, a former on-screen heartthrob and gay icon, has died. He was 86.
Hunter died Sunday night in Santa Barbara after a blood clot in his leg caused cardiac arrest, Allan Glaser
, Hunter’s partner for more than three decades, confirmed to Variety
With his All-American good looks, wavy blonde hair, piercing blue eyes, and toothy smile, Hunter rose to the top ranks of Hollywood leading men in the 1950’s and early ’60’s. He appeared in the likes of “Damn Yankees
” and “Battle Cry
,” and had chart-topping records such as “Young Love.” But at the height of his popularity, he was dogged by rumors that he was gay, a potentially career-ending rumor during that culturally conservative era. At one point, he was “outed” by the gossip rag, Confidential.
Hunter fell out of favor as the 1960s continued and a new breed of stars such as Dustin Hoffman
and Al Pacino