John Gavin


Actor, Executive
John Gavin

About

Also Known As
Jack Golenor
Birth Place
Los Angeles, California, USA
Born
April 08, 1931

Biography

A stunningly handsome leading man, John Gavin portrayed Janet Leigh's boyfriend in "Psycho" and Julius Caesar in Stanley Kubrick's "Spartacus," and fell into Reagan-era Republican politics in real life. Gavin was first contracted by Universal Studios, who fancied him their next major leading man. He was soon cast in the lead in Douglas Sirk's melodrama "A Time to Love and a Time to Die" ...

Photos & Videos

Back Street (1961) - Publicity Stills
Back Street (1961) - Scene Stills
Back Street (1961) - Movie Posters

Family & Companions

Constance Towers
Wife

Biography

A stunningly handsome leading man, John Gavin portrayed Janet Leigh's boyfriend in "Psycho" and Julius Caesar in Stanley Kubrick's "Spartacus," and fell into Reagan-era Republican politics in real life. Gavin was first contracted by Universal Studios, who fancied him their next major leading man. He was soon cast in the lead in Douglas Sirk's melodrama "A Time to Love and a Time to Die" and his masterpiece "Imitation of Life." These were followed up by Gavin's roles in "Psycho" and "Spartacus." Afterwards, his screen career seemed to stall, and he moved to television with the title role on the Western lawman series "Destry" and the part of Commander Dan Talbot on the World War II series "Convoy." After a role in the screen version of the musical "Thoroughly Modern Millie" and a part as the lead spy in the French James Bond-style spy flick "OSS 117 - Double Agent," Gavin saw his career slowly burn out, with occasional TV work throughout the 1970s. His final big-screen performance came in the Mel Brooks comedy "History of the World, Part 1" (1981). The well-connected Californian, who had been President of the Screen Actors Guild, was appointed United States Ambassador to Mexico in 1981 by President Ronald Reagan. Retired from acting, Gavin served as Ambassador for five years and spent the remainder of his career in the business sector. John Gavin died of complcations from pneumonia on February 9, 2018 at the age of 86.

Life Events

1956

Made his screen-acting debut as Dan Kirby in the western "Raw Edge"

1958

Was cast as the lead in Douglas Sirk's "A Time to Love and a Time to Die"

1959

Re-teamed with Sirk for the director's masterpiece, "Imitation of Life"

1960

Played Marion's boyfriend Sam Loomis in "Psycho"

1960

Portrayed Julius Caesar in "Spartacus"

1964

Had the title role on the Western lawman series "Destry"

1967

Appeared in the screen version of the musical "Thoroughly Modern Millie"

1968

Starred as agent 117 in the French James Bond-style thriller "OSS 117 Murder for Sale"

1973

Broadway actor in the production "Seesaw"

1981

Appeared in his final screen-role as Jack Foster on an episode of "Fantasy Island"

Photo Collections

Back Street (1961) - Publicity Stills
Back Street (1961) - Publicity Stills
Back Street (1961) - Scene Stills
Back Street (1961) - Scene Stills
Back Street (1961) - Movie Posters
Back Street (1961) - Movie Posters
Midnight Lace - Movie Posters
Midnight Lace - Movie Posters
Back Street (1961) - Color Scene Stills
Back Street (1961) - Color Scene Stills
Midnight Lace - Color Scene Stills
Midnight Lace - Color Scene Stills
Back Street (1961) - Lobby Card Set
Back Street (1961) - Lobby Card Set
Back Street (1961) - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Back Street (1961) - Behind-the-Scenes Photos

Videos

Movie Clip

Imitation Of Life (1959) - A Maid To Live In After wide shots establishing the real Coney Island, director Douglas Sirk switches to location shooting in Long Beach, CA, introducing principals Lana Turner, John Gavin and Juanita Moore, opening producer Ross Hunter's hit re-make, Imitation Of Life, 1959.
Imitation Of Life (1959) - A Falling Star! Susie (Sandra Dee) and Sarah Jane (Susan Kohner) are now teens, Lora (Lana Turner) now a Broadway star and Annie (Juanita Moore) still her backup, when old flame Steve (John Gavin) shows up at a premiere party ten years later, in producer Ross Hunter's Imitation Of Life, 1959.
Imitation Of Life (1959) - Foolish Together Single mom and aspiring actress Lora (Lana Turner), embarrassed by Christmas attention from Steve (John Gavin), as housekeeper/roommate Annie (Juanita Moore) takes a call from agent Loomis (Robert Alda), representing Edwards (Dan O'Herlihy), in Douglas Sirk's hit Imitation Of Life, 1959.
Midnight Lace (1960) - A Real London Fog London fog and Grosvenor Square as American heiress Doris Day gets terrified in the opening to the 1960 thriller Midnight Lace, from producer Ross Hunter, directed by David Miller, co-starring Rex Harrison, with Myrna Loy, John Gavin and Roddy McDowall.
Psycho (1960) - These Extended Lunch Hours Producer-Director Alfred Hitchcock letting designer Saul Bass and composer Bernard Hermann drive, the opening to Psycho, 1960, then introducing already-disrobed Janet Leigh as Marion and John Gavin as her lover Sam, in a cheap Phoenix hotel room.
Psycho (1960) - Of Course I'm Glad To See You! We had little idea Marion (Janet Leigh) would make off with the $40,000 cash her boss gave her for safe keeping, imagining what her debt-ridden lover (John Gavin) will say, and she didn’t expect to see the boss (Vaughn Tyler) as she departs Phoenix, early in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, 1960.
Spartacus (1960) - A Taste Of Roman Steel Director Stanley Kubrick’s first scene in Rome, the slave rebellion begun, introducing canny plebeian-born senator Gracchus (Charles Laughton), who manipulates the power-mad Glabrus (John Dall), his pal Caesar (John Gavin) noticeably disinterested, in Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus, 1960.
Back Street (1961) - You Call This Living? Opening scenes introducing Lincoln, Nebraska, traveling marine Paul Saxon (John Gavin), USO volunteer and budding designer Rae (Susan Hayward) and her admiring pal Curt (Charles Drake), in producer Ross Hunter's 1961 version of Fannie Hurst's Back Street.
Back Street (1961) - Domestic Champagne Still on the night they met, Rae (Susan Hayward) is rescued by Marine Paul (John Gavin), from her "interview" with dress-maker Venner (Alex Gerry) who had more than business in mind, in the third version, from 1961, of Fannie Hurst's Back Street.
Back Street (1961) - You Could've Waited! Circumstances conspire in Lincoln, Nebraska against the lovers as Rae (Susan Hayward) is finally convinced Marine Paul (John Gavin), who’s shipping-out for Chicago, really wants her to join him, her roommate (Virginia Grey) mediating on the phone, in the third movie version of Back Street, 1961.
Back Street (1961) - Very Chic Rae (Susan Hayward), now a rising New York designer, taunting her snarky but devoted boss Dalian (Reginald Gardiner), takes a walk and meets Paul (John Gavin), years after they parted, in Back Street, 1961, from producer Ross Hunter.
Madwoman Of Chaillot, The (1969) - A Little Horse Trading The prospector (Donald Pleasence) reveals his secret, then requires confessions from The Chairman, Broker, General, Commissar and Reverend (Yul Brynner, Charles Boyer, Paul Henreid, Oscar Homolka, John Gavin), in The Madwoman Of Chaillot, 1969, starring Katharine Hepburn.

Trailer

Companions

Constance Towers
Wife

Bibliography