Wonky Muse
Wonky Muse

December 16, 2005

Breaking News: "West Wing" Actor John Spencer Dies at 58

Heart attack, says the publicist. Sad.


Next to Martin Sheen, John Spencer was my favorite actor on The West Wing. He played President Bartlett’s (Martin Sheen) Chief of Staff Leo McGarry who was later tapped as the Vice Presidential running mate of Democratic Presidential nominee Matt Santos (Jimmy Smits).

John won an Emmy for his portrayal of Leo and has been nominated for the role four other times. Like his character, John suffered a heart attack and was a recovering alcoholic.

From the A.P., Sorkin, Schlamme and Wells issue statements:

"We're shocked and deeply saddened by the sudden death of our friend and colleague," Aaron Sorkin, who created the series, and Tommy Schlamme, one of the original executive producers, said in a joint statement.

"John was an uncommonly good man, an exceptional role model and a brilliant actor. We feel privileged to have known him and worked with him. He'll be missed and remembered every day by his many, many friends," they said.

Series executive producer John Wells remembered Spencer not only for his acting but as "a generous and gracious friend."
USA Today reports it’s not clear how John’s passing will affect the remaining episodes of the show this season.

People.com lists his tv and movie work. I know about his role on LA Law, but didn’t realize he appeared on The Patty Duke Show.

Broadway.com lists his many stage Broadway/stage performances, two of which won him a Drama League Award and an Obie.

Reuters reports that he was unmarried. He would’ve been 59 next week. No information on memorial services.

As a fan, thank you for your body of work, John. Rest in peace.

posted at 3:11 PM by Wonky Muse

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"Sapere Aude."
(Dare to Know)
-- Epistularum Liber Primus, Horace

Wonk (noun): def. A political nerd. Know spelled backwards.

Wonky Muse is the other Filipino American female political blogger. The sane, liberal one.


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