Actor Tab Hunter, star of ‘Damn Yankees’ movie, dies age 86
By SHAWN MARSH
Tuesday, July 10
Tab Hunter, the blond actor and singer who was a heartthrob for millions of teenagers in the 1950s with such films as “Battle Cry” and “Damn Yankees” and received new attention decades later when he revealed that he was gay, has died. He was 86.
Producer and spouse Allan Glaser said Hunter died Sunday of a blood clot in his leg that caused cardiac arrest. Glaser called the death “sudden and unexpected.”
Hunter was a star for several years. In addition to his hit movies, his recording of “Young Love” topped the Billboard pop chart in 1957.
But in his 2005 memoir, “Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star,” Hunter recounted the stresses of being a love object to millions of young women when he was, in reality, a gay man.
“I believed, wholeheartedly — still do — that a person’s happiness depends on being true to themselves,” he wrote. “The dilemma, of course, that was being true to myself — and I’m talking sexually now — was impossible in 1953.”
Among those stars honoring Hunter on Monday included Harvey Fierstein, who called Hunter a “gay icon” and a “true gentleman” on Twitter, adding, “We shared some good laughs back in the 80’s. I was always fond of this dear man.”
Zachary Quinto on Instagram also cheered Hunter’s “vital and generous nature” and called him a “pioneer of self-acceptance” who moved through the world “with authenticity as his guide.” GLAAD tweeted “Our hearts are with Tab’s loved ones.”
Born Arthur Andrew Kelm, his screen tab (slang for “name” at the time) was fabricated by Henry Willson, the same talent agent who came up with the names Rock Hudson and Rory Calhoun.
The legend goes that Willson said to the young man: “We’ve got to find something to tab you with. Do you have any hobbies?” His client answered, “I ride horses. Hunters.” Agent: “That’s it! We’ll call you Tab Hunter.”
With no dramatic training, Hunter was cast in a minor role in the 1950 drama, “The Lawless.” The fuss over the young actor began two years later when he appeared bare-chested opposite Linda Darnell in the British-made “Island of Desire.” Soon his handsome face and muscular build appeared on magazine covers. Warner Bros., alert to the increasingly important youth market, signed him to a contract.
Hunter made a flurry of movies in the latter half of the 1950s, aimed at capitalizing on his popularity with young girls. The films included such war dramas as “Battle Cry” (with Van Heflin) and “Lafayette Escadrille” (Clint Eastwood in a small role). He made the Westerns “The Burning Hills” (Natalie Wood) and “They Came to Cordura” (Gary Cooper, Rita Hayworth). And he made romantic comedies like “The Pleasure of His Company” (Fred Astaire, Debbie Reynolds.)
A highlight was the 1958 “Damn Yankees,” an adaptation of the hit Broadway musical with Gwen Verdon and Ray Walston in their Tony-winning New York roles and the original director, George Abbott, sharing direction with Stanley Donen. The New York Times’ critic noted that Hunter “has the clean, naive look of a lad breaking into the big leagues and into the magical company of a first-rate star.”
Besides the movies, he displayed his athletic skills — he had been a figure skater as well as horseman — in a TV special, “Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates.”
As with so many pop idols, his fans grew up and a new generation sought other favorites. His slide followed the classic pattern: to a television series (“The Tab Hunter Show,” on NBC, 1960-62); European films (“The Golden Arrow”) and cheap kid flicks (“Ride the Wild Surf.”) In his memoir, he took pains to note that “Ride the Wild Surf” was his only beach-party movie; his “Operation Bikini,” despite its title, was “yet another war movie.”
Over the years, he also played small roles in “The Loved One,” ”The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean” and “Grease 2.”
In the 1980s, he won new fans by appearing in cult movies with Divine, the 300-pound drag performer, notably John Waters’ 1981 “Polyester” and Paul Bartel’s 1985 “Lust in the Dust,” co-produced by Hunter himself.
Of “Polyester,” Hunter wrote: “Everybody got the joke. … For both John and me, our collaboration paid huge dividends: I’d helped ‘legitimize’ his brand of movie, and he made me ‘hip’ overnight.”
Hunter appeared on Broadway in 1964 in Tennessee Williams’ “The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore” opposite the formidable Tallulah Bankhead. The play closed within days, and he said it was “completely buried under Tallulah’s offhanded trademark campiness.”
Hunter was born in 1931 in New York City, the second son of a mechanic and his German immigrant wife. His father left the family two years later and the boy took his mother’s name, Gelien. Young Arthur Gelien grew up in San Francisco and Long Beach, California, and joined the Coast Guard at 15, lying about his age.
While in New York, he saw Broadway plays and became interested in acting. Back in California, Willson arranged for a two-word role in a small Western, “The Lawless.” He got $500 and a new name.
In his memoir, he said that his career flourished despite some innuendo and smear articles in the scandal sheets — “clear evidence that despite its self-righteous claims, ‘Confidential’ magazine did not influence the taste and opinions of mainstream America.”
Writing the book was difficult, he told The Associated Press in 2005, “because I’m a really private person. I grew up full of denial. I just didn’t like any suggestions or questioning of my sexuality.”
In 1960, Hunter’s boy-next-door reputation did take a hit when he was charged with cruelty for allegedly beating his dog. (He was acquitted.) In recent years, Hunter appeared in dinner theaters and organized film projects. After living on a ranch in New Mexico for a time, he took a home in Montecito in Santa Barbara County with Glaser.
He didn’t dwell on his Hollywood career or regret losing it. “I had my fling, and I was very fortunate,” he remarked. “But that’s all in my past.”
The late AP Entertainment Writer Bob Thomas contributed to this report.
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Reprinted from Robert Reich article:
The Social Security check is now (or soon will be) referred to as a “Federal Benefit Payment?” I’ll be part of the one percent to forward this. I am forwarding it because it touches a nerve in me, and I hope it will in you. Please keep passing it on until everyone in our country has read it.
The government is now referring to our Social Security checks as a “Federal Benefit Payment.” This isn’t a benefit. It is our money paid out of our earned income! Not only did we all contribute to Social Security but our employers did too. It totaled 15% of our income before taxes.
If you averaged $30K per year over your working life, that’s close to $180,000 invested in Social Security.
If you calculate the future value of your monthly investment in social security ($375/month, including both you and your employers contributions) at a meager 1% interest rate compounded monthly, after 40 years of working you’d have more than $1.3+ million dollars saved!
This is your personal investment. Upon retirement, if you took out only 3% per year, you’d receive $39,318 per year, or $3,277 per month.
That’s almost three times more than today’s average Social Security benefit of $1,230 per month, according to the Social Security Administration. (Google it – it’s a fact).
And your retirement fund would last more than 33 years (until you’re 98 if you retire at age 65)! I can only imagine how much better most average-income people could live in retirement if our government had just invested our money in low-risk interest-earning accounts.
Instead, the folks in Washington pulled off a bigger “Ponzi scheme” than Bernie Madoff ever did. They took our money and used it elsewhere. They forgot (oh yes, they knew) that it was OUR money they were taking. They didn’t have a referendum to ask us if we wanted to lend the money to them. And they didn’t pay interest on the debt they assumed. And recently they’ve told us that the money won’t support us for very much longer.
But is it our fault they misused our investments? And now, to add insult to injury, they’re calling it a “benefit”, as if we never worked to earn every penny of it.
Just because they borrowed the money doesn’t mean that our investments were a charity!
Let’s take a stand. We have earned our right to Social Security and Medicare. Demand that our legislators bring some sense into our government.
Find a way to keep Social Security and Medicare going for the sake of that 92% of our population who need it.
Then call it what it is: Our Earned Retirement Income.
Jill Stein has been a darling of the Putin propaganda network Russia Today since 2012 Give that some thought
When Toys R Us went bankrupt, they got permission to give the executives that drove the company into bankruptcy $32 million in bonuses.
Store employees, regular working people, got nothing.
Surfboard Machine Makes Waves at South Jersey Shore
Wed Jul 11, 2018
Now there’s a new wave in the surfboard industry. Sciarra and his son Chris, owners of Kona Surf Co. in Wildwood, are now using an Australian shaping machine called the APS3000 to make their surfboards and standup paddleboards.
Opinion: Fueling America’s National Security and Global Leadership
By David Gattie
I recently joined 74 of America’s most accomplished national security experts in authoring a letter to Energy Secretary Rick Perry, urging him to ensure nuclear power plants remain open and are valued for their contributions to our country’s national security.
Nuclear energy has long been the subject of a debate among community leaders, policymakers, regulators and other engaged citizens. Often overlooked, however, are the critical national security benefits that are provided by a vibrant commercial nuclear energy sector.
For proof of nuclear power’s role in national security, look no further than the operation of our domestic military bases, which depend on the reliability of our energy grid. These bases require the base load generation capacity of nuclear power because it ensures the grid is resilient, meaning they’re up to the task of keeping the lights on for our armed forces.
Nuclear energy runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week — even in severe weather — and needs to be refueled only every 18 to 24 months. This ensures nuclear energy is always available to supply the grid with the electricity it needs — particularly when other intermittent or “just-in-time” energy sources are unavailable or too expensive.
Our commercial nuclear energy industry not only keeps our military bases running at home but it also helps maintain our leadership position globally on issues related to energy and nonproliferation. The United States has historically been the world’s leader in establishing and maintaining standards for nonproliferation and the global fuel cycle.
Every time the U.S. enters into an agreement to provide nuclear technology to a foreign country, it leads to a stronger geopolitical relationship, as the U.S. becomes a partner with that country on plant construction and in training, plant operation and safety, maintenance, spent fuel management, and other related issues. This allows for our country to establish good will and develop strategic ties that are important to our national security.
Today, low natural gas prices and polices that do not properly value nuclear energy’s unique properties are making it challenging for this key energy source to compete in the current marketplace. That is leaving policymakers wrestling with questions about the fate of the nuclear energy industry.
The reality is clear — our national security is at stake. If our domestic nuclear industry dwindles, it will impact the energy reliability and resiliency that our domestic military bases rely on. Furthermore, should we fail to enact policies or market practices that protect this valuable energy source, it will be reflected in the United States’ role on the international stage, as we would continue to cede our nuclear dominance to countries like Russia and China, which use their energy supply relationships for foreign policy leverage and may not uphold our standards for nuclear safety, security and nonproliferation.
The United States also leads the world in nuclear science, engineering and technology for both traditional nuclear energy and advanced nuclear technology development. If the industry falters, we will see a steady loss of critical institutional knowledge that is often leveraged by our military for national security applications.
To protect our national security at home and abroad, we must bolster our domestic nuclear industry by calling on policymakers at the state and federal level to enact policies that allow the nuclear industry — and the opportunity associated with it — to once again thrive. To accomplish this, we need to ensure existing plants can compete in the energy market and encourage the construction of new nuclear reactors.
Future generations will look back on this debate as an instance where policymakers had a choice between taking action to protect American interests across the world, or facilitating global energy dominance by competing nations, like Russia and China.
ABOUT THE WRITER
David Gattie is an associate professor of engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Georgia and a member of the Advocacy Council of Nuclear Matters. He wrote this for InsideSources.com.
Opinion: The STRONGER Patent Act: A Reckoning in Congress?
By Thomas A. Hemphill
In March, Reps. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, and Bill Foster, D-Illinois, introduced the Support Technology & Research for Our Nation’s Growth and Economic Resilience (STRONGER) Patents Act of 2018.
This bill has a companion piece of the same name in the Senate, co-sponsored by Sens. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, and Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii.
Supporters of this legislation note that, in 2018, the United States fell to 12th place (from first place in 2016) in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s international ranking of patent system strength, and for the first time, the nation dropped out of the top 10 of Bloomberg’s International Innovation Index. The Chamber also expressed concern over how easy it has become to challenge patents in post-grant proceedings at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
With respect to opposition proceedings, despite the best intentions of new opposition mechanisms introduced in the America Invents Act, the ease of challenging patents during the post-grant period, particularly through inter partes review, has led to a high volume of trials (particularly for life sciences claims) and a disproportionate rate of rejections. Concerns have also been raised over a perceived reduced opportunity to amend claims in opposition proceedings and a lower burden of proof for opposing parties than in district court proceedings.
Heard before the Patent Trial and Appeals Board (PTAB), an inter partes review (IPR) is a trial proceeding where a non-patent owner may challenge (after either nine months’ post-grant patent-grant, or after the termination of a post-grant review, whichever occurs later) the validity of a patent based on prior art patents and publications.
An IPR is a simpler, less costly process, with the intent to reach a final determination within 12 months. The PTAB also has no standing requirement, no presumption of validity, a lower burden of proof, and potentially a broader claim construction, an overwhelming case for not litigating cases in federal district court.
It also, unfortunately, encourages excessive IPR challenges against biopharmaceutical patent holders, as more than half of the IPR petitions filed in 2017 challenged major biologic manufacturers’ patents. In addition, a 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court ruling (SAS Institute Inc. v. Iancu) in May 2018 held that the PTAB’s practice of “partial review of an IPR on some but not all claims, is inconsistent with the intent of the AIA.”
This decision will likely increase the number of claims tried before the PTAB, as a rejection may signal a roadmap for further petitions of more limited scope that it will institute.
The STRONGER Patent Act focuses on IPR and post-grant review (PGR) proceedings challenging patent validity at the PTAB. Furthermore, the legislation would alter claim construction for both IPRs and PGRs, requiring such claims to be construed by their ordinary and customary meanings as used in federal district court. Under the legislation, the PTAB would also be required to consider previous claim constructions issued by a District Court, as well as the patent’s prosecution history, and the bill heightens standing requirements for Board petition.
Last, the legislation empowers the Federal Trade Commission to enforce against “bad faith” demand letters from patent challenger as an unfair or deceptive act violation.
The Innovation Alliance, a coalition of research and development-based technology companies that includes AbbVie, Cummins Allison and Qualcomm, offered its support for the STRONGER Act, arguing that this “comprehensive legislation is the smart policy we need to reverse the alarming decline of the U.S. patent system and innovation economy we have seen in recent years.”
Not surprisingly, this list of organizations does not include the biggest Silicon Valley companies — Apple, Google, Intel and Cisco, whose business models involve products with “patent thickets” of hundreds or even thousands of patents, in contrast to life sciences or small software and hardware companies who may have three to five patents protecting their product investment. For these tech giants, the status quo is working just fine.
While Skopus Labs, a technology company that turns unstructured data into accurate predictions of risk and opportunity, calculates a 3 percent probability the STRONGER Act of enactment in the 115th Congress, the 116th Congress will need to deal with this patent validity imbalance. The concept of pitting one major U.S. industry (“tech”) against another (“life sciences”) to ensure valid property rights for the former at the expense of the latter is not sustainable.
The biopharmaceutical industry, and especially biologics, is a source of high-value competitive advantage for the United States. The global pharmaceutical industry generated an estimated $1.11 trillion in revenue in 2017, and the U.S. market share (by revenue) of the global pharmaceutical industry is over 45 percent; no other country comes close — for now.
A list of the top 10 biopharmaceutical companies in the world (by revenue) includes six companies with headquarters in the United States — Amgen (10), Gilead Sciences (8), AbbVie (7), Merck & Co. (5), Johnson & Johnson (4), and Pfizer (1).
However, the People’s Republic of China has targeted biotechnology in its Five-Year economic plans. For example, biotechnology was one of seven strategic emerging industries identified in China’s 12th Five Year Plan. More recently, the Made in China 2025 Action Plan targets 10 key sectors for additional government support, including biotechnology, under its 13th Five-Year Plan (2015). A challenge to U.S. hegemony is now underway.
Strengthening, not weakening, patent protections for U.S. biopharmaceutical companies is what will maintain U.S. global innovation leadership in biologic discoveries and the subsequent medical treatments available to Americans. The Supreme Court decision (SAS Institute, Inc. v. Iancu) may energize Congress to clarify or revise AIA post-grant proceedings, as the PTAB has long justified the practice of partial institution based on efficiency and cost savings. This could be the impetus for legislators consider enactment of a revised STRONGER Patent Act in the next Congress.
Creative legislative and executive branch solutions, based on industry characteristics, can go a long way in ameliorating the patent validity issue.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Thomas A. Hemphill is the David M. French distinguished professor of strategy, innovation and public policy in the School of Management, University of Michigan-Flint. He wrote this for InsideSources.com.