One of the stars of the classic Alfred Hitchcock film Psycho has died at the age of 86 after a bout with pneumonia.
According to multiple media sources, actor John Gavin, who played the character of Sam Loomis in Psycho, died today at his home in Beverly Hills. He was 86.
Gavin’s character of Sam Loomis was the boyfriend of Janet Leigh’s character of Marion Crane, and at the end of the film, is the one who subdues a murderous Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins).
Gavin also appeared in Spartacus and Imitation of Life. After his acting career ended, the life-long Republican was named ambassador to Mexico by President Ronald Reagan.
Gavin, who played Sam Loomis in the classic horror flick, died from pneumonia, following a long battle against leukemia.
Having made his name in a string of iconic films, Gavin later turned his hand to politics, becoming the Ambassador to Mexico in 1981.
Appointed by Ronald Reagan, the Republican served in the role for five years.
A Korean War veteran, Gavin went into acting, landing a starring role in the 1958 film A Time To Love And A Time To Die, for which he was awarded a Golden Globe.
He is best known for his roles in 1959’s Imitation of Life, 1960 films Spartacus and Psycho, and the 1967 film Thoroughly Modern Millie.
Gavin was also signed up to play James Bond, in the 1971 film Diamonds Are Forever, following on from George Lazenby. However after Sean Connery accepted a lucrative offer to return to the role, Gavin was replaced.
He was then considered for 1973’s Live And Let Die, but producer Harry Saltzman insisted a British actor be chosen for the role – leading to the casting of Roger Moore.
Gavin and Connie Towers, a soap opera actress who appeared on General Hospital for 10 years, had wed in September of 1974.
According to the AP, Reagan appointed Gavin as Mexico’s ambassador in 1981, as it was a country Gavin already had ties with. His father had invested in the country’s mines, and ancestors of his Mexican-born mother had been among California’s first Spanish settlers. Gavin had often visited Mexico in his youth and was fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.
Gavin is survived by his wife, Connie, 84, and their two children. Connie told TMZ: ‘We lost our best friend, father and husband. We were so grateful to have him.’
Towers’ confidante and colleague, filmmaker William Friedkin, took to Twitter on Friday, calling it ‘a sad day’ upon learning about the death of Gavin, who he described as a ‘great friend,’ ‘like a brother’ and ‘one of the finest men I knew.’
‘May he Rest In Peace,’ Friedkin added.