The Damn Yankees heartthrob, who famously starred in two movies alongside drag star Divine, died from a blood clot which caused a heart attack, his partner Allan Glaser told The Hollywood Reporter.
Glaser described his partner of three decades’ death as “unexpected and sudden”.
A fan Facebook account, which the publication said was linked to the actor, told its 6,700 followers: “Sad news: Tab passed away tonight three days shy of his 87th birthday.”
“Please honour his memory boy saying a prayer on his behalf. He would have liked that.”
The cause of death has not yet been confirmed.
Tab was a pin-up, singer, producer and author, starring in over 40 films and a famous face in Hollywood in the 50s and 60s.
Following decades of speculation, Hunter spoke out about his sexuality in his autobiography, Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star, back in 2005.
He revealed he had been told by his partner Glaser someone was planing on writing a book about him, telling the publication in 2015: “I thought, ‘Look, get it from the horse’s mouth and not from some other horse’s a** after I’m dead an gone.
“I didn’t want someone putting a spin on my life.”
In his memoir, he wrote about being adored by millions of female fans.
“I believed, wholeheartedly — still do — that a person’s happiness depends on being true to themselves,” he said.
“The dilemma, of course, was that being true to myself — and I’m talking sexually now — was impossible in 1953.
Born Arthur Andrew Kelm in New York in 1931, Hunter shot first broke into the movie industry with a small role in 1950 drama The Lawless.
Just a couple of years later, he shot to fame after making an impression with his muscle-bound appearance in Island of Desire.
He went on to star in the likes of 1958 musical Damn Yankees! as well as Battle Cry, The Burning Hills and Lafayette Escadrille.
Hunter worked with icons from Rita Hayworth (in They Came to Cordura) to Fred Astaire and Debbie Reynolds (in The Pleasure of His Company) over the course of his illustrious acting career.
He also had a number one hit with his single Young Love in 1957.
In 1981, a career revival came in the form of an appearance in John Waters’ Polyester, with Divine.
Another cult hit for Hunter was Paul Bartel’s Lust in the Dust, which he co-produced.
Express.co.uk has contacted a representative for Tab Hunter asking for comment.