(April 8, 1931–February 9, 2018; birth name: Juan Vincent Apablasa): Handsome American actor of Mexican, Chilean, and Spanish ancestry who was actually signed to play James Bond in Diamonds Are Forever but lost the role to Sean Connery when UA executive David Picker made the veteran 007 one final offer he couldn’t refuse.
It’s hard to believe that Eon Productions would hire an American to play James Bond. But Gavin isn’t the only Yank to be seriously considered for the role. Throughout the years, names like Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, Burt Reynolds, James Brolin, and even Jimmy Stewart were considered. As for Gavin, he went on to become a diplomat; President Ronald Reagan appointed him as the US ambassador to Mexico in May 1981.