Farewell to John Spencer of "The West Wing"

A powerful actor, John Spencer, is dead of a heart attack at a young 58 years old.

Spencer won an Emmy in 2002 for his role as McGarry, who was the right-hand man to President Jeb Bartlet, played by Martin Sheen. Ironically, his character had suffered a heart attack that forced him to give up his White House job. This season, McGarry was running for vice president.

Before “The West Wing,” Spencer was best known for playing quirky attorney Tommy Mullaney on the hit drama “L.A. Law.”

Spencer’s performance on The West Wing was one of the best reasons to watch television in the last few years. I’m very sad that I’ll never see him play other roles.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.

  • Tompaul

    He presented an incredible combination of gravitas and good-spiritedness.


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