Jeffrey Hunter, one of my very special favorites, has a rare combination that I love so much - beauty and heart. He brings a warm emotionality to his roles, and also chose many films that provided humanistic portrayals of often mis-represented people, such as American Indians (White Feather), Japanese-Americans (Hell to Eternity), African-Americans (Sergeant Rutledge).
His breakthrough role was a second lead in "The Searchers" directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne. His pairing with Wayne is interesting because they each represent very different kinds of masculinity - John Wayne's manliness is stoic, while Jeffrey Hunter's manliness is very emotional. Throughout his career, Jeffrey Hunter would continue to play sensitive male roles, not being afraid to show his feelings or even cry.
Check out his first starring film, "Sailor of the King" (1953). He's wonderful (and often shirtless!). In fact, he shows plenty of skin in most of his films - thank goodness!
Another interesting point of trivia - Jeffrey Hunter was the first choice for the lead on the TV series "Star Trek." In the role of "Captain Pike" he filmed the series pilot. Unfortunately, commitment conflicts prevented his going through with the full series, so the character was renamed "Captain Kirk" and cast with William Shatner instead. However, the original pilot with Jeffrey Hunter was re-edited and became an excellent 2-part episode called "The Menagerie."
Sadly, Jeffrey Hunter had an untimely death at the age of 42. Injured by an explosion while filming in Spain, he then suffered a stroke after returning home. Collapsing, he hit his head, fracturing his skull, and died during subsequent surgery. He was just starting to age into a very handsome middle-aged man, and was branching out in his characterizations, taking on more challenging and off-beat roles. A tremendous loss.
To see an example of Jeffrey Hunter's later work, where he stretches to explore a character's darker side, you can watch this episode of "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" from 1962 on Hulu.