Tab Hunter

2010 TCM Classic Film Festival Opening Night Screening of the Restored "A Star is Born" - Arrivals

Hunter in 2010, photo by Prphotos

Birth Name: Arthur Kelm

Date of Birth: July 11, 1931

Place of Birth: New York City, New York, U.S.

Date of Death: July 8, 2018

Place of Death: Santa Barbara, California, U.S.

*Jewish (father)
*German (mother)

Tab Hunter was an American actor, pop singer, film producer, and author.

Tab was the son of Gertrude Ida (Gelien) and Charles Kelm. His brother, Walter John Gelien (1930-1965), was killed in Vietnam. Tab was married to film producer Allan Glaser, until his death.

Tab’s mother, a German emigrant originally from Hamburg, moved to the United States around 1927. Tab was raised by his mother, who had changed his name from Arthur Kelm to Arthur Gelien. Tab was raised Catholic by his mother, and was a practicing Catholic for his whole life.

As an adult, Tab researched his genealogy and discovered that his father was Jewish, and that he had two half-siblings, Sarah and Rebecca. His long-time partner/husband Allan is Jewish.

Tab’s maternal grandfather was Johann Heinrich Gerhard “John Henry” Gelien (the son of Jürgen Emil Gelien and Mathilde Louise Auguste Martens). Johann was born in Ottensen, Hamburg.

Tab’s maternal grandmother was named Charlotte Henriette Ida Sonneufleth/Sonnenfleth/Sonenfleth/Sonnefel.

Sources: Interview with Tab Hunter –

Tab Hunter on the 1940 U.S. Census –

Genealogies of Tab Hunter (focusing on his mother’s side) –


Curious about ethnicity

2 Responses

  1. follers says:

    Bablah, I wonder if you can find Hunter’s father on the census, or any more information about Hunter’s ancestry?

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