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John Gavin

John GavinAKA John Anthony Golenor

Born: 8-Apr-1928
Birthplace: Los Angeles, CA

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Actor, Diplomat
Party Affiliation: Republican

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Julius Caesar in Spartacus

Military service: US Navy (1952-55)

John Gavin was most widely known as an actor in the 1960s. He appeared in several films considered to be classics or near-classics, and on screen Gavin often seemed more of a mannequin than an actor. His first film was the lurid 1956 western Raw Edge, where every man wanted to kill Yvonne De Carlo's husband so they could ravish her themselves. In the low-budget Behind the Wall, he was wrongfully convicted but broke out of jail. He earned some of his best reviews with a leading role in A Time to Love and a Time to Die, as a dashing German officer.

He came to prominence with a much smaller role, as Lana Turner's lover in the weepy Imitation of Life. In Psycho, he played Janet Leigh's lover, but barely seemed to care when she was killed. On the set, director Alfred Hitchcock referred to Gavin as "the stiff" for his acting, but the more Hitchcock fumed, the more wooden Gavin's performance became. After Psycho, Gavin played Julius Caesar in Kubrick's slave-revolt epic Spartacus, and appeared in the Sandra Dee vehicle Tammy Tell Me True. He had two quickly-cancelled TV series, the western Destry and the war drama Convoy. He was widely rumored as the next actor to play James Bond, after George Lazenby's On Her Majesty's Secret Service, but instead the role went back to Sean Connery. Gavin's career slide continued with such stinkers as Pussycat, Pussycat, I Love You and The New Adventures of Heidi (wherein Grandfather and the goatherder girl come to New York City).

Gavin was President of the Screen Actors Guild from 1971-73. Old pal Ronald Reagan appointed him US Ambassador to Mexico from 1981-86, where he was unpopular among politicians and journalists alike. He has not worked as an actor since returning from Mexico, instead serving on the boards of numerous major corporations, and later as CEO of The Century Council, a distiller-funded group that makes public service announcements against drunk driving and underaged drinking.

Father: Herald Ray Gavin
Mother: Delia Diana Pablos
Wife: Cecily Evans (m. 1957, div., two daughters)
Wife: Constance Towers (actress, m. 1974, two daughters)
Daughter: Cristina Gavin (actress)
Daughter: Maria Gavin (freelance reporter)

    US Ambassador to Mexico (1981-86)
    Endorsement of Bacardi
    ARCO VP, Federal and International Relations Unit (1986-?)
    Bush-Cheney '04
    Dreier for Congress Committee
    George W. Bush for President
    Screen Actors Guild President (1971-73)
    Golden Globe 1959 (Most Promising Newcomer, Male)
    Mexican Ancestry Maternal

    TELEVISION
    Destry Harrison Destry (1964)

    FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
    Sophia Loren: Her Own Story (26-Oct-1980)
    The New Adventures of Heidi (13-Dec-1978)
    Jennifer (13-May-1978)
    Pussycat, Pussycat, I Love You (25-Mar-1970)
    The Madwoman of Chaillot (12-Oct-1969) · The Reverend
    Thoroughly Modern Millie (21-Mar-1967) · Trevor Graydon
    Back Street (11-Oct-1961)
    Tammy Tell Me True (26-Jul-1961) · Tom Freeman
    Romanoff and Juliet (8-Jun-1961)
    A Breath of Scandal (16-Dec-1960)
    Midnight Lace (13-Oct-1960) · Brian Younger
    Spartacus (6-Oct-1960) · Julius Caesar
    Psycho (16-Jun-1960) · Sam Loomis
    Imitation of Life (17-Apr-1959) · Steve Archer
    A Time to Love and a Time to Die (9-Jul-1958)
    Quantez (7-Jun-1957) · Teach
    4 Girls in Town (16-Jan-1957)
    Behind the High Wall (Jul-1956)
    Raw Edge (24-Mar-1956) · Dan Kirby


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