Beefcake Flashback: John Gavin


For no good reason, I’ve been thinking of John Gavin lately. Then again, I suppose there’s always good reason to think of John Gavin:

Technically, he was before my time, but until cable came along and offered endless hours of new programming, the networks ran lots of re-runs, and on Sunday afternoons, chances were pretty good that John Gavin would show up in something or other. My favorite of his oeuvre was and still is Thoroughly Modern Millie, though Imitation of Life comes in a very close second. Gavin was in Spartacus, too, but I only discovered that when I got older, because Spartacus wasn’t the sort of thing Mississippi TV stations felt comfortable running. Which was really too bad for my burgeoning libido:

Now, I’ve stumbled across another film — one that seems to have been Gavin’s bungled attempt at superspy stardom: 1968’s Niente rose per OSS 117, aka OSS 117: Double Agent. (No, that’s not a knockoff of some other spy franchise. Why do you ask?) It was an Italian number, and despite its English title, the film doesn’t appear to have been released in the U.S.

Which is fine, because as far as I can tell, OSS 117 made about as much sense as Modesty Blaise, which was, coincidentally, also a European spy feature and came out two years earlier. However, maybe there’s reason to give it a chance. Please note:

And then there’s the nellified, nehru-jacketed villain (who is not a knockoff either):

I smell a bittorrent session in my immediate future.

N.B. Gavin stopped acting when he was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Mexico by former acting pal Ronald Reagan — which technically makes Gavin a Republican, but my fantasy world has a built-in override system to work around such inconveniences. Apparently the man’s still alive.

5 thoughts on “Beefcake Flashback: John Gavin

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