Tab Hunter (1931-2018)

Actor, singer, and writer Tab Hunter died yesterday at the age of 86. Famous for many things, he’s likely best remembered for his starring role in the 1958 movie Damn Yankees (based on the 1955 Broadway musical). Few recall his failed NBC sitcom The Tab Hunter Show, which ran for 32 episodes during the 1961-1962 1960-1961 season. Hunter played Paul Morgan, a cartoonist who based his popular newspaper strip “Bachelor-at-Large” on his own life as a carefree bachelor living it up in sunny Malibu. Richard Erdman and Jerome Cowan co-starred.

Black and white image of actor Tab Hunter from The Tab Hunter Show.
Tab Hunter as Paul Morgan in a promotional spot for The Tab Hunter Show (NBC, 1960-1961).

I haven’t seen any episodes of The Tab Hunter Show and you probably haven’t, either. As far as I know, the show never aired in syndication. None of the big TV archives/museums (The Paley Center, The Library of Congress, The Museum of Broadcast Communications, and the UCLA Film & Television Archive) have episodes in their collections. I believe two or three circulate among private collectors, although the source for those episodes remains a mystery. So, too, do the whereabouts of the remaining episodes.

Obituaries can be found at The New York Times, Variety, and The Hollywood Reporter.

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4 Replies to “Tab Hunter (1931-2018)”

  1. I did a YouTube search for The Tab Hunter Show and found the show’s opening credits, which has a cartoon being drawn while an announcer tells who stars in the series. Then you are informed the show is sponsored by Westclox, the world’s largest maker of timepieces.
    My search also brought up a 1958 episode of Playhouse 90 called “Portrait of a Murderer” which, I assume, starred Tab Hunter.

  2. It is very ironic for I was just looking at a recent documentary about TAB HUNTER just a few days before he died. He seemed to be a very straightforward guy who did not hold anything back about himself, his private life or his career.

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