Gavin's father (Herald Ray Golenor)'s family is of Irish origin and were early landowners in California when it was still under Spanish rule. from Stanford University where he did senior honors work in Latin American economic history and was a member of Stanford's Naval ROTC unit. Gavin did play OSS 117 the French equivalent of 007 in Pas de Roses pour OSS 117 / No Roses For OSS 117 (1968) replacing Frederick Stafford who was filming Alfred Hitchcock's Topaz.
Gavin is of Mexican and Irish descent and is fluent in Spanish. John currently resides in Faithlegg Waterford. John Gavin (born John Anthony Golenor; April 8 1931) is an American film actor and a former United States Ambassador to Mexico.