John Spencer’s Cause of Death: How Did ‘The West Wing’ Actor Die?

John Spencer was an Emmy-winning actor finest recognized for taking part in Chief of Staff Leo McGarry on The West Wing from 1999 to 2005. Ahead of the West Wing particular reunion episode on HBO Max, here is what you have to learn about how he died and what they did on the show when it occurred.

John Spencer’s Cause of Death Was a Heart Attack

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On December 18, 2005, 4 days earlier than his 59th birthday, Spencer died of a coronary heart assault on the Olympia Medical Center in Los Angeles, his publicist informed the New York Times.

According to his obituary, Spencer was born John Speshock Jr. and grew up in Totowa, New Jersey. He left residence on the age of 16 to attend the Professional Children’s School in New York City and shortly thereafter landed a recurring function on The Patty Duke Show in 1963. He would go on to look in small roles in movies and on TV till he lastly had a breakout function within the 1990 movie Presumed Innocent reverse Harrison Ford. That led to a collection common function on L.A. Law, each of which caught West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin’s eye.

When Spencer died, Sorkin informed the New York Times that when he was casting The West Wing, he stated to the casting director, “We want somebody like John Spencer,” and the casting director instructed they simply get Spencer and Sorkin stated, “We won’t ever get John Spencer.” But he stated sure and the remainder was historical past.

Spencer earned one Golden Globe nomination and 5 Emmy Nominations for his work on The West Wing, incomes a win in 2002 for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.

The Show Wrote His Death Into the Plot

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In the seventh and remaining season of The West Wing, McGarry was the working mate of presidential candidate Matt Santos (Jimmy Smits), so writing his character out of the show would have been terribly arduous. At the time of his demise, he had accomplished just a few episodes that have been in post-production, in order that they aired as deliberate. His remaining look was in “The Cold,” the thirteenth episode of the ultimate season, which aired on March 12, 2006.

Then Leo was solely talked about for a number of episodes. In the primary half of the two-part election night time episode, “Election Day Part I,” Annabeth Schott (Kristin Chenoweth) finds Leo in his lodge room having suffered a coronary heart assault on the night time of the presidential election. Everyone finds out partly II of the episode that he has died. There have been 5 extra episodes that aired to shut out the collection.

In an interview with the Chicago Tribune when Spencer died, govt producer John Wells stated it was extremely arduous to proceed on with out the late actor.

“John was so central to how we did the show, he kind of was the glue who held all of it collectively,” Wells stated. “It was very tough to proceed with out him, however on the similar time, I feel he would have been indignant with us if we hadn’t. There have been moments throughout the Christmas vacation once we considered calling it a day, however we determined to complete it up.”

The West Wing reunion episode is out now on HBO Max. It is a theatrical staging of the season three episode “Hartsfield’s Landing.” Emmy winner Sterling Ok. Brown stepped into the function of Leo for the manufacturing.



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