John Gavin

Active - 1956 - 1993  |   Born - Apr 8, 1931 in Los Angeles, California, United States  |   Died - Feb 9, 2018   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Mystery, Romance, Crime

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Biography by Rovi

Born Jack Golenor, this brawny, handsome leading man of Hollywood films appeared onscreen from 1956; he was once hyped as the next Rock Hudson. From 1952-56 he was an air intelligence officer with the Navy, specializing in Pan American Affairs. When a friend offered him a screen test, he was signed by Universal and played leads for a decade-plus, after which his film work decreased; he also served for a time as president of the Screen Actors Guild. After starring on the TV series Destry and Convoy, he debuted on Broadway in Seesaw in 1973. In 1981 Gavin was appointed by President Reagan as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, a position he held for five years. Besides his Navy service, he had other qualifications for the post: having been born to a Spanish mother, he spoke impeccable Spanish; he had studied Latin American issues in college; and during his years of screen stardom he served as special advisor to Jose Mora and Galo Plaza, secretaries general of the Organization of American States.

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  • Mother was of Mexican descent; speaks fluent Spanish.
  • Joined the U.S. Navy in 1952 and served as an air intelligence officer in Korea.
  • Was the president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1971 to '73.
  • Friend Ronald Reagan appointed him to be the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico from 1981 to '86.
  • Became president of Univisa Satellite Communications in 1986.