John Spencer

Biography Q News Q Links Q Pics & Posters Q Auction Q For Sale

John Spencer Biography


The following biography is from “The Free Encyclopedia.”


Early life

Spencer was born in Paterson, New Jersey and grew up in nearby Totowa, the son of blue-collar parents, a Ukrainian-American father and an Irish-American mother. With his enrollment at the Professional Children's School in Manhattan at age 16, his classmates included Liza Minnelli and violinist Pinchas Zukerman. Later he attended Fairleigh Dickinson University but did not complete a degree.



Spencer began his television career on The Patty Duke Show. In the early 1990s, he was a regular cast member on L.A. Law, playing "Tommy Mullaney". Later, he acted in the romantic comedy Forget Paris (1995) as a wisecracking co-worker to Billy Crystal's basketball referee; The Rock (1994) as the untrustworthy FBI official "Womack", and the 2002 theater production of The Exonerated. Paralleling his character on The West Wing, he was a recovering alcoholic and heart attack victim.


Spencer won an Obie Award for the 1981 off-Broadway production of "Still Life," about a Vietnam veteran, and received a Drama Desk nomination for "The Day Room." After two previous nominations, Spencer won his first Emmy Award in 2002 for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his portrayal of Leo McGarry on The West Wing. The episodes Spencer submitted for judging by the Emmy voters were "Bartlet for America", in which Leo has to testify in front of a Congressional committee about the President's health and flashes back to his own medical lapse, and "We Killed Yamamoto".



Spencer died following a heart attack in a Los Angeles hospital, four days before what would have been his fifty-ninth birthday. He was an only child and never married. NBC and Warner Bros. Television have not addressed how Spencer's death will affect the storyline of The West Wing, though it is possible that they will simply have his character also die of a heart attack.


The above biography has been copied in part or in whole from an article on "The Free Encyclopedia."  It has been modified under the NGU Free Document License Section 5 in the following manner: (1) All links within the article have been removed, including text links such as "[#]"; (2) The "[Edit]" text and link have been removed [if you would like to update the article, you may do so from the original page]; (3) the table of Contents links and text have been removed; and (4) all of the sections of the original article have not been copied. All of the above text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Document License.

URL of Original Article:

Date Article Copied: December 17, 2005

We will try to replace this article with an original biography in the near future, but we hope this will be of help to our visitors in the mean time.

For additions & corrections, Click Here







John Spencer News


News Resources



John Spencer Links

Official Website: N/A


John Spencer Posters and Pictures



John Spencer Items for Auction



Suggested John Spencer Products