Amazon-Video Comedy Central Showtime Apple TV+ DC Universe Disney Plus YouTube Premium HBO Max Peacock Netflix Vudu HBO Go Hulu Plus Amazon Prime CBS All Access Verizon

Join or Sign In

Sign in to customize your TV listings

Continue with Facebook Continue with email

By joining TV Guide, you agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy.

The West Wing Cast: Then and Now

Looking back at -- and catching up -- with all your Bartlet administration favorites.

Joal Ryan
west-wing-main-march-2020.jpg
1 of 41 Warner Home Video (left)/Michael Lavine/FOX (right)

west-wing-main-march-2020

It's been more than 20 years now since The West Wing premiered on NBC. In addition to presenting the presidency in heroic hues, the show gave a spotlight -- and a lot of Aaron Sorkin-penned, walking-and-talking scenes -- to Rob Lowe, Bradley Whitford, Allison Janney, Elisabeth Moss, Martin Sheen, Jimmy Smits and more.

Here's a then-and-now look at the cast of the Emmy-winning, 1999-2006 White House drama and still-popular streaming show: what the actors looked like back in the days of fictional Bartlet administration; and, what they're up to today. Click ahead to get started.

2 of 41 Mitchell Haddad/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

Contributor

Bradley Whitford won a Primetime Emmy for playing Josh Lyman, the rumpled staffer who ably serves two presidents, Josiah Bartlet (played by Martin Sheen) and Matt Santos (played by Jimmy Smits).

3 of 41 Maarten de Boer/NBCUniversal

NBCUniversal Upfront Events - Season 2019

As of 2019, Bradley Whitford, who went on to win Emmys for Transparent and The Handmaid's Tale, and make his mark on the big screen in Get Out, was cleaning up nicely for the NBC choir comedy, Perfect Harmony (pictured).

4 of 41 Michael O'Neil/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

Contributor

Allison Janney won four Primetime Emmys as the all-business C.J. Gregg, originally the White House press secretary.

5 of 41 Vivien Killilea/ InStyle/Getty Images

Stringer

Allison Janney has come into her own as a star: She won an Oscar for I, Tonya, added to her big-screen resume with Juno and The Help, and claimed two more Primetime Emmys for her current CBS comedy, Mom.

6 of 41 Michael O'Neil/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

Contributor

The esteemed Martin Sheen earned six Primetime Emmy nominations as West Wing's moral and compassionate commander in chief, Josiah Barlet.

7 of 41 Netflix

west-wing-sheen-now

Since 2015, Martin Sheen, who played Uncle Ben in the Andrew Garfield Spider-Man movies, has co-starred in Netflix's Grace and Frankie (pictured), featuring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin (a former West Wing player herself).

8 of 41 Warner Home Video

west-wing-lowe-then

Rob Lowe, who'd appeared on a short-lived sitcom as a teenager (A New Kind of Family), became a full-fledged TV leading man via The West Wing, where he originally played Sam Seaborn, Toby Ziegler's unlucky-in-love chief lieutenant in the White House communications office.

9 of 41 Michael Lavine/FOX

lowe-now-march2020

Unhappy with his role, Rob Lowe departed The West Wing in Season 4 (though he returned for the series' final two episodes). He's gone on to star in several more series, including the Fox procedural, 9-1-1: Lone Star (pictured), which premiered in 2020.

10 of 41 Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

Contributor

Jimmy Smits joined the West Wing cast in Season 6 as Matt Santos, a Democratic congressman who would assume the presidency by the end of Season 7.

11 of 41 Jake Giles Netter/NBC

Bluff City Law - Season Pilot

In 2019, Jimmy Smits, an L.A. Law vet, returned to the TV legal field for the NBC drama Bluff City Law.

12 of 41 Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

Contributor

Elisabeth Moss was a teenager when she first appeared as Zoey Bartlet, President Josiah Bartlet's fresh-faced youngest daughter.

13 of 41 Hulu

west-wing-moss-now

Following an Emmy-nominated run on AMC's Mad Men, Elisabeth Moss moved onto the grim goings-on in -- and won her first Primetime Emmy for -- Hulu's dystopian drama, The Handmaid's Tale (pictured).

14 of 41 Michael O'Neil/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

Contributor

Richard Schiff won three Primetime Emmys for playing Toby Ziegler, the forthright White House communications director for the duration of West Wing's seven-season run.

15 of 41 Art Streiber/ABC

ABC

Since 2017, Richard Schiff, who went on to appear in House of Cards and The Affair, has starred as the kindly Dr. Aaron Glassman on ABC's The Good Doctor (pictured).

16 of 41 NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

Contributor

Dulé Hill was 24 when he debuted in West Wing's second episode as Charlie Young, President Josiah Bartlet's personal assistant. He remained with the series to the end. Along the way, he earned one Primetime Emmy nomination.

17 of 41 Ian Watson/USA Network

Suits - Season 9

After a 2006-2014 run on USA's Psych, Dulé Hill scored a recurring role in HBO's Ballers, and joined the smartly dressed cast of USA's Suits (pictured) in 2017.

18 of 41 Warner Home Video

west-wing-moloney-then

As loyal White House staffer Donna Moss, Janel Moloney bantered with, and eventually became romantically linked with, Bradley Whitford's Josh Lyman.

19 of 41 Showtime

west-wing-moloney-now

In 2019, Janel Moloney was seen as the loyal, blurb-writing pal of Dominic West's caddish novelist in Showtime's The Affair.

20 of 41 Warner Home Video

west-wing-gregg-then

Clark Gregg appeared as Mike Casper, a buttoned-down FBI Special Agent in multiple West Wing episodes, spanning Seasons 2-5.

21 of 41 Mitch Haaseth/ABC

ABC

Clark Gregg plays the buttoned-down S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Phil Coulson (as well as Coulson's Life Model Decoy doppelgänger) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including on the ABC series, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (pictured).

22 of 41 Warner Home Video

west-wing-spencer-then

John Spencer won a Primetime Emmy for playing Leo McGarry, President Josiah Bartlet's chief of staff -- a gruff, but fair, man who'd battled alcoholism and heart trouble prior to joining the administration.

23 of 41 Warner Home Video

west-wing-spencer-now

John Spencer died Dec. 16, 2005, amid West Wing's seventh and last season. He was 58. His last appearance came in the 2006 episode, "Running Mates" (pictured). Producers subsequently decided to lay Spencer's character to rest. Leo was said to have died, like Spencer, of a heart attack.

24 of 41 Warner Home Video

Matthew Perry (Joe Quincy) Then

The Friends star moonlighted as Joe Quincy, a White House lawyer during Seasons 4-5. For his work in the handful of episodes, Matthew Perry picked up two Primetime Emmy nominations -- one more than he earned during his entire Friends run.

25 of 41 Mike Pont/WireImage/Getty Images

Matthew Perry (Joe Quincy) Now

Matthew Perry is seen in 2017, the same year of his most recent on-screen work in the Reelz miniseries, The Kennedys: After Camelot.

26 of 41 Warner Home Video

west-wing-malina-then

An Aaron Sorkin favorite, Joshua Malina joined the West Wing cast in Season 4 as Will Bailey, a speechwriter brought in to fill the White House role vacated by the gone-to-run-for-Congress Sam Seaborn (played by Rob Lowe).

27 of 41 Warner Home Video

west-wing-malina-now

The always-busy Joshua Malina made several appearances, from Seasons 3-12, as the president of California Institute of Technology in the long-running CBS comedy, The Big Bang Theory.

28 of 41 Danny Feld/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

Contributor

Mary McCormack was familiar to TV audiences as a star of the crime drama Murder One when she debuted on The West Wing in Season 5. She played Kate Harper, a hard-driving Navy vet-turned-national-security-adviser.

29 of 41 Disney-ABC Domestic Television

west-wing-mccormack-now

Mary McCormack played the take-no-prisoners 1970s mom on the 2018-2019 ABC sitcom, The Kids Are Alright.

30 of 41 Michael O'Neil/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

Contributor

Stockard Channing, the acclaimed actress of Grease, Six Degrees of Separation and more, won a Primetime Emmy for her work as Abbey Bartlet, a Harvard-trained doctor and the nation's first lady.

31 of 41 Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

Contributor

A recurring actor on The Good Wife and an Emmy nominee for the short-lived sitcom Out of Practice, Stockard Channing stopped by Bravo's Watch What Happens: Live in 2018 (pictured).

32 of 41 Michael O'Neil/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

west-wing-kelly-then

Moira Kelly (Cutting Edge) played Mandy Hampton, an in-demand political consultant recruited by the White House in Season 1.

33 of 41 Fox

west-wing-kelly-now

After her character was written off the West Wing before Season 2, Moira Kelly went on to star in the primetime soap One Tree Hill. She popped up in the Season 3 premiere of Fox's The Resident (pictured).

34 of 41 Warner Home Video

west-wing-joosten-then

Kathryn Joosten played President Bartlet's indispensable executive secretary, Dolores Landingham. Joosten's character was killed by a drunk driver in Season 2.

35 of 41 ABC

west-wing-joosten-now

Kathryn Joosten won two Primetime Emmys for Desperate Housewives, the series she worked on as she fell ill with lung cancer. Her illness was written into that show, and her character, Karen McCluskey, succumbed to it in the series finale. Roughly one month later, on June 2, 2012, Joosten lost her battle to cancer. She was 72.

36 of 41 Warner Home Video

west-wing-harmon-then

Mark Harmon earned a Primetime Emmy nomination for a Season 3 stint as Simon Donovan, a doomed Secret Service agent assigned to C.J. Cregg (played by Allison Janney).

37 of 41 Sonja Flemming/CBS

STF

Since 2003, Mark Harmon has flashed a badge as Naval Criminal Investigative Service Agent Leroy Gibbs on CBS' NCIS.

38 of 41 Mitch Haddad/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

Contributor

The M*A*S*H* alum joined the West Wing cast in the show's final two seasons as Arnold Vinick, a Republican U.S. Senator who runs for president. While Alan Alda's character loses his bid, the actor won a Primetime Emmy for the role.

39 of 41 John Lamparski/Film at Lincoln Center/Getty Images

Stringer

Alan Alda, who went public with his Parkinson's disease diagnosis in 2018, is seen promoting his new movie, Marriage Story, in 2019.

40 of 41 Warner Home Video

west-wing-busfield-then

Timothy Busfield, an Emmy-winner for thirtysomething, played Danny Concannon, a dogged Washington Post reporter, in dozens of episodes from Season 1-7.

41 of 41 Netflix

west-wing-busfield-now

From 2018-2019, Timothy Busfield was seen as the president's sympathetic therapist, Dr. Adam Louden, on Designated Survivor.