John Spencer - Rotten Tomatoes

John Spencer

Highest Rated:   93% WarGames (War Games) (1983)
Lowest Rated:   33% Hiding Out (1987)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Not Available
Actor John Spencer was born John Speshock to a working-class family in Patterson, NJ, on December 20, 1946. He attended the Professional Children's High School in New York City, and while a student adopted the stage name John Spencer. Spencer began acting in his teens, and landed his first big break was he was cast as Henry Anderson on the TV series The Patty Duke Show. After the end of the show's run, Spencer resumed his education, enrolling at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ; he later transferred to New York University. In the early '70s, Spencer began pursuing a career as a stage actor in New York City, and in 1981, he won an Obie award for his performance in the play Still Life. In 1983, Spencer began working in film, appearing in supporting roles in two movies that year, War Games and Echoes. By the mid-'80s, Spencer was working steadily in movies and making frequent television guest shots; he was also earning increasing acclaim for his stage roles, receiving a Drama Desk Award nomination for his role in The Day Room in 1988.However, Spencer's first real brush with fame came in 1990, when he won the role of Tommy Mullany, a tough but goodhearted lawyer, on the hit TV series L.A. Law. While Spencer's regular guy looks seemed to rule him out of leading man roles, his success on L.A. Law established him as a first-call character actor, and he began scoring higher-profile roles in a variety of higher-profile films (such as Presumed Innocent, Copland, Forget Paris, and The Rock), while earning higher billing in made-for-TV movies, and appearing in stage roles as his schedule permitted. In 1999, Spencer's career received yet another boost when he was cast as Chief of Staff Leo McGarry on the acclaimed television series The West Wing; Spencer's work as part of the ensemble cast earned him a Screen Actor's Guild award in 2001 and 2002, and he was nominated for an Emmy five times for Best Supporting Actor, winning in 2002. In the same year that his character Leo suffered a heart attack on West Wing, Spencer sadly suffered the same fate: after a severe attack, he died among friends and family in a Los Angeles hospital in December, 2005. He was 58 years old.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
45% Ravenous
  • General Slauson
1999
75% The Negotiator
  • Travis
1998
59% Twilight
  • Capt. Phil Egan
1998
No Score Yet O.K. Garage
  • Bill Gunter
1998
No Score Yet Lesser Prophets (The Last Bet)
  • Ed
1997
No Score Yet Cold Around the Heart
  • Mike
1997
73% Cop Land
  • Leo Crasky
1997
44% Albino Alligator
  • Jack
1996
66% The Rock
  • FBI Director Womack
1996
50% Forget Paris
  • Jack
1995
No Score Yet Cafe Society
  • Ray Davioni
1995
No Score Yet Perry Mason: The Case of the Grimacing Governor
  • Al Rhinehart
1994
No Score Yet We're Talkin' Serious Money
  • Rosemarie's Son
1992
No Score Yet In the Arms of a Killer
  • Det. Vincent Cusack
1992
No Score Yet From The Files Of Joseph Wambaugh: A Jury Of One
  • Actor
1992
56% Green Card
  • Harry
1990
86% Presumed Innocent
  • Det. Lipranzer
1990
77% Sea of Love
  • Lieutenant
1989
52% Black Rain
  • Oliver
1989
No Score Yet Simple Justice
  • Inspector Sullivan
1989
No Score Yet Far from Home
  • TV Preacher
1988
33% Hiding Out
  • Bakey
1987
No Score Yet The Verne Miller Story (Gangland) (Verne Miller)
  • George Sally
1987
50% Key Exchange
  • Record Executive
1985
93% WarGames (War Games)
  • Jerry
1983
No Score Yet Living Nightmare
  • Stephen
1983

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet The West Wing
1999-2006
  • Leo McGarry
  • 2006
  • 2005
  • 2004
  • 2003
  • 2002
  • 2001
  • 2000
  • 1999
No Score Yet Law & Order
1990-2010
  • Howard Morton
  • 1990

Quotes from John Spencer's Characters

No quotes approved yet.