The film was extraordinarily successful at the box office and won four Oscars.
Miles until he completed his four-year tour of duty in 1955.Gavin began serving on the board of the Screen Actors Guild in 1965.He served one term as third vice president, and two terms as first VP. The SAG website says that while he was president, “He testified before the Federal Trade Commission on phony talent rackets; met with President Richard Nixon to present the problem of excessive television reruns; presented petitions to the federal government on issues of prime-time access rules, legislative assistance for American motion pictures (to combat runaway production), and film production by the government using non-professional actors.” The Los Angeles Times characterized U. Ambassador Gavin as an “activist envoy to Mexico” who “won praise in many circles for his handling of such issues as trade and illegal drug dealing as well as for speaking out against anti-American sentiment.That film, dismissed by many critics at the time as a soap opera, is now generally considered a masterpiece of complex storytelling.In a 2015 review, the Village Voice said, “Fifty-six years after it opened, Douglas Sirk’s ‘Imitation of Life’ remains the apotheosis of Hollywood melodrama — as Sirk’s final film, it could hardly be anything else — and the toughest-minded, most irresolvable movie ever made about race in this country.” The success of the film was good for his career, but it did not do well because of Gavin.But his candor and meetings with critics of the ruling party prompted accusations by Mexicans of meddling in the country’s domestic affairs.” In 1991, the Republican mulled a run for the Senate, but decided against it.Gavin was twice married, the first time to Cicely Evans from 1957-65.His next film was the Stanley Kubrick-directed “Spartacus,” starring Kirk Douglas as the slave who leads a rebellion in Ancient Rome.Gavin played the supporting role of Julius Caesar, who is the protege of Roman Senator Gracchus (Charles Laughton), who uses this rebellion to advance the career of Caesar.John Gavin, who reached the pinnacle of his acting career with roles in Douglas Sirk’s “Imitation of Life,” Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” and the epic “Spartacus,” later serving as president of the Screen Actors Guild in the early ’70s and as U. ambassador to Mexico under Ronald Reagan, died Friday morning in Beverly Hills, Calif. The actor was signed to a contract and almost played James Bond in the film “Diamonds Are Forever.” Gavin was SAG president from 1971-73 and was President Reagan’s first ambassador to Mexico from 1981-86.His two films with German-born director Douglas Sirk in the late 1950s, “A Time to Love and a Time to Die” and “Imitation of Life,” greatly raised his profile in Hollywood and around the country.