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Spencer, John 1946–

SPENCER, John 1946–


Original name, John Speshock; born December 20, 1946, in New York, NY (some sources cite NJ); son of John (a truck driver) and Mildred (a waitress) Speshock; married, c. 1968 (divorced, c. 1975); companion of Patti Mariano (an actress and choreographer). Education: Attended Fairleigh Dickinson University and New York University. Avocational Interests: Listening to music, reading, spending time with friends.

Addresses: Agent—Joe Rice, Abrams Artists, 9200 Sunset Blvd., Suite 1130, Los Angeles, CA 90069. Publicist—Ron Hofmann, Baker/Winokur/Ryder, 9100 Sunset Blvd., Sixth Floor West, Beverly Hills, CA 90212.

Career: Actor. Barter Theatre, Abingdon, VA, guest artist, 1975–76, 1977–78; Actors Theatre of Louisville, Louisville, KY, guest artist, 1983–84; Tyrone Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis, MN, member of company, 1985–86. Voice for commercials. Appeared in The More You Know, part of a series of public service announcements. Also worked as a stage manager and catalog model.

Awards, Honors: Obie Award, Village Voice, outstanding performance, 1981, for Still Life; Drama Desk Award nomination, c. 1987, for The Day Room; Q Award, Viewers for Quality Television, best supporting actor in a quality drama series, 2000, Golden Satellite Award (with others), International Press Academy, best ensemble in a television performance, 2000, Actor awards (with others), outstanding performance by an ensemble in a drama series, 2000 and 2001, Emmy Award nominations, outstanding supporting actor in a drama series, 2000, 2001, 2003, and 2004, TV Guide Award nomination, supporting actor of the year in a drama series, 2001, Screen Actors Guild awards (with others), outstanding ensemble in a drama series, 2001 and 2002, Emmy Award, outstanding supporting actor in a drama series, 2002, Golden Globe Award nomination, best performance by an actor in a supporting role in a television series, miniseries, or motion picture made for television, 2003, and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations (with others), outstanding ensemble in a drama series, 2003 and 2004, all for The West Wing.


Television Appearances; Series:

Henry Anderson, The Patty Duke Show, ABC, 1964–1965.

Mr. Julian (Kevin and Tracy's father), Another World (also known as Another World: Bay City), NBC, 1988.

Tommy Mullaney, L.A. Law, NBC, 1990–1994.

Simon McCallister, Trinity, NBC, 1998.

Leo Thomas McGarry, The West Wing, NBC, 1999—.

Television Appearances; Movies:

Detective Mike Mulick, From the Files of Joseph Wambaugh: A Jury of One, NBC, 1992.

Detective Vincent Cusack, In the Arms of a Killer, CBS, 1992.

Walter Wheeler, When No One Would Listen (also known as My Husband Is Going to Kill Me), CBS, 1992.

Al Rhinehart, A Perry Mason Mystery: The Case of the Grimacing Governor, NBC, 1994.

Ray Davioni, Cafe Society, Showtime, 1996.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Tommy Mullaney, The L.A. Law 100th Episode Special, NBC, 1991.

On Jupiter, syndicated, 1995.

An American Celebration at Ford's Theatre, ABC, 2002.

Himself, 100 Years of Hope and Humor, NBC, 2003.

TV Guide: Greatest Moments of 2003, 2003.

Television Appearances; Awards Presentations:

Presenter, The Eighth Annual Soap Opera Digest Awards, NBC, 1992.

The Golden Globe's 50th Anniversary Celebration, NBC, 1994.

Prism Awards 2000, syndicated, 2000.

Presenter, The 53rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, CBS, 2001.

Presenter, 2001 Creative Arts Emmy Awards, E! Entertainment Television, 2001.

The 54th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, 2002.

Presenter, The 57th Annual Tony Awards, CBS, 2003.

Seventh Annual Prism Awards, FX Channel, 2003.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

(Uncredited) Doctor and orderly, Ryan's Hope, ABC, 1976.

Joe Moran, "Home Is the Hero," Spenser: For Hire, ABC, 1986.

Lieutenant Ray Atkins, "The Good Collar," Miami Vice, NBC, 1986.

Howard Morton, "Prescription for Death," Law & Order, NBC, 1990.

Valery, "Are You There, Alpha Centauri?," H.E.L.P., ABC, 1990.

Valery, "Dire Down Below," H.E.L.P., ABC, 1990.

Guest, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, NBC, 1992.

Voice of Agent Dennehy, "Not So Easy Riders," Duckman (animated), USA Network, 1994.

Leo, "The Driver," Touched by an Angel, CBS, 1995.

Carl Scofeld, "High Risk," F/X: The Series, CTV, 1996.

Hank Landry/Mr. Gadget, "Lethal Weapon," Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (also known as Lois & Clark and The New Adventures of Superman), ABC, 1996.

Ray Weggerly, "Crime," Tracey Takes On…, HBO, 1996.

Howard Banner, "Jenny Sloan," Early Edition, CBS, 1997.

Dr. Edmund Church, "The Life Lost in Living," L.A. Doctors, CBS, 1998.

Colonel Wallis Thurman, "Summit," The Outer Limits, Showtime and syndicated, 1999.

Himself, Intimate Portrait: Patty Duke, Lifetime, 2001.

Himself, L.A. Law: The E! True Hollywood Story, E! Entertainment Television, 2001.

(Uncredited) Guest, Saturday Night Live (also known as NBC's Saturday Night, Saturday Night, and SNL), NBC, 2002.

Guest, The View, ABC, 2002, 2003.

Contestant, "Tournament 1, Game 2," Celebrity Poker Showdown, Bravo, 2003.

Guest, Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show (also known as Ellen and The Ellen DeGeneres Show), syndicated, 2004.

Guest, The Wayne Brady Show, ABC, 2004.

Also appeared in episodes of Celebrity Dish (also known as TV Guide's Celebrity Dish); and Guiding Light, CBS.

Television Appearances; Pilots:

Joey Crawford, Cocaine and Blue Eyes, NBC, 1983.

Film Appearances:

Jerry Lawson, WarGames, United Artists, 1983.

Stephen, Echoes, Continental, 1983.

Ko's pilot, The Protector, Warner Bros., 1985.

Record executive, Key Exchange, TCL, 1985.

Bakey, Hiding Out (also known as Adult Education), De Laurentiis Entertainment Group, 1987.

George Sally, Verne Miller (also known as Gangland and The Verne Miller Story), Alive, 1988.

Inspector Sullivan, Simple Justice, Panorama Entertainment, 1989.

Lieutenant, Sea of Love, Universal, 1989.

Oliver, Black Rain, Paramount, 1989.

Television preacher, Far from Home, 1989.

Detective Lipranzer, Presumed Innocent, Warner Bros., 1990.

Harry, Green Card, Buena Vista, 1990.

Jack, Forget Paris, Columbia, 1995.

FBI director James Womack, The Rock, Buena Vista, 1996.

Jack, Albino Alligator, Miramax, 1996.

Ed, Lesser Prophets (also known as The Last Bet), 1997.

Leo Crasky, Cop Land, Miramax, 1997.

Uncle Mike, Cold around the Heart (also known as Cold Heart), Twentieth Century–Fox, 1997.

Bill Gunter, O.K. Garage (also known as All Revved Up), 1998.

Captain Phil Egan, Twilight, Paramount, 1998.

Chief Al Travis, The Negotiator (also known as Verhandlungssache), Warner Bros., 1998.

General Slauson, Ravenous (also known as Voraz), Twentieth Century–Fox, 1999.

Stage Appearances:

Understudy, In the Boom Boom Room, New York Shakespeare Festival, Lincoln Center, Vivian Beaumont Theater, New York City, 1973.

Japhy, Visions of Kerouac, Lion Theatre Company, New York City, 1976.

The Shadow Box, Studio Arena Theatre, Buffalo, NY, 1977–1978.

Understudy, Children of a Lesser God, 1980.

Loose Ends, Cincinnati Playhouse, Cincinnati, OH, 1980–1981.

Mark, Still Life, Women's Project and Productions, Goodman Theatre, Chicago, IL, then American Place Theatre, New York City, 1981, later Los Angeles.

Rory, Fishing, Second Stage Theatre, McGinn–Cazale Theatre, New York City, 1981.

Kenneth Baxter, This Story of Yours, Long Wharf Theatre, New Haven, CT, 1981–1982.

Red River, Goodman Theatre, 1982–1983.

True West, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, St. Louis, MO, 1983–1984.

Burke Gallagher and Charles A. Shelbrede, The Ballad of Soapy Smith, New York Shakespeare Festival, Public Theatre, Estelle R. Newman Theatre, New York City, 1984.

A Walk out of Water, Pennsylvania Stage Company, Allentown, PA, 1984–1985.

Joseph Wallace, Sonata, Young Playwrights Festival, Playwrights' Horizons Theatre, New York City, 1985.

Dan White, Execution of Justice, Virginia Theatre, New York City, 1986.

Jigger, Carousel (musical), Opera House, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, DC, 1986–1987.

Fletcher, El Salvador, Circle Repertory Theatre, New York City, 1987.

Roger, Division Street, Second Stage Theatre, McGinn–Cazale Theatre, 1987.

Grass and Freddie, The Day Room, Manhattan Theatre Club Stage I, New York City, 1987–1988.

Floyd, Amulets against the Dragon Forces, Circle Repertory Theatre, 1989.

Dennis, Good as New, Manhattan Class Company Theatre, New York City, 1997.

Pera Palas, Lark Theatre Company, McGinn–Cazale Theatre, 1998.

Martin Glimmer, Glimmer, Glimmer and Shine (also known as The Glimmer Brothers), Williamstown Theatre Festival, Williamstown, MA, 1999, then Manhattan Theatre Club Stage I, 2001, later Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles, c. 2001.

The Exonerated, Forty–Five Bleecker Street Theatre, New York City, between 2002 and 2004.

Appeared in Lakeboat, New York City, prior to 1981; also appeared as the gentleman caller, The Glass Menagerie, and in Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, both New York City productions.

Major Tours:

Understudy, Butterflies Are Free, 1970.


Video Games:

Voice of Captain Hugh Paulsen, Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom, 1995.



Current Biography, January, 2001, pp. 83–86.

People Weekly, April 29, 1991, pp. 115–16.

Playbill, May 31, 2001, pp. 44–45.

Playboy, October, 2001, pp. 71–82, 153–54.

Radio Times, August 17, 2002, p. 19.

TV Guide, January 22, 2000, pp. 48–50.

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