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James Dean

Signed Photo with James Dean - 1955

Vintage candid Warner Bros. studio photo of Tab Hunter and James Dean on the set of Rebel Without a Cause, signed by Hunter. According to Hunter in his 2005 autobiography Tab Hunter Confidential, “I was with Dick [Clayton, his agent] one night when he had to deliver contracts to Jimmy on the set of Rebel…  Jimmy and I hung around outside while the crew prepped another setup. An enterprising studio publicity photographer saw us chatting and began snapping dozens of pictures—the polar opposites of America’s youth culture, captured together.”

TAB HUNTER (born July 11, 1931) is an American actor and singer, who has starred in over forty major motion pictures.

Born Arthur Gelien, he was signed to a contract at Warner Bros. and christened “Tab Hunter” by his first agent, Henry Willson. His good looks got him pegged as a screen idol (dubbed the “Sigh Guy”). He landed a role in the film Island of Desire opposite Linda Darnell. However, it was his co-starring role as young Marine Danny in 1955’s World War II drama Battle Cry, in which he has an affair with an older woman but ends up marrying the girl next door, that cemented his position as one of Hollywood’s top young romantic leads. He went on to star in over 40 major Holywood films.

Hunter had a 1957 hit record with a cover of the song “Young Love”, which was #1 on the charts for six weeks. He also had the hit “Ninety-Nine Ways”, which peaked at #11 in the charts, and was actually his first single, before “Young Love”. His success prompted Jack Warner to enforce the actor’s contract with the studio by banning Dot Records, the label for which Hunter had recorded the single, from releasing a follow-up album he had recorded for them. He established Warner Bros. Records specifically for Hunter, although his singing career foundered after a few more recordings.

Hunter’s best role during this period was in the 1958 musical movie Damn Yankees, in which he played Joe Hardy of Washington D.C’s American League baseball club. The movie had originally been a Broadway show, and Hunter was the only one in the film version who hadn’t appeared in the original cast. The show was based on the 1954 best-selling book The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant by Douglass Wallop.

Hunter has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6320 Hollywood Blvd.


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