John Spencer


Biography, Latest News & Videos

  • Birth Name: John Speshock
  • Birth Place: New York, NY
  • Date of Birth / Zodiac Sign: 12/20/1946, Sagittarius
  • Date of Death: 12/16/2005
  • Profession: Actor
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19 Times Life and The West Wing Imitated Each Other

At times, the modern political climate may seem stranger than fiction, so it may be comforting (or disconcerting) to know that several recent political events initially took place years prior, on NBC's beloved series The West Wing, which aired from 1999 to 2006. While some of its more prescient episodes tackle obvious issues (i.e. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"), other coincidences are downright bizarre (i.e. characters who bear striking similarities to Barack Obama and John McCain squaring off in more

Desperate Housewives' Kathryn Joosten Dies at 72

Kathryn Joosten, best known for her roles on Desperate Housewives and The West Wing, died Friday of lung cancer, TVLine reports. She was 72 years old.

Joosten, who won two Emmys for her portrayal of Mrs. McCluskey on Housewives, passed away more

VIDEO: Tomorrow

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Length: 43:19
Aired: 5/14/2006

In the series finale, the Bartlet administration prepares to leave the West Wing. While Santos and his winning camp nervously gear up for the inauguration, outgoing President Bartlet, C.J. and the others fondly look back on their time in the White House. Former series star Rob Lowe guest stars as Sam Seaborn. watch


Sea Of Love
'WarGames' Preview (HBO)
'The Negotiator' Preview (Cinemax)

More Clips & Interviews

Ravenous [HD]
Ravenous [HD]

More John Spencer Movies Videos

Episode 4
Episode 7
Episode 1
Episode 6

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TV Listings



Year Title Description
2014 Countdown to Kickoff TV Show Series, Remarks by
2002 Boys Life 4 Movie, Actor - Cowboy
2001 All Revved Up Movie, Actor - Bill Gunter
1999 Ravenous Movie, Actor - General Slauson
1999 Lesser Prophets Movie, Actor - Ed

More Credits (48)


Are you at all surprised that ...

Question: Are you at all surprised that John Spencer didn't receive a posthumous Emmy nomination for his work on The West Wing? I thought his death would earn him a nod at least in an honorary sense. But given the condition of the current system, I cannot say that I am completely surprised. Answer: It is surprising, but really, with this year's nominations, where do you start and where do you end? Truthfully, and with all sincere respect to the terrific and much-lamented John Spencer, this was not Leo's greatest season on the show, and I think the nomination in that category for Alan Alda was more appropriate. A sentimental nomination for an actor taken from us too soon is without doubt the sort of thing you'd expect from a conservative group like the Emmy voters, so it is kind of jarring. But overall, this is one of the more interesting, eclectic categories this year, and just having Gregory Itzin (24's President Logan) in the running is very satisfying. (He's my pick over Alda, read more

I watched the "Requiem" ...

Question: I watched the "Requiem" episode (centering around Leo's funeral) of The West Wing last weekend, because I was a fan of that show back during its first seasons and because you and other reviewers have said that it had finally gotten back to good form in its final days. It was like getting back in touch with an old friend. But why wasn't Sam (Rob Lowe) at the service? The previews show him returning next week, so Rob Lowe is obviously willing to return to the show. Why didn't they get him back for the funeral episode? That would have been perfect, giving us old-school fans a last glimpse of the original gang back together (albeit with Toby on the outside now). Answer: I can't say why, but I figure that the show's producers were busy enough just figuring out how to do this salute to Leo (and John Spencer) right. Finding a way to shoehorn the return of Sam (and Rob Lowe) into the episode might have been too much of a distraction, though I agree it would have made sense. (For my ... read more

I was impressed and gratified ...

Question: I was impressed and gratified by The West Wing's handling of the death of John Spencer/Leo McGarry in last week's episode (April 9), and I wonder if this is the road to the kind of classy ending you hoped for for the show. Clearly it was a story line that couldn't be delayed — no other plausible way to explain the absence of the vice-presidential candidate, especially given the real-life circumstances — but the writers wisely kept the ultimate focus on election results. Grief was expressed by the characters closest to Leo, while others showed the harsh reality of politics. Josh's turnaround was evident but not overplayed. Best of all, throughout the show the presidential candidates displayed the kind of nobility that drew us to this series in the first place. I lost my enthusiasm for The West Wing a while back, but for me this episode is close to full circle. Answer: Isn't that the truth. The West Wing at its best has always been an idealized romance about public service, and ... read more

Such a bittersweet victory for...

Such a bittersweet victory for Jimmy Smits' Matt Santos on The West Wing Sunday night, winning a nail-biter of a presidential race (it all came down to Nevada, a state in which he couldn't even remember campaigning) in the wake of running mate Leo McGarry's tragic death. Leo's obit made headlines before polls closed in the West, making matters even more tense and emotional. (And can I just say one more time how much I'd love to live in West Wing's wish-fulfillment universe, where candidates take the high road and you can almost believe that voters went for whom they liked most instead of whom they hated least.)

This is a bittersweet moment for The West Wing itself in so many ways. In its final episodes, the show is better than it has been in some time, but relatively few are watching since NBC moved it to Sundays, where the network is pretty much an als read more

You would have thought that ...

Question: You would have thought that the writers of The West Wing could have put more creative thought into these final episodes instead of more Santos campaign drivel (as per the March 26 episode). I know we're all in anticipation of the treatment of Leo's death, but the original cast has been largely pushed aside. And those of us who are longtime fans of The West Wing would have appreciated seeing the original crew hard at work at the end of Bartlet's last term. Answer: Can't really agree, but then, the ratings bear out the fact that few are all that excited about the election episodes of this final season (which NBC has effectively buried on Sunday nights). For me, and for most others I know who are still watching the show (not very many, admittedly), the election brought some storytelling vigor back to a show that had stagnated in its depiction of life in the lame-duck Bartlet White House. I thought the campaign episodes dealing with the fallout over the nuclear-plant incident, and ... read more

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