John Spencer was an Emmy Award-winning American actor born on December 20, 1946 in New York City. He eventually passed away at the age of 58 on December 16, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. Raised in a family of Irish and Ukrainian descent, he studied at the Professional Children’s School in Manhattan alongside award-winning actress Liza Minelli, and also later on attended Fairleigh Dickinson University. He began his acting career in TV shows such as The Patty Duke Show and L.A. Law, as well as appearing in a number of movies. Among these were Presumed Innocent with Harrison Ford, Forget Paris with Billy Crystal, and The Rock. He also worked on the video game Wing Commander IV.
Leo McGarry is portrayed by John Spencer in the Emmy Award-winning political drama series The West Wing. A native of Chicago, Illinois, he has two sisters named Josephine and Elizabeth, with the former working as a school district superintendent in Atlanta. He also graduated from the University of Michigan, and is a United States Air Force veteran, having flown an F-105 Thunderchief bomber during the Vietnam War and attaining the rank of colonel. He serves as the White House Chief of Staff in the Bartlet administration, and is President Josiah Bartlet’s best friend.
(Photo courtesy of James Sorenson)