Tab Hunter, who rose to fame as a Hollywood heartthrob in the 1950s, died Sunday at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, California, Allan Glaser, his partner of 35 years, confirmed to CNN.
He was 86.
Glaser said the cause of death was a blood clot that caused cardiac arrest.
"We were walking home and he collapsed in my arms in our front yard," Glaser said. "He said he couldn't breathe, so I called 911, and we went to the hospital."
"This was sudden and unexpected," Glaser added. "He was athletic, more like a 60-year-old not an 86-year-old."
With his blond hair, blue eyes and magnetic smile, Hunter set fans' hearts aflutter in films like "Battle Cry" and "Damn Yankees."
He also was the subject of speculation that he was gay, a fact he would confirm later in his 2005 autobiography "Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star."