Skip to main content

'Psycho' Actor John Gavin Dead At 86

'Psycho' Actor John Gavin Dead At 86 Promo Image

Renowned actor John Gavin, who starred in various movies such as "Imitation of Life," "Psycho" and "Thoroughly Modern Millie," has died. He was 86 years of age.

Gavin was a Hollywood heartthrob and also served as former President Ronald Regan's ambassador to Mexico in the 1980s. He died on the morning of Feb. 9, said Budd Burton Mossa, a representative for Gavin's wife, Constance Towers.

Image placeholder title

A regular on soap operas, both Gavin and Towers also played parts in the experimental films of Sam Fuller, such as "Shock Corridor" and "The Naked Kiss," and later got hitched in September of 1974.

Gavin, who is accredited with the titled of the second coming of Rock Hudson at Universal Pictures, played Lana Turner’s love interest in the 1959 reboot of "Imitation of Life" by Douglas Sirk. He played the role of Sam Loomis, who helps solve the mystery of Norman Bates as the boyfriend of Janet Leigh in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic movie "Psycho," which released in 1960.

Image placeholder title

Gavin was the object of Julie Andrews and Mary Tyler Moore’s affections in the movie "Thoroughly Modern Millie" by George Roy Hill, which was released in the year 1967.

"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,” wrote director William Friedkin on Twitter, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Image placeholder title

He also appeared as Julius Caesar in Stanley Kubrick's "Spartacus" in the year 1960, and worked in the film "Midnight Lace," wherein he helps rescue Doris Day from her thieving husband, Rex Harrison.

Gavin was also a part of two short series in 1994 and 1995 as the framed lawman on the infamous ABC Western "Destry" and also as a freighter captain on NBC’s "Convoy."

He was signed and all set to portray his skills as James Bond in the movie "Diamonds Are Forever" (1971) just before Sean Connery reclaimed his role as the superspy after sitting out from "On Her Majesty’s Secret Service."

Later, in May 1981, the 6-foot 4-inch tall actor, who also spoke Spanish fluently, quit a Broadway-bound edition of "Can-Can" in order to accept Reagan's invitation to serve as ambassador to Mexico.

Some of the films which showcased Gavin’s acting skills are: "A Time to Love and a Time to Die" (1958), directed by Sirk; "A Breath of Scandal" (1960); "Back Street" (1961), another remake; "Tammy Tell Me True" (1961), with Sandra Dee; "The Madwoman of Chaillot" (1969); and "Pussycat, Pussycat, I Love You" (1970).

In his later years, Gavin also starred on the 1979 ABC miniseries "Doctors' Private Lives" as a heart surgeon, and also played the role of Cary Grant in a 1980 NBC telefilm, which was about the life of actress Sophia Loren.

Gavin also took advantage of the Broadway stage to win hearts in the 1973 romantic comedy "Seesaw." Some of his television appearances include: "The Virginian," "Hart to Hart," "Medical Center,"  "Mannix," "The Doris Day Show," "The Saint," and "Fantasy Island."

Source: The Hollywood Reporter / Featured Image: ABC Television via Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: DoD Media via Wikimedia Commons, ABC Television via Wikimedia commons, Pexels

Popular Video