Hollywood heartthrob, Tab Hunter, has passed away at age 86.
The much-loved 'boy-next-door' was best known for his roles in classics such as Battle Cry, The Burning Hills and Damn Yankees. During his life, he was the iconic poster-boy of the 50's; blonde, square-jawed and a wholesome symbol of mid-century American masculinity - he kept his true sexuality a secret for the bulk of his career until coming out in his 2005 autobiography Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star.
"I believed, wholeheartedly - still do - that a person's happiness depends on being true to themselves," Hunter said. "The dilemma, of course, was that being true to myself, and I'm talking sexually now, was impossible in 1953."
Hunter was also one of the first Hollywood stars to cross over into pop music with Young Love, which shot to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and introduced the world to his dreamy baritone.
The artist died suddenly on the weekend, just three days before his 87th birthday, from a blood clot in his leg that triggered a cardiac arrest, his long term partner, producer Allan Glaser, confirmed.
"He collapsed in my arms in the front lawn and I called 911 and we raced him to the hospital," Glaser told The Los Angeles Times; Hunter later died at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.
Glaser said he wanted people to know "what a good man" Hunter was. "That was most important to him than being an actor and a recording artist; he didn't place importance on his movie career or his celebrity," Glaser said.