Friday, March 22, 2013

Tab "Heartthrob" Hunter, Rider

(Facebook photo)

Also known as the "Hollywood Horseman" Tab Hunter is the real deal.  For those of you too young to remember him in the movies, photos of his youth don't hide his appeal, to both sexes (he is gay).  Yes, that's him on the horse above.

 (Pinterest photo)

Now in his early 80's Mr. Hunter has added "author" to his repertoire, with his book, Tab Hunter Confidential, The Making of a Movie Star. He readily admits that horses have been his whole life. Who knew?  In the 60's he even contemplated giving it all up and moving to Virginia to ride.  He has fox hunted, ridden both hunters and jumpers, owned Grand Prix horses and has ridden western too. 

 (Pinterest Photo)

Mr. Hunter has known George Morris for years as well as Frank Chapot.  He rode in his third film in 1953, Gun Belt.  He rode also in The Burning Hills with Natalie Wood where he was able to use his own horse, a chestnut mare named Swizzlestick, who had been green jumper champion at Del Mar.  He was also able to use her in his next film Gunman's Walk  and in They Came to Cordura with Gary Cooper and Rita Hayworth. 

Tab's career goes way back.  He nabbed his first starring role at 19 and went on to make 40 major motion pictures including my favorite, the Academy Award-nominated Damn Yankees.  He also had a successful recording career, with his hit Young Love, which knocked Elvis out of the #1 record slotThis guy can do it all - sing, act, ride. 

Mr. Hunter's real name is Arthur Gelien (wonder if the name "Hunter" was his choice or someone else's)? 


  1. No way, that is his real name??? WOW, what a difference a name can make!!! I had heard of Tab Hunter but never knew he was a serious equestrian until I joined the Facebook group "Equestrians Back In The Day" (if you are not a member I HIGHLY recommend joining). There are pictures of him there and I was like, wait a minute, he was a Hollywood actor... I will definitely get my hands on this autobiography. I'm sure it will do well with the horsey crowd, if nobody else!

  2. Also, I betcha anything Arthur himself is the one who picked that new last name... :-) An awesome private joke for him. I especially appreciate this since my son's name is - you guessed it - Hunter. NOT a coincidence! :-)

  3. Three of those movies are on Netflixs:). I love old movies but don't really have a memory of him so looking forward to them. I'm on Back in the Day too - cool group w/great pictures and fun conversations.


  4. I read a brief bio of Mr. Hunter, I think it was in Sidelines and by Holly Hugo-Vidal, and it mentioned the choice of Hunter was directly related to his riding.
    Thanks for all the great posts.


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