Psycho star,diplomat John Gavin dead at 86

John Gavin,who starred in Spartacus and Psycho before becoming a US ambassador,is dead at 86 (File).
John Gavin,who starred in Spartacus and Psycho before becoming a US ambassador,is dead at 86 (File).

John Gavin, a tall, strikingly handsome actor who appeared in Spartacus, Psycho and other hit films of the 1960s before forsaking acting to become president Ronald Reagan's ambassador to Mexico, has died aged 86.

Gavin, who was also a former president of the Screen Actors Guild, died on Friday, said Brad Burton Moss, manager of Gavin's wife, actress Constance Towers. No cause of of death was given.

Gavin played Julius Caesar in Spartacus and Janet Leigh's divorced lover, Sam Loomis, in the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock classic Psycho.

Reagan appointed Gavin as Mexico's ambassador in 1981, a country he 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.

Australian Associated Press