a heroic security offcer and a treacherous enemy agent.
"Birds Do It," with Soupy Sales, that's a winner.
ANNOUNCER: Tab Hunter is Steamer.
He goes all the way for everhing Hawaiian.
To this day, people are still coming up and saying, oh, I loved you in all those beach movies!
I only did one.
That was "Ride the Wild Surf."
Everybody kept thinking of me as this surfer.
And at that point, I felt that I was a little long in the tooth for that one.
I was 32 at the time.
They would have a son a little Red Flyer wagon on our knees with process shot behind us of this mountainous wave.
And then a prop man would be in front of us With a bucket of water going splash-splash, splash-splash.
Someone point me toward the nearest bank.
This was called paying the bills and keep working.
That's what it's all about.
ANNOUNCER: "The Tab Hunter Show--"
The television series that I did, This was bottom of the barrel.
But that's impossible.
This so-called comedy wound up with a director who would Say to us, come on, come on.
Fast is funny, but faster is funnier.
When do you meet her?
It was really bad stuff.
The bloom came off the rose.
My career was going (WHISTLING SOUND).
Beat it, Tab.
Can't you see I'm busy'?
Without the protection of the studio, My boy-nex-door image was in total free fall.
People could say and write what they wanted, and they did.
If I had still been under contract, They'd have nailed it like that.
I was sick of Hollywood, sick of the media, And I had just about lost faith in everhing.
As I was doing flms, I would always run back to the stable.
The thing about being alone on a horse, it helps you divorce yourself from yourself because you're working with an animal that has a life of its own.
It's a marriage that's quite marvelous.
I found that my touch of reality in that unrealistic world of Hollywood.
He was riding a jumper.
I was in awe of him because of how he rode.
I was standing at the back gate, and we just stared talking.
I didn't know who he was.
And he asked me questions like, do I ride'?
And I said, oh, yeah, I grew up on a horse.
He said, do you ride jumping horses?
And I said, no, I've not done that, but the thought appeals to me.
And he said, I'd be willing to teach you some jumping.
So I took him up on it.
And so we became friends after that.
He didn't have all the trappings, I didn't think, that a star would have.
He was very real person.
It was the frst long-term relationship that I ever had.
We were together for about seven years.
Hollywood turned their back on him.
And I realized what it must be like to be very popular and to be very unpopular.
I cerainly commiserated with him.
But he didn't ever want to talk about it much.
ANNOUNCER: Tab has been out of town for a while.
Now he's back, just horsing around, waiting for the day he's discovered again.
I was very concerned.
So I bought space in "Variety" to just tell people hello.
Is there any possibility of you getting job somewhere around here?
I just wanted people to know that I wasn't dead, that I'm still alive.
And a couple responses- really sweet people-- said, yeah, get lost, or yeah, drop dead.
Tab Hunter, who was every high school girl's idea of a dream boat-- he was a boy who never seemed to get any older.
Well, he has.
Well, I might as well have been a relic from the silent era because people wanted real people in real situations, no more Hollywood made-up personas.
We want to be free to ride our machines without being hassled by the man.
TAB HUNTER: The new actors were anti-establishment, and I was apple pie and All-American.
It would have taken some director to give him the kind of a par that would make everybody look at him in a new way.
In order to make the change, he would have had to do something really radical.
This was a low-budget horror flm--
--made on a show string.
It needed a very handsome debonair man who would love women to death.
Tab Hunter would be the last person you would expect to do that.
TAB HUNTER: "Sweet Kill" was cerainly way out there.
I did it because the movie roles were just not coming along.
Tab was so much a par of that Eisenhower era.
The '50s, as an era, was repudiated in the '60s.
Young people are the only people in this whole country that have saved the soul of America.
It was a completely changed world.
America was at war with itself as well as at war with Vetnam.
My brother was in military medical evacuations.
He had joined the Navy.
He wound up in Vetnam, as so many young men did.
I was at a horse show at the Cow Palace in San Francisco.
And I was sitting on my horse at the back gate waiting for the announcer to announce my horse Nob Hill and myself for the nex entry into the arena.
And I saw a man in military uniform coming, and he walked over to me, and he said, are you Ar Gelien?
I just want to tell you your brother was killed in Vetnam.
I thought, why him?
Why not me'?
Walt was married, and he had seven children.
I remember taking the moment, closing my eyes, and saying, Walt, I'm gonna win this class for you.
And my horse won the class that night.
And then afterwards I went back to the barn.
And when I was in the stall with my horse, I totally lost it.
I was scared of my own shadow.
My brother was the one who opened the doors of life for me.
I really looked up to him so much.
My mother was very stoic about my brother's death.
She was getting better, but it took a while.
I was very concerned about her well-being, and I would see her a great deal more than I had when I was running around with the movies.
I found her a little aparment in Long Beach.
Whatever she need, I would be there for her.
Well, I made a promise to my mother to take care of her.
And I defnitely was going to keep it.
I had to create work in some way.
I discovered dinner theater.
Dinner theater was a place where people could come and stuff their faces, then sit back, and while they were getting to belch, watch the show they you were doing. (LAUGHING)
They were becoming very, very popular.
There was a stigma attached to working dinner theaters.
They said that it was the place that old actors went to die.
I was making more money at dinner theater than I was waiting for a picture now and then in Hollywood, that's for sure-- six weeks here, eight weeks there, four weeks here, all over the country.
I felt I had to keep going once you put yourself in that gear.
I was on the road constantly.
INTERVlEWER: Your story in "Here Lies Jeremy Troy," which is at the Grand Dinner Theater in Anaheim--
We'll be there for eight weeks.
It's right opposite the entrance to Disneyland.
It's a very lonely, lonely existence.
You perform in front of 1,500 people, and you go home to a hotel room in the middle of nowhere by yourself.
Working at dinner theater was very exhausting.
And doing that every single night took a toll on me.
I wore myself right into the ground to the point of where I had a hear attack.
I was sure that it could be the end.
I was wondering if I was going to be able to make it, and I was praying a lot.
I did give up dinner theater after that.
I learned to try to relax a bit.
I learned to be grateful for every moment and thankful- thankful.
I love the church.
I love my religion.
But I still just felt like I was such an outcast because of my sexuality.
It took a long time for me to fnd my way back.
It was so peaceful, and it was so imporant that I try to be a par of it.
And I struck up a conversation with a priest who I felt I can really communicate with.
I told him I was a Catholic, and I told him I had some terrible reservations.
He was so receptive.
And he really made me feel better about myself.
He was discovering something about his own truth.
For a man to have to live in someone else's presuming about who you should love, how do you ever know yourself?
He was going to go where his hear told him to go.
By going back to my church and my beliefs, that really, really helped me through a very diffcult period.
And little by little, I just felt the weight of the world was lifted from me.
I knew Tab is an image, you know'?
And that was the thing that was so very imporant to me and why I so much wanted him to be in Polyester."
It's Todd, honey.
John Waters called me up on the telephone and said, I've got a script I'd like you to read for a flm with Divine.
What do you think, sweethear?
Oh, it's very high brow, Todd.
And then he said, how would you feel about kissing a
(LAUGHING) And I just said, I'm sure I've kissed a hell of a lot worse.
John's flms were outrageous.
I prayed that he would never go watch "Pink Flamingos."
Happy birhday, fatso.
And he did.
How could anyone be flthier than Divine'?
Even then, he didn't say, oh, well, never mind.
He was unafraid.
I remember an agent saying to me at the time, you can't do that flm.
And my response was, what have I got to lose'?
Where's my career now'?
I thought this will be a lot of fun.
Why don't you show me your bedroom, honey'?
Mother may I'?
Yes, you may.
I could only afford him for one week.
I'm sure it was the least Tab Hunter was ever paid, and it was by far the most I had ever paid anybody.
Doing a flm for John, you got to fnd a spot on the foor where you can sit down between takes-- cold pizza at 2:00 AM. (mum-nus)
Are you my little fesh pot?
It was the frst time ever we had quote, "a real movie star" come in and work with my movie stars.
Tab made out with Divine who was in drag.
People could not believe their eyes.
That's why the movie worked because they together were a great screen couple.
A couple of people said, oh, don't worry about it.
Nobody's gonna see this flm.
The movie came out.
It was a hit.
And it defnitely revitalized my career.
Mr. Tab Hunter, yay!
Well, there was a whole new audience that never heard of Tab Hunter.
Now, what is the best time of the month for a woman to conceive?
I feel like a new old face or an old new face.
So I'm getting my toe in the door to star all over again.
It's very exciting Tab was serious about his career.
But he never took himself that seriously.
DR. ERNO: Tab, what do you do for a living?
Well, Erno, I'm a Hollywood movie star, and I've been in over 40 flms, and I lived in Beverly Hills.
That sounds exciting.
He found himself amusing.
When you have a sense of humor about yourself, people appreciate you in another way.
I wanted to work with Divine again.
I had come up with the idea of doing a Western comedy.
It was called "Lust in the Dust."
ANNOUNCER: Tab Hunter is the stranger.
And Divine is Rosy Valdez.
Come and get it.
I turned over every stone I possibly could trying to get "Lust in the Dust" going forward.
The frst time I saw Tab in person was when he walked into my offce at Fox to pitch "Lust in the Dust."
Tab still had that star quality.
And I mentioned the project to Allan.
And he hit on it right away and said, what a wonderful idea.
Once Tab left the meeting, I thought, yeah, "Lust in the Dust" could work.
I knew I could trust him almost immediately.
I found Allan very attractive, very bright, and I wanted to spend more time with him.
Tab stared calling me.
And I thought initially it was just a follow up about "Lust in the Dust," but it went beyond that.
Tab was 30 years older and I was.
I was 23.
Tabb was 53.
But once we did connect, I couldn't imagine us not being together.
And then the more our personal relationship grew, the more I was determined to get that movie done.
I tried to get it going at Fox, and there was a little bit of interest, but they ultimately passed on it.
Tab said to me I should get involved and produce this.
Well, that would mean having to leave my secure job at Fox, which I did.
People told me I was taking a big risk leaving the studio.
But I had a hunch that my future would be better with Tab, so I left.
He single-handedly raised all the money for that flm.
You got it all wrong, honey.
You've been cheap all your life.
I was the sister of Divine.
This furniture is cheap.
I looked like a drag queen, you know'?
(LAUGHING) I think that was the idea.
My love scene with Tab Hunter- we were in a shower.
It was delicious.
The frst flm I ever appeared in was "Lust in the Dust."
That set, in paricular, had a real sense of frivolity and fun about it.
And I remember being struck by Tab's naturalism and how efforlessly everhing he was doing was coming across.
Vctory shifts from man to man.
Everybody was sor of playing it larger than life.
"Lust in the Dust" was well received, and it cerainly opened doors for us to do other things.
ALLAN GLASER: Tab defnitely had a value.
I got a lot of meetings just because Tab was attached.
We were doing these independent projects, and Tab's celebrity helped me raise the fnancing.
It was a very productive time for us.
For me, it was a challenge to make it work, which I enjoyed.
But not so much for Tab.
He didn't fnd that same excitement that I found in trying to get these projects going.
Well, I never paid a lot of attention what was happening in Hollywood.
I let Allan do all of that because he was really good at it.
How are you'?
By this time, Tab wasn't too happy to continue acting.
Tab was still getting offers, but he turned 90% of everhing he was offered down.
People were coming out, and that was their choice to do so, and I respect that.
Personally, I didn't want my sexuality to defne who I was.
I just didn't talk about.
It's not my comfor zone.
I was point-blank asked about my sexuality.
Wasn't it diffcult to be in a closet?
Some of the press occasionally would cross that boundary, I'm entitled to have that line there, and if I don't want to share that with you, I won't.
I think it probably means I fnally made it.
I mean, you can't be a star without having a gay rumor out there, can you'? (LAUGHING)
In some respects, the business is still like it was in the '50s.
It may be a lot more socially acceptable to be gay.
But I know several people who are very prominent in this industry who feel, perhaps legitimately, that if they came out it would affect their box offce appeal.
Let's put it this way, fellas, a Gillette shave turns a trick.
For someone who is the fantasy for women all across America and the world, to come out in the public and say, I'm gay and expect to play leading men is an issue.
It's still tricky.
Every actor who has a secret, like being gay, there's a par of us that are afraid of Hollywood.
We're afraid to be who we are completely.
That's a hard life to lead.
After decades of being in the public eye, all I wanted was my privacy.
In order to achieve that, I just withdrew from it all for good.
My life had been very transient.
I never thought of settling down.
But then Allan came into my life and just opened up whole new vistas.
We're so much of a par of each other now because we have been together for so long.
And it's just one of those things.
Allan's a very stabilizing infuence.
I have a wonderful relationship with Allan that's grown over SO-some years.
This is really an incredible person that I want to spend my life with.
What brings Tab pleasure on a daily basis, and I can sum it up in one word, is Harlow.
This old cow, look at her.
ALLAN GLASER: Harlow, Tab's horse, is what gives Tab joy.
This is what makes me happiest.
This is where I really feel more at ease than I would anywhere else.
It's getting up in the morning, having to go clean out that stall, having to groom that horse.
Whoa, listen to your belly growl!
That sounds like a pretty good life-- riding horses and just kind of cooling his heels.
OK move your tush, sweethear.
He's a better man than I am.
I try to stay away from anything weighing 1,400 pounds and has a brain the size of a walnut.
When you have a passion that fulflls you, you don't look to other areas to fll you up.
Tab is an incredible horseman and always has been, and that is a career in itself.
Well, my acting career I look at as being all in the past.
I loved it, bud I love where I am now in my life.
And I am happy to be forgotten.
Tab's attitude to his Hollywood career is been there, done that.
He calls it his past life, which drives me nuts.
I found this is at fea market.
It's something that he could embrace, but he doesn't care to do it.
He did it.
He let go of it.
He doesn't even want to see himself on television.
If he's laying in bed and an old movie of his comes on, he doesn't stop for one second.
ALLAN GLASER: He just fips through the channel like it was a dog food commercial and keeps going.
Well, a-- a boy's best friend is his mother.
We were casting "Lust in the Dust," and there was this character named Hardcase Williams.
And I thought Tony Perkins would be perfect for that role.
ANNOUNCER: 22 years later, Norman Bates is home.
"Psycho II" had just come out.
Tony was getting a tremendous amount of publicity.
Tab was having a career resurgence at the same exact time Tony Perkins was.
He said, Tony Perkins-- do you know him'?
(LAUGHING) I said, yeah, Allan, I know him.
(LAUGHING) I contacted Tony, went up to his house up on Mulholland.
I hadn't seen him in a long while.
His wife Mary answered the door.
Tony had married, had a family.
And I presented Tony with the script.
And he said he really would like to do it, but he just didn't think it was the right project for him at the time.
And Tony and I said goodbye that afternoon, and that was the last time that I saw Tony.
AIDS has taken the life of actor Anthony Perkins.
He died Saturday at his Los Angeles home.
I never felt that Tony was struggling with his identity.
And when I did hear of it, I was really quite surprised.
Maybe he was deep down unhappy with himself about being gay and wanted to change that.
His choice was right for him, and it's all par of a person's growth.
Tony was who he was, or maybe he wanted to be.
That was good enough for me.
I had no right- no one does-- to be judgmental or to second guess his pursuit of happiness.
There are an awful lot of people who have feelings, and they're in confict with themselves.
And it's a terribly diffcult thing to have to go through.
I think you have to be true to yourself.
My mother never said I love you a lot.
But she'd show it when you'd least expect it.
My mother and I are sitting on the back terrace having breakfast one morning after church.
And she leaned over and kissed me on the cheek and said, I love you very much.
I was in a good place with her.
I know that.
And she was in a good place with me.
I miss her.
There's something well-grounded about Tab.
That's why he's lasted all these years is that he's real.
He's like the earh.
He's happy in his own special way to live his life, and he's had a happy life.
He chose that right road.