December 17, 2005

John Spencer

Any fans of The West Wing will be upset to hear John Spencer, who played Leo, died of a heart attack this evening. Ironically, his character had a horrific heart attack in the last series of the show.

Who knows how they're going to continue the show without him? He'll be very sorely missed.

CNN: link


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  1. Oh my god, thats awful, his poor family.

    17 Dec 2005, 00:37

  2. I can't believe it. So sad.

    17 Dec 2005, 01:58

  3. Yeah I agree, great actor. I just got back into The West Wing and with him being running mate, methinks the scriptwriters are screwed.

    17 Dec 2005, 05:07

  4. Apparently its his birthday next week too, could th timing be any worse?

    17 Dec 2005, 18:48

  5. Well, I assume they've filmed some of the episodes already but, if he does need replacing….

    Bartlett for VP anyone?

    17 Dec 2005, 18:52

  6. I was quite shocked whne they announced his death Friday, such a shame to loose an Emmie award winning actor from such a good political drama which he helped make it.

    Rumour has it inside NBC towers that Toby may become Santos' running mate, although haven't seen any of the latest series yet, i would guess that a previous full term serving president is not allowed to stand as VP?

    I imagine their dedicate the xmas day episode to him.

    19 Dec 2005, 05:43

  7. I couldn't believe this. The circumstances are so filled with sad irony it's unbelievable. The next episode to air is even set to focus on 'Leo' in the VP debate. How can someone die at 58? So sad.
    As for the show, I'm not sure how they'll handle this because the follow up article on CNN suggests only 14 episodes have been filmed and a complete story change may be needed as his role was to become more crucial as the series went on. Confusingly the article says
    "Another complication for "West Wing" writers in dealing with the real–life drama of Spencer's death from a heart attack at age 58 is the fact that his character was seen in a flash–forward sequence set three years in the future in the sixth season "West Wing" opener that aired in September."
    But he wasn't in that scene, which may just be a factual error seen as they haven't even got the right season but it could also be saying that he was coming out of the car at the beginning which would really alter things.

    19 Dec 2005, 17:02

  8. Toby as VP? Bloody unlikely. Just wait till you see the new series.

    Colin – I have a sneaky feeling that it is Leo who gets out of the car in the library scene. For one thing, if you freeze–frame it (and yes, I have…...) then it doesn't look like Santos.

    Not to mention that Jimmy Smits is reportedly contracted to do another show next year.

    Personally I'd like to see the final episode of this season be "Leo's" funeral, with all the cast involved (yes, you too Sam Seaborne). They mourn. They remember Bartlet's presidency. Then they go their seperate ways. Finished. Potentially the most moving piece of TV in years, and ending on a high note, rather than 'ooh, what's gonna happen to Santos'.

    I'm assuming this is the last series of TWW.

    19 Dec 2005, 17:39

  9. NO!

    I had no idea.

    That's terrible. His poor family!

    And I wonder how on earth the show will continue without him. He was a lynchpin. Anyway…oh dear…

    29 Dec 2005, 20:09

  10. tomas hakansson

    One of the best actor’s i West Wing. To see John Spencer act as Leo Macarry and Martin Sheen as the president. Why did they not have this people in the real White House. American love actors on high position like Ronald Reagan and Arnold. Give the jobb to Sheen and company. It can’t be worse and it is today

    18 Dec 2006, 09:48


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