John Spencer memorial plaque at Warner Bros. Photo by Rob Lowe, who tweeted this accompanying message on Feb. 6,2014: “Dropped by the now empty West Wing stage at Warners. Found this wonderful tribute on the wall.”
"On Christmas Eve West Wingers Bradley Whitford, Richard Schiff and Nicole Robinson all attended Spencer’s funeral.”
It was so sad and shocking for me as a TWW fan. I can only imagine what it was like to be his friend or co-worker.
Besides mourning the death of a beloved actor, we fans spent a few weeks wondering if they were even going to finish the season.
March 10, 2002: Backstage at the Screen Actors Guild Awards after winning Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series for the second straight year.
John Spencer’s Last Scene
On the 16th December 2005, John Spencer unexpectedly died of a heart attack. He was just 58 years old. His death came out of the blue and came while the final series of The West Wing was still being filmed. This is the final scene that John Spencer filmed. It comes just after the Presient confided in him about the crisis in Kazakhstan, shortly before he briefed the two presidential candiates. I think this is really fitting, that his penultimate scene be with his oldest friend, and that his final be with his protege, symbolic of the upcoming handover of power to the next generation.
Also, in an unrelated note, how flipping heartbreaking is that last line!
The West Wing: “In the Shadow of Two Gunmen” flashback 3/7
Jed: Why are you doing this? You’re a player. You’re bigger in the party than I am; Hoynes would make you national chairman. Leo, tell me this isn’t one of the twelve steps.
Leo: Yeah, that’s what it is. Right after admitting we’re powerless over alcohol and that a higher power can restore us to sanity, that’s where you come in.
Every scene in both parts of “In The Shadow of Two Gunmen” is perfect.