John Gavin – Biography, Death, Net Worth, Height, Wife, Children

John Gavin did it all, he left an indelible mark in the world of entertainment and in politics before bidding his final goodbye on earth. He was an American actor known for several notable movies and was also an ambassador to Mexico during the reign of late United States President Ronald Raegan.

John Gavin Biography

He was born on April 8, 1931, to Juan Vincent Apablasa Sr, his father, and Deila Diana Pablos his mother. John’s parent’s got a divorce when he was two and afterward, his mother went on to marry Herald Ray Golenor. He attended St John’s Military Academy and also Villanova Preparatory in California. He then proceeded to Stanford University where he got his Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Latin American Affairs. While at the university he was a member of Navy ROTC and was also a part of Chi Psi Fraternity.

In the 1950s John provided his services to the US Navy as an air intelligence officer during the war. He recorded great achievements in the navy including earning an award for his remarkable work in the Honduras floods of 1954. Gavin had his first encounter in acting with Universal-International. He was linked with the company with the influence of producer Bryan Foy who happened to be his family friend. He soon starred in Behind the High Wall which was released in 1956.

Some of John Gavin’s other 50s movies include Four Girls in Town, Quantez and a few others. He continued with the small roles until he got his breakthrough in A Time to Love and a Time to Die where he played the lead character. He rose to high popularity after the movie and drew lots of attention as well as fans to himself. Although the film was not much of a success, Gavin’s input was widely touted among notable stakeholders in the industry and he became the favorite face of Universal Pictures at the time.

He soon landed another major role in the movie, Spartacus(1960) as Julius Ceasar. Also in 1960, he landed a role in Psycho, a classic thriller which was a commercial success like Spartacus.

John Gavin
John Gavin – Spartacus (image source)

Before then John Gavin had starred in the hit movie Imitation of Life alongside Lana Turner. In the very successful movie, Gavin exhibited great talent and uniqueness and was touted by many for his performance. He was voted most promising male newcomer by the Motion Picture Exhibitor.

In 1962 Gavin left Universal pictures and became a freelancer. The actor did a lot of movies as a freelancer and some of them include The Assassin, Night Call, and The Challenge, although some of the movies were not finished. Freelance didn’t really pay off for the actor as many of the productions he got himself into didn’t get to completion. He returned to Universal in 1964 but on a different kind of contract that allowed him to work outside the studio. He soon starred in the short-lived series, Convoy and a few others.

Gavin combined these with his responsibilities as a Board member of the Screen Actors Guild. He served for one term and two terms, as Third Vice President and also as First Vice President respectively in the 60s. He became the president of the guild in 1971 and handed over in 1973 after he was defeated by Dennis Weaver in the ballot.

His Net Worth

John Gavin’s net worth at the time of his death is not really known, but during his vibrant days, he was said to have an estimated net worth of $4 million. John made his money from his acting exploits as well as his political and business endeavors.

Family – Wife, Children

Before his death, Gavin was husband to Constance Towers, a stage and television actress. The couple got married in 1974 and were together until the time of John’s death. Before Towers, John Gavin married Cicely Evans in 1957 but they got divorced in 1965 after the birth of their two daughters; Cristina and Maria.

See Also: Who Is Bert Kish? His Wife, Family, Death, and Biography


One of Gavin’s distinctive features was his height. He stood at a tall height of 6ft 4in (193 cm). This must have been why the late politician also fit into the acting profession.

John Gavin’s Death

John Gavin died on February 9, 2018, after he suffered complications from pneumonia. He was 86 at the time. John whose health was deteriorating over the years gave up the ghost on that fateful day at his home in Beverly Hills. Reports had it that he also suffered leukemia in the later part of his life.

Gavin went into politics in the 80s and made the best out of it. He was a Republican and in 1981 was made the US Ambassador to Mexico by then-President Ronald Regan. He left the seat in 1986 and went on to become the vice president of Atlantic Richfield. Adjusting towards the business horizon he became the president of Univisa Satellite Communications.

His impact was greatly felt on various boards both educational, political and otherwise.


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