“I didn’t have an inkling they would be classics. Had I realized that, perhaps I would have paid more attention,” John Gavin once reflected on his two most iconic roles, which saw him play Sam Loomis, Marion Crane’s boyfriend, in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and Julius Caesar in Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus.
Today we’re sad to report that Gavin has passed away at 86. The news comes to us from The Exorcist director William Friedkin, who tweeted today, “[Gavin was] one of the finest men I knew, and like a brother to me.”
What you may not know about John Gavin (born John Anthony Golenor) is that he was originally attached to play James Bond in the 1971 film Diamonds are Forever, which needless to say would’ve taken his acting career to a whole new level. Ultimately, Sean Connery was convinced to return, but Gavin saw it as a blessing in disguise.
Leaving acting behind after appearing in a handful of films and television shows throughout the ’70s, the Golden Globe-winning Gavin was freed up to pursue his real childhood dream, which saw him appointed Ambassador to Mexico by President Reagan in 1981. He served until 1986, later becoming a successful businessman and civic leader.
Other titles on John Gavin’s acting resume include Imitation of Life, “Destry,” “The Alfred Hitchcock Hour,” “The Love Boat” and “Fantasy Island.”