LOS ANGELES -- John Spencer, who played a tough and dedicated politico on "The West Wing" who survived a serious illness to run for vice president, died of a heart attack Friday. He was 58. Spencer died at a Los Angeles hospital, said his publicist, Ron Hofmann. He would have been 59 next week.
"John was a consummate professional actor and everyone adored him," said actress Allison Janney, C.J. Cregg on the NBC series. "We will miss him deeply."
Though I didn't know him personally, I felt like I knew him through my TV set, and he seemed like a great guy. Here's to the best (and sadly most fictional) Chief of Staff there was and to a man who set such a high caliber of television performance at a time when good acting was not always the top priority.