Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star

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Algonquin Books, Sep 8, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 416 pages
4 Reviews
Welcome to Hollywood, circa 1950, the end of the Golden Age. A remarkably handsome young boy, still a teenager, gets "discovered by a big-time movie agent. Because when he takes his shirt off young hearts beat faster, because he is the picture of innocence and trust and need, he will become a star. It seems almost preordained. The open smile says, "You will love me," and soon the whole world does.

The young boy's name was Tab Hunter—a made-up name, of course, a Hollywood name—and it was his time. Stardom didn't come overnight, although it seemed that way. In fact, the fame came first, when his face adorned hundreds of magazine covers; the movies, the studio contract, the name in lights—all that came later. For Tab Hunter was a true product of Hollywood, a movie star created from a stable boy, a shy kid made even more so by the way his schoolmates—both girls and boys—reacted to his beauty, by a mother who provided for him in every way except emotionally, and by a secret that both tormented him and propelled him forward.

In Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star, Hunter speaks out for the first time about what it was like to be a movie star at the end of the big studio era, to be treated like a commodity, to be told what to do, how to behave, whom to be seen with, what to wear. He speaks also about what it was like to be gay, at first confused by his own fears and misgivings, then as an actor trapped by an image of boy-next-door innocence. And when he dared to be difficult, to complain to the studio about the string of mostly mediocre movies that were assigned to him, he learned that just like any manufactured product, he was disposable—disposable and replaceable.

Hunter's career as a bona fide movie star lasted a decade. But he persevered as an actor, working continuously at a profession he had come to love, seeking—and earning—the respect of his peers, and of the Hollywood community.

And so, Tab Hunter Confidential is at heart a story of survival—of the giddy highs of stardom, and the soul-destroying lows when phone calls begin to go unreturned; of the need to be loved, and the fear of being consumed; of the hope of an innocent boy, and the rueful summation of a man who did it all, and who lived to tell it all.
 

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User Review  - LibraryCin - LibraryThing

3.5 stars Tab Hunter was a 1950s movie star and heartthrob; he was also gay. This is his autobiography that tells of a fatherless, good-looking, but extremely shy boy who was approached at 14-years ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - richardderus - LibraryThing

Rating: 3* of five The Publisher Says: Welcome to Hollywood, circa 1950, the end of the Golden Age. A remarkably handsome young boy, still a teenager, gets "discovered by a big-time movie agent ... Read full review

Contents

THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR INTRODUCTION
1
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR PROLOGUE
7
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR 1 Male Kelm
11
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR 2 Saddle Up
18
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR 3 Bless Me Father
27
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR 4 At Sea
34
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR 5 Henrys Boys
41
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR 6 Thats the Boy I Want
53
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR 21 Renaissance
196
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR 22 Damn Yankees
205
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR 23 Who Does He Remind You Of?
213
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR 24 The Price of Freedom
221
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR 25 Menace to Society
227
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR 26 Searching for Open Doors
241
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR 27 Train Wreck
246
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR 28 Ride the Wild Surf
255

THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR 7 Manufacturing a Movie Star
60
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR 8 Fames Waiting Room
65
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR 9 Dont Worry Itll Only Play DriveIns
71
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR 10 Battle Cry
83
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR 11 Breakdown
92
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR 12 Breakthrough
100
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR 13 Success and Scandal
113
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR 14 The Ideal Couple
123
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR 15 Fever Pitch
141
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR 16 Out of the Blue
151
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR 17 Young Love
160
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR 18 Europa Europa
171
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR 19 The Deep Freeze
178
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR 20 Dont Fence Me In
188
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR 29 Trivia and Tragedy
264
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR 30 Limbo
271
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR 31 The Idle Rich
278
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR 32 Panhandling
284
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR 33 Joanie Pony
291
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR 34 Locomotion
297
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR 35 Divine Intervention
309
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR 36 Lust
315
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR 37 The New Hollywood
327
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR 38 A Horse of a Different Color
338
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR 39 Happy to Be Forgotten
345
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
355
THE MAKING OF A MOVIE STAR INDEX
357
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Tab Hunter, a star of screen, stage, and television, has appeared in more than fifty films, including Damn Yankees, Battle Cry, and Polyester. He continues to work as a film producer, and lives in southern California.

Eddie Muller, an authority on film noir, is the author of Dark City Dames as well as two mystery novels. He lives in the San Francisco area.

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