As all will probably know by now, John Spencer – who plays Leo McGarry on The West Wing, has died of a heart attack.
I regarded Spencer as arguably the best actor on a show of very good actors. His facial expressions at events like being told Zoe Bartlett had been abducted spoke a thousand words. He portrayed Leo as one would want a WH CoS to be – firm, decisive, not at all hesitant about making calls and using the authority of his office to rebuke anyone from the Vice-President down.
It is sadly ironic that his character was shown in Season 6 as having a heart attack. Another coinciedence is both Spencer and his character were (former) alcoholics.
I am not sure how many weeks ahead the WW is filmed, but it will be fascinating how they cope with Spencer’s death. Either they will have him die (I just can’t see him go in a scandal) prior to the election, in which the the change of running mate may become a big issue, or after the election. If it is after the election but before the congressional ratification of the electoral college vote, then the show might get to explore some obscure constitutional issues.
It’s hard to see who they will replace him as VP (or VP candidate) with. Maybe Governor Baker? Can’t see it be another ex-staff member or Hoynes or Russell.
Anyway very sad for both those who knew him, and for the many many fans of his acting, and of The West Wing specifically.