John Gavin, a Hollywood veteran who appeared in classic films Psycho and Spartacus, has died aged 86.
John Gavin, a Hollywood veteran who appeared in classic films Psycho and Spartacus, has died aged 86. with director William Friedkin sharing the news on Twitter. The Hollywood Reporter later confirmed the news.
The American actor who once served as US ambassador to Mexico under Ronald Reagan, died Friday morning (9 February) after a battle with leukaemia.
Gavin – real name John Anthony Golenor – enjoyed a high profile in Hollywood following his debut lead role in Douglas Sirk film A Time to Love and a Time to Die (1958), a melodrama revered for its depiction of Germans towards the end of WWII made just 14 years after it ended. Gavin starred in Imitation of Life a year later alongside Lana Turner and Sandra Dee.Other big roles for the star included the ‘culturally significant’ Imitation of Life, Spartacus and Thoroughly Modern Millie. He also played Cary Grant in Sophia Loren: Her Own Story on TV.
Tributes have poured in for the actor on social media, led by William Friedkin, who tweeted: “A sad day, my great friend John Gavin died This morning. One of the finest men I knew And like a brother to me. May he Rest In Peace.”
He followed that up with a role in Alfred Hitchock’s horror Classic Psycho, in which he played Sam Loomis, the boyfriend of Janet Leigh’s doomed Marion Crane, and Stanley Kubrick’s Oscar-winning epic Spartacus as Julius Caesar opposite Kirk Douglas’ titular slave.
After roles in Midnight Lace, Romanoff and Juliet and Back Street, Gavin jumped to TV roles including Western series Destry before almost signing on to play James Bond in Diamonds Are Forever (1971) following George Lazenby’s departure. The role eventually returned to Sean Connery.
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He later served as Screen Actors Guild president between the years of 1971 and 1973 and, having served under Reagan as US ambassador to Mexico, considered running for the Senate in 1991.
He is survived by his wife, actress Constance Towers, two children and two step-children.]]>