Tuesday, December 20, 2005

RIP Leo McGarry

I was very saddened the other day to learn that John Spencer, the actor who played White House chief of staff Leo McGarry on The West Wing died of a heart attack. It's a testament to his talents as an actor that I would feel the loss so keenly -- he was a perfect fit as the exacting, rough-edged but compassionate McGarry, and brought a great depth to the character.

It was also a tragic example of life imitating art, as his character suffered a near-fatal heart attack at the beginning of last season.

This season, Leo McGarry had stepped into the role of the democratic vice-presidential candidate. From what I've gathered, the show was three episodes ahead of itself, which means that four episodes from now they're going to have to take a rather severe narrative turn.

But then, speculating on how a television series will adapt to the tragic death of a cast member is perhaps a bit macabre. Enough to say, we're made poorer in the loss of such an actor.

Ah John Spencer, we hardly knew ye.

1 comment:

Lesley said...

So I'm not the only one. I loved Leo McGarry on that show. And it's sad, that I just got back into the show this past season and have been able to watch back episodes on Bravo every night. He was a fantastic actor and will be sadly missed by many people.