Tab and Roddy

This vintage celebrity beefcake moment is brought to you by some genius of a studio exec at Warner Bros. who thought it would be a good idea to do a publicity photo shoot of Tab Hunter and Roddy McDowall together for Movies magazine. The photo above shows them cooking up wieners wearing nothing but shorts. See the full spread for Calling All Girls from June 1953 here.

Although McDowall never officially came out, the fact that he was gay was one of Hollywood’s best known secrets.  Overwhelmed by the Hollywood publicity machine, Hunter struggled to keep secret the fact that he was gay. Hunter came out publicly in 2005 with his book Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star.


About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

4 responses to “Tab and Roddy

  • daemon

    Tab's book is a great read and peek into one man's life. I spent a lot of afternoons wondering what it would be like growing up in those times, facing the pressures he did, not just from his peers and work but society as a whole. A different world for sure. I am thankful as a young gay man to be living now and am excited and hopeful for the future we are helping build while standing on the shoulders of those LGBT pioneers who have gone before and gave so much.daemonPS: And yeah…Tab was a total hottie. 🙂

  • SEAN

    daemon is right…excellent book and a nice insight into all the gays of the time, the hollywood machine and a one man's struggle with his good looks and sexuality. He was also an excellent figure skater and had olympic potential. I still love his #1 hit Young Love. http://youtu.be/fDI-daG7NEE

  • Will

    Tab was one of the first crushes of my boyhood, along with Rock Hudson and the father of one of my friends who lived in the building opposite mine and wore his summer shirts with three buttons undone. 🙂 The picture of Tab and Roddy is a classic gay image and yes, Tab's book is excellent as is Farley Granger's.

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