December 17, 2005

John Spencer, RIP

This wonderful actor passed away last night of a heart attack, at the age of 58. Best known for his role as White House chief of staff-turned-vice presidential candidate Leo McGarry on "The West Wing," Spencer also played lawyer Tommy Mullaney on the last few seasons of "LA Law," and was one of the few bright spots of the show in the deep decline of its latter years.

Spencer was also an accomplished stage and screen actor; in movies, I'll always remember him best as the FBI director in the bombastic 1996 action movie "The Rock," who Sean Connery throws off the balcony of a building, hanging from a rope.

No idea what "West Wing" will do with his character, as it's hard to imagine how a presidential election wouldn't be influenced by the death of a vice presidential nominee weeks before election day.

Posted by Stephen Silver at December 17, 2005 04:27 PM

Technically, Steve, can't Leo not die on WW? Wasn't he involved in the season opener that showed that Toby gets along with everyone again, and CJ marries Danny, and whatever else we glimpsed in that scene from the future?

Posted by: Lex at December 17, 2005 05:26 PM

We also saw in the mockumentary/flashback that CJ was press secretary for all 8 years. Oops.

The ironic part about that whole bit is that CJ became Chief of Staff after Leo McGarry had a heart attack.

Posted by: Matthew :) at December 18, 2005 01:52 AM

This is very sad. It is ironic how he died but he will be another actor missed.
I don't know what the show will do except maybe have it be Alan Alda's game now.

Posted by: A at December 19, 2005 01:48 AM
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