Tab Hunter Confidential (2015) - full transcript

In the 1950s, Tab Hunter is number one at the box office and number one on the music charts. He is Hollywood's most sought-after star and America's boy next door. Natalie Wood, Debbie Reynolds and Sophia Loren are just a few of the actresses he is romantically linked to. Nothing, it seems, can damage his skyrocketing career. Nothing, that is, except for the fact that Tab Hunter is secretly gay. Now, Tab Hunter's secret is out. In TAB HUNTER CONFIDENTIAL we will meet, for the first time, the real Tab Hunter as he shares with us the whole story of a happy, healthy survivor of Hollywood's roller coaster.

And l could tell that he
didn 't want to see me.

L was devastated .

And l just walked in
the snow for hours.

The Coast Guard found out l was
under age and discharged me.

And then when they
discharged me,

l went back down to Los Angeles.

L worked as a delivery man.

L worked wrapping presents
at Brothers

in Hollywood .

L worked at the Orange Julius
stand on Hollywood Boulevard .

L did an awful lot of jobs.

My brother was the one who
introduced me to horses.

L wanted to do whatever
my brother did .

And then my brother went on ,
of course, to other things,

but l stayed with the horses.

L loved being around the horses
when they were in their stalls.

L loved the smell of them .

L loved working around them .

L loved riding .

And l 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 , l was fascinated , so l
just stood there and watched .

And then Ann left, and l got
to talking to Dick afterwards,

and we became friendly.

Dick never came on to me
like a lot of people did .

L never felt a hidden
agenda from Dick Clayton

because l just felt so
comfortable with him .

L never had a man in
my life like that.

And he was the one
who first planted

the seed for me-- how would
you feel about being an actor?

And l thought, oh, wow,
that'd be terrific.

L did start thinking about it.

But l didn 't know what
to do, where to begin,

how to get started
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 H udson .

Henry wilson was
a big-deal agent.

And it seemed like every actor
he touched became a big star.

And he had a certain
style of client,

and he was the one who
would take the pretty boys

and make stars out of them .

Dick Clayton said l want
you to me Henry wilson .

You know, he doesn 't have
the most sterling reputation .

And l went there and met him .

You know, he was giving
you the look and the stare

and all that.

L ' m not an idiot.

L 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 , l just wasn 't interested.

L mean , Henry was an amusing ,
fun person to go out with once

in a while, but that was it.

Henry was certainly not my type.

We were sitting in
his office, 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 l showed horses--
hunters and jumpers.

And Henry said , that's
it-- Tab H unter.

That' s a good name.

L can just see my new name,
Tab Hunter, on the marquee.

L remember having a few drinks,
and l was feeling no pain.

L said , l ' m going to be
a movie star. (LAuGH l NG)

Art Gelein became Tab H unter.

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 first interview l had was
for " lsland of the Desire. "

so they sent me to
meet the director.

He looked up and said ,
that's the boy l want.

And he asked me to
take off my shirt.

L was really embarrassed .

L then did a screen
test with Linda Darnell .

She was a very big name.

Oh , l was a nervous wreck
doing a screen test.

She said , don 't worry.

L ' m good luck for newcomers.

And they said , now you take her
in your arms and you kiss her.

L took her in my arms
and l kissed her.

(LAuGH l NG) l kissed her.

She looked at me.

And they said , cut,
and she pinched me,

and she said , that was
nice. (LAuGH l NG) Audience

response was phenomenal .

Critics, ha, they hated .

You ' re out of your mind!

Darn right.

This blasted
island 's got me loco.

L got roasted.

Hello, Hawaii .

Hello, America.

Hello, England .

Hello, anybody!

He doesn 't
demonstrate any shred

of acting ability in that film .

L was born too late, and
l 've got a lot to learn .

My mother and l did go
to a screening of it.

The lights came up.

My mother said , you were lousy.

L was so bad in the movie
that l couldn 't get arrested .

It was a long spell
between " lsland

of Desire" and my next job.

The only parts l could
get were grade-z movies.

L nterpreting
hieroglyphics was part

of my archaeological studies.

L felt that l was a B actor
trapped in that genre of film ,

and there was no way out.

Hello, Pop!

TAB H uNTER: 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 l wanted to go
on to the next step.

And he arranged for
me to do " Our Town . "

lt was important 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
part for a young actor.

But Tab Hunter playing George?

Well , l didn 't see that.

And so l was a little bit
concerned because that' s such

an important part of the play.

We did a read through.

And after we
finished 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 , l wanted him to be
comfortable within himself

that he can do this.

Tad had that desire
to really be good .

L saw an actor who
grew and grew, getting

better and better and better.

TAB H uNTER: The only thing
l 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 extremely well
received , got good notices--

the first good notices l
ever received in my life.

From that, it sort
of whet the appetite.

L came away from that
experience realizing

that l 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 .
(LAuGH l NG)

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 l said , Henry, l
really need to go to work.

And Henry sent out wired
to different producers

saying Tab H unter' s available.

And he arranged for me to
meet , casting

director of warner Brothers.

And l got a call
from the studio.

They took out an
option that they

might put me under contract.

And your first picture will
be with John wayne in and Lana

Turner in "The sea Chase! "

, more coffee.

Yes, sir.

All l had to say in
the film was, yes, sir.

Yes, sir.

Thank you.

Everybody, sir.

"The sea Change" was
an all right film ,

but l had nothing to do in it.

L was very disappointed .

Jack warner was looking
at rushes of the film ,

and a director by the
name of william wellman ,

"wild Bill " wellman , happened
to see a couple of my scenes

and said , l want that
kid for my next picture.

And the next picture
was "Track of the Cat"

with Robert Mitchum .

The place is just
crawling with dreams.

Do you have any, kid?

L go along Mitch very well.

He had great sense of
humor and was full of hell .

L really like him a lot.

Well , the first big film
l did at warner Brothers

was a film 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, l-- l felt
kind of itchy.

L wasn 't the only one
who tested for that role.

Kiss me.

Can 't hear.

Warner' s tested J immy 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 l 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.

L thought l was so bad
in that test l 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.

L 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 film 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.

L started getting so much
recognition for doing it

that l was offered the
seven-year contract

with warner Brothers.

L thought, whoa.

Tab H unter!

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 H unter.

They translated everything
into box office receipts.

Jack warner saw
box-office gold in Tab.

Once l was under
contract to them ,

all this publicity
came out on me,

and the publicity
exceeded the product.

ANNOuNCER: Actor Tab
H unter 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 l guess l ' m ready.

He was everywhere.

We were being bombarded
with Tab' s presence.

And l was delighted because he
was so exciting to be watching .

ANNOuNCER: America's
favorite sweethearts,

Tab H unter and Natalie wood .

Natalie wood was the
sweetest little thing

that ever came down the road .

L loved her.

She was like my kid sister.

You really got it
made, haven 't you?

TAB H uNTER: she had
been a very successful

in " Rebel without a
Cause" with Jimmy Dean ,

and l 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.

H unter, Natalie wood .

And they had a
great time together.

She adored him .

L never met a gal
with such spunk.

ROBERT wAGN ER: He was on
fire, and she was on fire.

They traveled a lot together.

They went on tours together.

TAB H uNTER: 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 H unter

plant a Christmas parade for the
annual Toys for Tots campaign .

But l knew Tab
first from his music.

recording career came

about when Randy wood
of Dot Records said ,

how would you like to record?

L said , l ' d love it.

Randy had me come over there.

L cut the record .

Randy yelled out, that' s it.

It's gonna be a hit.

(sl NGl NG) --for every
boy and girl there's just

one love in this
whole world , and l-hi

kno-ho l -hi-l found mine.

It became the number
one song in the nation .

(sl NG l NG) Young love.

Young love.

First love.

First love.

When "Young Love" hit
number one on the pop charts,

it knocked Elvis
out of number one

and stays for a month
and a half at the top

of the national charts.

Jack warner blew his stack.

He said , we own
you for everything .

He had totally prohibited
me from recording

for Dot any longer.

And l said , but Mr. warner, you
don 't have a recording company.

And he said , well , we do now.

And , they started warner
Brothers Records for me.

[MuslC- TAB H uNTER, " Nl N ETY N l N E

Tab had a real genuine
reporting career.

He was not a one-hit wonder.

He released dozens of
singles and albums.

It was phenomenal , and it
was noticed by everyone.

(sl NG l NG) 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 certainly
did with mine.

L can 't help it.

L 've got a very bad
case of Tab H unter-itis.

L know just how you feel.

L had Tab' s
pictures on my wall .

We all did .

My wall was covered with
pictures of Tab H unter.

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 films that he was making .

TAB HuNTER: The kids
kept demanding all of it,

so l would get things like "Tab
H unter Buys a Hat, " "Tab Hunter

Drives a Car, " "Tab
H unter Cleans a window, "

"Tab H unter Goes to the
Beach-- " wee! (LAuGH l NG)

One of the magazines
had a contest,

and l won a date in Hollywood
with Tab H unter in 1 958.

Was l nervous?

L could hardly breathe.

When l first saw Tab H unter,
l was very intimidated .

And he smiled , and that
smile was just truly magical .

Tab H unter was the
heartthrob that l had

seen in the movie magazines.

And we had dinner and dancing .

L could not believe,
Jo-Ann, here you

are dancing with Tab H unter.

My date was over, and
he gave me a kiss.

L felt like
Cinderella, and l had

a kiss from my Prince Charming.

It was a dream-come-true.

L n the 1 950s 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 H unter.

He was a guy that all the
girls wanted to go out with .

Of course l wanted to meet
Tab H unter because he was

the big young male star
at warner Brothers,

and l was the big female
star at Colum bia 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 sorts 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 sim plicity.

He a certain 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.

L really was a very naive,
young , innocent girl,

and l would never think that the
most handsome boy would be gay.

would never discuss

my private life with anyone.

L was able to get close to
them , but l never really went

that deep in the relationship.

L had the ability to
live behind this wall .

And you only allow people
to break the barrier

if you feel you
can confide in them

and you want to have
that friendship.

L NTERvl EwER: what was your first
relationship with another guy?


(LAuGH l NG) The first
relationship l had

was when l was ice skating
with a fellow skater.

L NTERvl EwER: Can you
tell me about that?

What do you want to know?

(LAuGH l NG) l always
loved figure skating .

L competed in the regionals,
and l went to the nationals.

L 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 lce Capades.

Mouseketeers, meet
Ronnie Robertson.

H i , Ronnie!

H i , Mouseketeers.

H i , Bob.

Ronnie Roberson was known
as a great technician.

H is 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 l drove him home one
evening after a skiing session .

Next thing , we were
in a relationship.

L ' m sure there was
talk about Ronnie

and myself in the skating
world , particularly

if you 've got a talent and
people are jealous of it.

There were times when l was
certainly stressed hearing

things that had been said .

But you learn when you ' re in the
public eye to compartmentalize.

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 l were
friends and took a skate blade

to my new car and
just went right

down the side, (sCRATCH l NG
sOuN D) 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,
magnificent performance.

The fact that l was
there with Ronnie

might have hurt his ability to
win , and he should have won .

My mother never really approved
of the Hollywood stuff.

Being private was
very im portant to her.

She only visited me on a set
twice in all of the years

l 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 l was doing
" Battle Cry" l was

in touch with my mother a lot.

And l noticed a change
in her behavior.

She would fly 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 l had to commit my mother

to a mental institution.

And it was very difficult to do.

And on the way there l
said , Mom , please try

to understand what l ' m saying.

L really feel bad about this.

And she said , l know.

L know.

L had to comm it my mother.

L mean , there was
nothing else that l

could think should be done.

She had to have 37
electroshock treatments.

L went down there to
see her, of course.

L remember walking in ,
and she was lying in bed ,

and they shaved her head where
she had all the treatments.

And as l walked in she said ,
why did you do this to me?

She was very fragile when l went
to see her, but she was better.

When l saw my mother,
as helpless as she was,

l swore that she would
never have to work

another day in her life.

Hello, l ' m Tab H unter.

Did you know that mental
illness claims more

victims than any other disease?

That' s right.

One American in every 1 0 is
suffering from some disabling

mental or emotional disorder.

L n the 1 950s 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, l must say.

ANNOuNCER: lsn 't she?

Oh .

The public saw me as one
person, and l was another.

L didn 't feel good about myself.

Hollywood 's most eligible
bachelor, Mr. Tab Hunter!

TAB H uNTER: l never felt that
l 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.

L signed with him immediately
because l could trust him ,

and he was family.

L told Henry l was leaving him .

He was furious.

Henry was very, very upset.

L n fact, because of
that, l ' m sure it's

why he turned over that story to
" Confidential " magazine on me.

L n the 1 950s the magazine that
you had to be most concerned

about was "Confidential . "

Oh , " Confidential " was
the talk of Hollywood

because everyone was
afraid that if there

was a skeleton in the
closet, it would be released .

God knows l love you.

But l won 't let Ned
nor Kay or anyone else

run our lives, Cary.

" Confidential "
magazine, they had

some information
on Rock that was

very damaging to his career.

And they were going to print it.

Rock H udson 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 " Confidential "

the story about me when l ' d
been arrested when l was just

starting out in the business.

L nside the magazine
the article read ,

"Tab H unter caught at a
limp-wristed pajama party. "

l would say l was
thrown under the bus.

When the magazine
came out, l was

sure that my career was over.

L took Natalie to
the Academy Awards.

That was about the
time-- a little

after the "Confidential "
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 next issue
of " Confidential " 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 everything,

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
l never discussed

my sexuality whatsoever.

L was making a lot
of money for them .

As long as l didn 't destroy this
image that they were creating,

that was important 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.

L did sign a contract,
and l was willing to do

whatever they wanted me to
do to fulfill that contract.

Don 't you ever
think about marriage?

All the time, Ernie.

That' s what keeps me single.

L thought of marriage
a num ber of times

because it's expected of you .

When l did the film
" Lafayette Escadrille, "

that's when l first
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 .

L can 't remem ber
what we talked about because

he did not speak one word of French

and l only spoke three words of English .

L don 't know how we communicated . . .
undoubtedly with our eyes.

But in any case,
we got on like a house on fire.

And he was irresistible.

L usually can think of
a lot of things to say.

Suddenly l can 't say anything.

We had wonderful
times together,

and l was drawn closer
and closer to her.

Yes, l had heard
that Tab was homosexual .

L 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.

L did feel discomfort, and l
did feel a little bit of guilt


But l did seriously think
of marrying Etchika.

L was flattered
to have been chosen , of course.

If l was to marry Tab,

it would have been for love.

L would inevitably have never

accepted to share
him with someone else.

And l certainly
would not have married him

to protect him
and hide his homosexuality.

L 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.

L just couldn 't commit to her.

It wouldn 't have been
right to be with Etchika.

L felt that if you were with
a man, you were sinning .

And if you were with a
woman , you 'd be lying .

Tony and l met at the pool
of the Chateau Marmont.

He was in California doing
" Friendly Persuasion. "

l don 't want to die.

L don 't know if l could
kill anyone if l 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?

L 'd been in the
business longer,

but l respected the fact that
he' d done Broadway plays.

L thought he was
very intelligent,

and he was just fun to be with.

We just kind of hit it off.

" MOON LIGHT swl M "]

And l went up to
his room with him .

That' s when Tony and l got
together for the first time.

And that's when we
started seeing each other.

When l first saw Tab
and Tony l knew that they

were more than friends.

It was pretty obvious.

L had a wonderful
relationship with him .

L did trust him .

L was comfortable with him .

Tony and Tab were
totally different.

Tony was East Coast.

Tab was west Coast.

Tab was very macho.

Tony was very
sensitive, introverted .

Well , l would see
him quite a lot.

And he would stay to my place,
lived there for a while,

got an apartment
around the corner.

And then l would go back East.

L 'd say with Tony at his place.

L knew that he was
very dedicated to being

an actor in Hollywood .

And the most promising
male star of tomorrow

is the fine young
actor, Tony Perkins.

TAB H uNTER: 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 H uNTER: At first, when
Tony and l used to go out,

we would go out together.

But he would get recognized .

L would get recognized .

He felt very uncomfortable.

L always did too because
the idea of two young actors

around together might
start some talk.

(sl NG l NG) Yes, l ' m in love.

Don 't tell a soul .

Natalie wood

and l 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 l 'd go see Tony.

(sl NG l NG) shh , don 't
let it get around.

(sPEAKl NG) Tony and l did
go on couple dates together.

Tab and Tony and l
went out together.

L suppose l was a beard .

But l was happy to
be a beard because we

were having a good / l knew the
game, and we were playing it.

L n the fan magazines there would
being a picture of Tab and l .

And then in the next page
there'd be a picture of Tony

and l doing something else,
but never just Tab and Tony.

(sl NG l NG) shh , don 't
let it get around.

L did feel that Tab and
Tony had a real relationship.

L could see them together.

But it was a painful

at least for Tony.

Tony was more in love with
Tab than Tab was with him .

Whenever Tab and Tony
got into a fight,

Tony would come to
my house and cry

on my shoulder about
how mean Tab was.

My relationship with Tony, l
never discussed with anyone.

And if one of my so-called
friends or my friends

would mention it, l probably
would have gone berserk.

L would have hated
it and denied it

(ExPLOslON sOuN D) where l

could blow it up very quickly.

Tony, as the audience
ovation indicates,

your career is certainly
going full steam ahead.

Tony was on his way to
being a pretty big star.

Tony' s career was most important
to him , more than anything .

He could be extremely charming.

But l think he had a
hidden agenda, as far

as his career was concerned .

You never really
knew Tony 1 00o%c .

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-off?

They' re trying me
out at a position .

They know l can 't play it!

J ust as soon as l make a few
errors, they' re gonna drop me!

Can 't you see it?

TAB H uNTER: The first
live television show

l did was " Fear strikes Out. "

l played J immy Piersall.

He was a ball player
who had mental problems.

Tony caught my performance and
told me how m uch he liked it.

L confided in Tony
that l 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 fine actor

and he should be working .

But l 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 film .

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 sort of grew apart.

" Damn Yankees" was
a huge Broadway hit.

Jack warner bought
" Damn Yankees" for me.

It was the first 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.

L was the only outsider in it.

It needed some
sparkle, which he had .

What' s the story on this kid?

This Tab H unter was
like a breath of spring.


The director was George Abbott.

He didn 't want me at all .

He wanted Don M urray.

Warner said , l want you
to the use Tab H unter.

He' s the biggest
star at my studio.

Every one of his
pictures is popular.

Tab was certainly at
the top of his game.

George Abbott and
l did not get along.

The first time l met him
was at the read through.

The whole New York
cast was sitting there.

And after l read a
few lines, he said ,

l want you to read it like this.

And he gave me a line reading ,
which actors do not like.

L want to exercise the escape
clause which is to take place

on the 24th , which is today.

So l read it the
way he wanted me to.

We went on , and he
stopped me about two

or three or four times.

And finally, l just
had had enough .

So l stopped , and l said , Mr.
Abbott, from what l gather,

you ' d like me to do
it the way stephen

Douglas did it on Broadway.

He said , yes, yes.

That's exactly
what l would like.

L said , well, l
thought stephen Douglas

had a magnificent voice, but
l thought he was a real stick.

If l play the
character, first of all ,

he's got to be human being.

That was the wrong
thing to tell him .

Oh , l ' m honest, but,
uh , l ' m dumb too.

He closed his script, said,
thank you all very much .

He got up and left the room ,
and l was fired off the picture.

Jack warner went
to Abbott and said ,

l bought it for Tab H unter.

Tab H unter' s going to do it.

You don 't say no to Jack warner.

OK, you win .

Get a uniform .
- You mean it?

-L mean it.

L made it!

(LAuGH l NG)

so l did the film ,
but it was difficult,

knowing that he'd never wanted
me right from the start.

(sl NGl NG) whatever
Lola wants, Lola gets.

And Gwen verdon-- Gwen
always called me like a New

York cab driver-- Tab H untah .

(LAuGH l NG) l loved it.

The choreographer
was Bobby Fosse.

You can 't get any
better than that.

Bobby Fosse made me
look like l could dance,

even though l have
two left feet.

And he said , don 't
worry about it, Tab.

You ' ll be fine.

You see, Mr. , uh , Mr.--

uh , Hardy-- uh , Joe Hardy.

L just felt like l wanted
to take him in my arms.

Well , he was perfect
for the role.

He was delicious
in it, and l think

that Mr. Abbott was very very
satisfied with him ultimately.

All right, a carton
of winstons, and Tab,

thanks a million.
- Thank you very m uch.

He was always, always
trying to be better.

Probably at that time his
looks got in the way a bit.

L 've had a great
evening . really l have.

L ' 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 apart!

TAB H uNTER: 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
J immy Dean role in " Rebel

without a Cause. "

Can you imagine that? (LAuGH l NG)

He didn 't get the opportunities
with some of those parts

that he could 've done very well .

And they were terribly
com plicated people.

And one of the great
assets of Tab H unter

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
difficult time trying

to prove that behind this
face there really is a talent.

ANNOuNCER: Playhouse 90,
tonight starring Tab H unter.

TAB H uNTER: The director
Arthur Penn said , there's

a great script l 've just read .

It was called " Portrait
of a Murderer. "

He said , will you do it?

L said , oh , l don 't think so.

Live television?

That would clear
the hell out of me.

L was awfully guilty of
saying , l can 't do that,

or l ' m afraid to do this.

But you 've just got
to go (sPLAsH l NG

sOuND) take the plunge.

ANNOuNCER: " Portrait
of a Murderer, "

directed by Arthur 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.

L ' 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 l don 't want to
bring you bad luck.

Bad luck?

You ' re my good
luck, my best luck.

This was big time.

This wasn 't just some teenage
heartthrob who got a break.

Oh , l was proud of that show.

It was a good show.

Television was giving
me the opportunity

to do things that l could
not do in motion pictures,

with the most creative
people in the industry,

directors like
sidney Lumet, John

really good actors

and actresses and good writers.

L loved live television.

ANNOuNCER: Tab H unter.

Then it started
to click, where he

was getting cast in
things that made sense,

and he was no longer a joke.

Come on!

Just me brand them .

L told you to
put that gun away.

Yes, sir.

L 'd played heavy on
television but never in a film .

It just was such
a good character.

It's a pathetic.

From now on, l ' m going my
own way, me, Ed Hackett.

He' s a complete psychopath .

L ' 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 films l 've done,
" Gunman 's walk" was some

of my best work as an actor.

After " Gunman 's walk, " Hollywood
started to see me in a new way.

L started getting cast in
some very nice productions--

"They Came to Cordura, " with
Gary Cooper and Rita Hayworth ,

"The Pleasure of H is
Company, " with Fred

Astaire and Debbie Reynolds,
"That Kind of woman , "

with sophia Loren.

These wonderful films were not
being made at warner Brothers,

where l 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.

L was getting a little
upset about that.

The two films that
Natalie and l did together

were both big hits.

So the studio went and put
us together in another film .

Well , l read the script, and
l thought, l can 't do this.

L turned it down because
l knew what l liked,

knew what l didn 't like,
and l wanted to grow.

L ' m not a puppet.

So l asked the studio
for my release.

Well , needless to say,
Jack warner wasn 't

about to have that happen.

And l said , well , Mr. warner,
how much would it cost?

And he said , if
you want out, you

pay us $1 00,000 fcr the
remainder of your contract.

That was a lot of money,
like a couple m illion today.

But to express myself and
be my own person, l figured ,

l 've got to do it.

Products of Hollywood
are interchangeable

and ultimately replaceable.

Get outta here, Dad.

If you weren 't half
drunk l '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 H unter.

Warner Brothers was trying
to make Troy Donahue

in the image of Tab H unter.

They started building
Troy's career

and have him a very good career.

You 've been a good old wagon ,
but you done broke down .

(wH lsTLl NG sOuN D) You ' re out,
and somebody else is in there.

Leaving warner Brothers
was career suicide.

L thought there'd be opportunity
for me at other studios,

but that was not the case.

The days of studio
contracts were over.

L was now a freelance
actor on my own,

and my primary concern was
taking care of my mother.

L had a lot of responsibilities.

And it was tough to keep
your head above water.

L would do anything
to pay down my debt.

ANNOuNCER: " Operation
Bikini , " starring Tab H unter.

My career was really
drying up in Hollywood .

So l would take
whatever was available.

L was no longer looking for
the keys to the kingdom .

ANNOuNCER: "The Golden
Arrow, " starring Tab H unter.

Well , not many actors can say
that they rode a flying carpet.

When you have to live
and you need a job,

you ' ll accept what's there.

H unter in a dual role

as a heroic security officer
and a treacherous enemy agent.

" Birds Do lt, " with soupy
sales, that's a winner.

H unter is steamer.

He goes all the way for
everything Hawaiian.

To this day, people are
still coming up and saying ,

oh , l loved you in all
those beach movies!

L only did one.

That was " Ride the wild surf. "

Everybody kept thinking
of me as this surfer.

And at that point, l
felt that l was a little

long in the tooth for that one.

L 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.

Tab Hunter show-- "

The television
series that l 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?

Right now.

It was really bad stuff.

The bloom came off the rose.

My career was going
(wH lsTLl NG sOuN D).

Beat it, Tab.

Can 't you see l ' m busy?

Without the protection
of the studio,

my boy-next-door image
was in total free fall .

People could say and write
what they wanted , and they did .

If l had still been
under contract,

they'd have nailed it like that.

L was sick of Hollywood ,
sick of the media,

and l had just about
lost faith in everything.

As l was doing films, l 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.

L found that my touch of reality
in that unrealistic world

of Hollywood .

He was riding a jumper.

L was in awe of him
because of how he rode.

L was standing at the back gate,
and we just started talking .

L didn 't know who he was.

And he asked me questions
like, do l ride?

And l said, oh, yeah ,
l grew up on a horse.

He said , do you
ride jumping horses?

And l said , no,
l 've not done that,

but the thought appeals to me.

And he said , l 'd be willing
to teach you some jumping .

So l took him up on it.

And so we became
friends after that.

He didn 't have
all the trappings,

l didn 't think, that
a star would have.

He was very real person.

It was the first long-term
relationship that l ever had.

We were together for
about seven years.

Hollywood turned
their back on him .

And l realized what it must
be like to be very popular

and to be very unpopular.

L certainly
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.

L was very concerned .

So l bought space in "variety"
to just tell people hello.

Is there any possibility
of you getting

job somewhere around here?

L just wanted people
to know that l wasn 't

dead , that l ' m still alive.

And a couple responses-- really
sweet people-- said , yeah,

get lost, or yeah, drop dead .

Tab H unter, 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 , l 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 H uNTER: The new actors
were anti-establishment,

and l was apple pie
and All-American.

It would have
taken some director

to give him the kind of a
part that would make everybody

look at him in a new way.

L n order to make the
change, he would have had

to do something really radical.

This was a low-budget
horror film--

--made on a show string.

It needed a very
handsome debonair man

who would love women to death.

Tab H unter would
be the last person

you would expect to do that.

TAB H uNTER: "sweet Kill "
was certainly way out there.

L did it because the movie roles
were just not coming along .

Tab was so much a part
of that Eisenhower era.

The '50s, as an era, was
repudiated in the '80s.

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 vietnam .

My brother was in military
medical evacuations.

He had joined the Navy.

He wound up in vietnam ,
as so many young men did.

L was at a horse show at the
Cow Palace in san Francisco.

And l was sitting on my horse
at the back gate waiting

for the announcer to
announce my horse Nob H ill

and myself for the next
entry into the arena.

And l saw a man in
military uniform coming ,

and he walked over to me, and
he said , are you Art Gelien?

L just want to tell you your
brother was killed in vietnam .

L thought, why him?

Why not me?

Walt was married, and
he had seven children .

L remember taking the moment,
closing my eyes, and saying ,

walt, l ' m gonna win
this class for you.

And my horse won the
class that night.

And then afterwards l
went back to the barn .

And when l was in the stall with
my horse, l totally lost it.

L was scared of my own shadow.

My brother was the one who
opened the doors of life

for me.

L 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.

L was very concerned
about her well-being ,

and l would see her a great
deal more than l had when l was

running around with the movies.

L found her a little
apartment in Long Beach.

Whatever she need , l
would be there for her.

Well , l made a promise to my
mother to take care of her.

And l definitely was
going to keep it.

L had to create
work in some way.

L 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 . (LAuG H l NG)

They were becom ing
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.

L was making more
money at dinner theater

than l 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.

L felt l had to keep going once
you put yourself in that gear.

L was on the road constantly.

L NTERvl EwER: Your
story in " Here Lies

Jeremy Troy, " which
is at the Grand

Dinner Theater in Anaheim--

That' s right.

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.

L wore myself right
into the ground

to the point of where
l had a heart attack.

L was sure that it
could be the end .

L was wondering if l was
going to be able to make it,

and l was praying a lot.

L did give up dinner
theater after that.

L learned to try to relax a bit.

L learned to be grateful
for every moment

and thankful-- thankful .

L love the church .

L love my religion .

But l still just felt
like l was such an outcast

because of my sexuality.

It took a long time for
me to find my way back.

It was so peaceful ,
and it was so important

that l try to be a part of it.

And l struck up a conversation
with a priest who l felt

l can really communicate with.

L told him l was a
Catholic, and l told him l

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 heart told him to go.

By going back to my church
and my beliefs, that really,

really helped me through
a very difficult period .

And little by little, l just
felt the weight of the world

was lifted from me.

L knew Tab is an
image, you know?

And that was the thing that
was so very important to me

and why l so much wanted
him to be in Polyester. "

lt's Todd , honey.


Todd Tomorrow?

John waters called me up
on the telephone and said ,

l 've got a script l ' d like you
to read for a film with Divine.

What do you think, sweetheart?

Oh , it's very high brow, Todd .

And then he said ,
how would you feel

about kissing a

(LAuGH l NG) And l
just said , l ' m sure

l 've kissed a hell
of a lot worse.

John 's films were outrageous.

L prayed that he would never
go watch " Pink Flamingos. "

Happy birthday, fatso.


And he did .

How could anyone be
filthier than Divine?

Even then , he didn 't
say, oh , well , never mind .

He was unafraid.

L remember an agent
saying to me at the time,

you can 't do that film .

And my response was,
what have l got to lose?

Where's my career now?

L thought this will
be a lot of fun.

Why don 't you show me
your bedroom , honey?

Mother may l ?

Yes, you may.


L could only afford
him for one week.

L ' m sure it was the least
Tab H unter was ever paid ,

and it was by far the most
l had ever paid anybody.

Doing a film for John , you
got to find a spot on the floor

where you can sit down between
takes-- cold pizza at 2 :00

AM . (LAuG H l NG)

Are you my little flesh pot?

Mm-hmm .

It was the first
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 film .

The movie came out.

It was a hit.

And it definitely
revitalized my career.

Mr. Tab H unter, yay!

Well , there was a
whole new audience

that never heard of Tab H unter.

Now, what is the
best time of the month

for a woman to conceive?

L feel like a new old
face or an old new face.

So l ' m getting my toe in the
door to start 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, l ' m a
Hollywood movie star,

and l 've been in over 40 films,
and l lived in Beverly H ills.

That sounds exciting .

He found himself amusing .

When you have a sense
of humor about yourself,

people appreciate
you in another way.

L wanted to work
with Divine again.

L had come up with the idea
of doing a western comedy.

It was called
" Lust in the Dust. "

ANNOuNCER: Tab H unter
is the stranger.

And Divine is Rosy valdez.

Come and get it.

L turned over every
stone l possibly

could trying to get " Lust
in the Dust" going forward .

The first time l
saw Tab in person

was when he walked
into my office

at Fox to pitch
" Lust in the Dust. "

Tab still had that star quality.

And l mentioned the
project to Allan.

And he hit on it right away and
said , what a wonderful idea.

Once Tab left the
meeting , l thought, yeah,

" Lust in the Dust" could work.

L knew l could trust
him almost immediately.

L found Allan very
attractive, very bright,

and l wanted to spend
more time with him .

Tab started calling me.

And l thought
initially it was just

a follow up about " Lust in the
Dust, " but it went beyond that.

Tab was 30 years
older and l was.

L was 23.

Tabb was 53.

But once we did
connect, l couldn 't

imagine us not being together.

And then the more our
personal relationship grew,

the more l was determ ined
to get that movie done.

L 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 l should get
involved and produce this.

Well , that would mean having
to leave my secure job

at Fox, which l did.

People told me l was taking a
big risk leaving the studio.

But l had a hunch
that my future would

be better with Tab, so l left.

He single-handedly raised
all the money for that film .

You got it all wrong , honey.

You 've been cheap all your life.


L was the sister of Divine.

This furniture is cheap.

L looked like a
drag queen , you know?

(LAuGH l NG) l think
that was the idea.

My love scene with Tab
H unter-- we were in a shower.

It was delicious.

The first film l ever appeared
in was " Lust in the Dust. "

That set, in particular, had a
real sense of frivolity and fun

about it.

And l remember being
struck by Tab' s naturalism

and how effortlessly everything
he was doing was com ing across.

Victory shifts from man to man .



Everybody was sort of
playing it larger than life.

" Lust in the Dust"
was well received ,

and it certainly opened doors
for us to do other things.

definitely had a value.

L got a lot of meetings just
because Tab was attached .

We were doing these
independent projects,

and Tab' s celebrity helped
me raise the financing .

It was a very
productive time for us.

For me, it was a challenge to
make it work, which l enjoyed .

But not so m uch for Tab.

He didn 't find that
same excitement

that l found in trying to
get these projects going .

Well , l never paid a
lot of attention what

was happening in Hollywood .

L let Allan do all
of that because he

was really good at it.

How are you?

Tab H unter.

By this time, Tab wasn 't
too happy to continue acting .

Tab was still getting offers,
but he turned 90o%c of everything

he was offered down .

People were coming out, and
that was their choice to do so,

and l respect that.

Personally, l didn 't want my
sexuality to define who l was.

L just didn 't talk about.

It's not my comfort zone.

L was point-blank asked
about my sexuality.

Wasn 't it difficult
to be in a closet?

Some of the press occasionally
would cross that boundary,

l ' m entitled to have
that line there,

and if l don 't want to share
that with you , l won 't.

L think it probably
means l finally made it.

L mean , you can 't be a star
without having a gay rumor out

there, can you? (LAuGH l NG)

l n some respects,
the business is

still like it was in the ' 50s.

It may be a lot more
socially acceptable to be gay.

But l know several
people who are very

prominent in this industry who
feel, perhaps legitimately,

that if they came out it would
affect their box office 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,

l ' 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 part of us that
are afraid of Hollywood .

We' re afraid to be
who we are com pletely.

That' s a hard life to lead.

After decades of being in
the public eye, all l wanted

was my privacy.

L n order to achieve that, l just
withdrew from it all for good .

My life had been very transient.

L 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
part of each other

now because we have been
together for so long .

And it's just one
of those things.

It works.

Allan 's a very
stabilizing influence.

L have a wonderful
relationship with Allan that's

grown over 30-some years.

This is really an
incredible person that l

want to spend my life with.

What brings Tab pleasure
on a daily basis,

and l can sum it up in
one word , is Harlow.

This old cow, look at her.

ALLAN G LAsER: Harlow, Tab's
horse, is what gives Tab joy.

This is what makes me happiest.

This is where l really
feel more at ease

than l 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 , sweetheart.

He' s a better man than l am .

L 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 fulfills you ,

you don 't look to other
areas to fill you up.

Tab is an incredible
horseman and always has been,

and that is a career in itself.

Well , my acting career l look
at as being all in the past.

L loved it, bud l love
where l am now in my life.

And l 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.

L found this is at flea market.

It' s something that
he could em brace,

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 .

Forget it.

flips 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 l thought Tony Perkins
would be perfect for that role.

ANNOuNCER: 22 years later,
Norman Bates is home.

" Psycho l l " 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?

(LAuGH l NG) l said ,
yeah , Allan , l know him .

(LAuGH l NG) l contacted
Tony, went up

to his house up on Mulholland .

L hadn 't seen him
in a long while.

H is wife Mary answered the door.

Tony had married , had a family.

And l 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 l said
goodbye that afternoon ,

and that was the last
time that l saw Tony.

Al Ds has taken the life
of actor Anthony Perkins.

He died saturday at
his Los Angeles home.

L never felt that Tony was
struggling with his identity.

And when l did hear of it, l
was really quite surprised .

Maybe he was deep down unhappy
with himself about being gay

and wanted to change that.

H is choice was right
for him , and it's

all part of a person 's growth .

Tony was who he was, or
maybe he wanted to be.

That was good enough for me.

L 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 conflict
with themselves.

And it's a terribly difficult
thing to have to go through .

L think you have to
be true to yourself.

My mother never said
l love you a lot.

But she' d show it when
you 'd least expect it.

My mother and l are
sitting on the back terrace

having breakfast one
morning after church .

And she leaned over and kissed
me on the cheek and said ,

l love you very much .

L was in a good place with her.

L know that.

And she was in a
good place with me.

L 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 earth.

He' s solid .

He's happy in his own
special way to live his life,

and he' s had a happy life.

He chose that right road .