The acting community was stunned after Variety Magazine reported that an anonymous source spotted what is believed to be a tan line on George Hamilton.
"It's not true!" Hamilton yelled as he arrived at his home to find a slew of reporters in his driveway. "My tan is as perfect as ever, perfect I tell you! These are vicious and unsubstantiated charges!"
Rumors of a tan line on Hamilton are nothing new to the Hollywood community. When Hamilton played the title role in 1972's "Evel Knievel", a gaffer told other movie staffers that he accidentally walked into Hamilton's dressing room as he changed and spotted a tan line at that time.
"I didn't make a big deal of it because that was a different day and age" said gaffer Tony Figer, "Back then the press and employees didn't routinely report whether or not public officials or actors had tan lines. It was a much more 'hush hush' time. We respected their privacy more then."
Hamilton brushed off that particular incident by claiming that the so-called "tan line" that the gaffer saw was only a large scar he got after unsuccessfully trying to jump 13 tractor-trailer trucks in a mall parking lot.
"I wish they'd have told me I wasn't required to do my own stunts before I tried that!" Hamilton was quoted as saying after shooting wrapped on the film.
The latest accusations by Variety have rekindled debate over whether or not the press is overstepping it's bounds by reporting on tan lines.
"I don't think so," According to Variety Magazine CEO Milt Feltertop, "I don't think it really harms anyone. We research this stuff pretty good and have managed to catch a couple of tan line hoaxes before they reached the general public via our magazine. One time a reader sent in a picture of what he said was a tan line on a nude sunbathing Camryn Manheim, but upon investigation it turned out to be the Great Wall of China as seen from a satellite photograph."
Those closest to Hamilton feel that if he does have a tan line, it goes back to the bout of depression he suffered after the "George and Alana" talk show was cancelled in 1996.
"He was severely down about the show being cancelled," Said a friend close to the actor, "When the show got the axe, he was so depressed that he didn't sunbathe for hours, and when he finally did, he was so distraught that he left a towel over his mid-section. I think that might have created the tan line."
In addition, experts say that Hamilton's tan, overall, appears to be lightening.
"Zee tan appears lighter, unt zee havink of zee lonk sleeve shirts vood indicate zat zees man ees avare of zis," According to Dr. Gerhardt Kraus, of Germany's "Bain de Soleil Institute."
Whether or not Hamilton's tan is suffering, many say his denial and fear of a poor tan go back to the late 60's, when actors were often blacklisted for not having an even, rich skin tone.
"Raquel Welch lost the lead in 'Barbarella' because of a muddled tan," According to a Hollywood insider.
One thing is clear. Hamilton's career cannot continue until the press and public get a satisfactory answer to these latest accusations.