West Wing actor was ‘uncommonly good man’

John Spencer, who plays vice-presidential candidate Leo McGarry on NBC television’s The West Wing, died of a heart attack on Friday, his publicist said.

Spencer (58) died at a Los Angeles hospital, said his publicist, Ron Hofmann. The death was first reported by the syndicated programme The Insider.

Hofmann released no other immediate details.

Spencer’s work on the show earned him an Emmy Award for supporting actor in a drama series in 2002, as well as a Golden Globe nomination.

Before appearing on the hit political drama, he played the quirky and charismatic New York attorney Tommy Mullaney on LA Law.

Movie website IMDb.com quoted West Wing co-star Richard Schiff as saying of Spencer: “[He was] one of those rare combinations of divinely gifted and incredibly generous.”

West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin added in a statement: “John was an uncommonly good man, an exceptional role model and a brilliant actor. We feel privileged to have known him and worked with him. He’ll be missed and remembered every day by his many, many friends.”

Spencer also appeared in several movies, including Albino Alligator, The Rock, Forget Paris and Green Card.

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