HomeCelebrity‘The West Wing’ Actor John Aylward Passed At 75

‘The West Wing’ Actor John Aylward Passed At 75


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Agent Mitchell Stubbs confirmed to Variety that John Aylward, best known for his regular appearances on “ER” and “The West Wing,” died of natural causes on Monday. He was 75.

“This nice man and amazing performer have left us,” the agency said in a statement posted to Twitter. “Very pleased to have known and worked with you, sir.”

‘The West Wing’ Actor John Aylward Passed At 75

A native of Seattle, Aylward got his start in the local theatre scene and was a founding member of the Empty Space Theatre in the early ’70s. His first small-screen role was in the 1976 TV movie The Secret Life of John Chapman.

According to Deadline, Aylward joined ER after co-producer Carol Flynt saw him in the 1996 Los Angeles production of Psychopathia Sexualis, for which he won the 1996 Drama Logue Award for outstanding performance.

‘The West Wing’ Actor John Aylward Passed At 75

Aylward began working more frequently on television in the 1990s, beginning with a recurring part on “Northern Exposure.”

“John was a fantastic person and a terrific friend to many. He was proud of his motion picture work, however, his life in the theatre was where he was the happiest,” Stubbs added.

Born in Seattle on Nov. 7, 1946, Aylward graduated from the actor’s training program at the University of Washington in 1970 and started the Empty Space Theatre in 1973. When he made his television debut in 1976, the film The Secret Life of John Chapman was his first role.

At the Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center, he played roles on stage in productions of Kentucky Cycle and the City of Conversation. Plays by Alan Ayckbourn and David Mamet, as well as dramas by Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams, were among the many plays Aylward appeared in.

Co-producer Carol Flynt watched Aylward act in “Psychopathia Sexualis” at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles in 1996 and cast him in “ER” during its third season. For most of the show’s existence, Aylward portrayed Dr. Donald Anspaugh, a prominent member of the central hospital’s board of directors who served as both the hospital’s chief of staff and its chief of surgery. While Aylward appeared in a whopping 73 episodes over the length of the show’s run (the 15th and final season), he was killed off in 2008.

Additionally, Aylward appeared in the seventh and final season of “The West Wing,” playing the character of DNC chairman Barry Goodwin, who advised presidential candidate Matt Santos (Jimmy Smits) during his campaign and ultimately helped the transition between Bartlet and Santos. “The Others” and “Briarpatch” are two of his other significant television performances, both of which were short-lived on the NBC network in 2000 and 2020, respectively.

Along with his parts in “3rd Rock From the Sun,” “Ally McBeal,” “The X-Files,” and “Mad Men,” the actor has also starred in “Shameless” and “Yellowstone,” two of television’s most popular shows. Aylward’s final acknowledged role on television was in the quirky USA criminal thriller “Briarpatch,” which aired from 2020 until it was canceled.

In addition to his extensive work on television, the native of the Pacific Northwest has appeared in numerous films, including “The Way Back,” “The Crazies,” “A Million Ways to Die in the West,” “Water For Elephants,” and “Gangster Squad.”.

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