Friday, December 16, 2005

John Spencer – 1946-2005

John Spencer

As Brian e-mailed me, life sometimes imitates art, however brutally. John Spencer has died of a heart attack.

Spencer, 58, died at a Los Angeles hospital, said publicist Ron Hofmann. He would have been 59 next week.

Spencer played Leo McGarry, the chief of staff to President Jeb Bartlet (Martin Sheen) through the first few seasons of the NBC series. In a sad parallel to life, his character suffered a heart attack that forced him to give up his White House job.

The character recovered and was picked as a running mate for Democratic presidential contender Matt Santos, played by Jimmy Smits; the campaign has been a central theme this season for the drama.

If my dramatic instincts are right, his passing will play into the storyline of the series. I think Mr. Spencer would have liked that.

Go in peace.