- Enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard at 15 after lying about his age; his comrades nicknamed him "Hollywood" because he saw so many movies.
- Made film debut in The Lawless (1950), but had breakout role that established his beefcake appeal opposite Linda Darnell in Island of Desire (1952), aka Saturday Island.
- Parlayed teen-idol status into a singing career, hitting No. 1 on the U.S. and U.K. charts with a version of Ric Cartey and Carole Joyner's Young Love in 1957.
- Starred as a bachelor cartoonist in eponymous NBC sitcom, The Tab Hunter Show (1960-61).
- In 2005 memoir (written with Eddie Muller), Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star, acknowledged his homosexuality, which he hid at the height of his popularity lest it damage his career.
- Was a competitive figure skater in his youth, and has been a lifelong horseman.
- Older brother, Walter, was a Navy medic who was killed in Vietnam in 1965.
- Gertrude Gelien — Mother
- Walter J. Gelien — Brother
- Allan Glaser — Significant Other
- Charles Kelm — Father
- Anthony Perkins — Ex-significant Other