John Aylward, ‘West Wing’ and ‘ER’ Actor, Dead at 75

by Shelby Scott

“West Wing” and “ER” fans are reeling as longtime star John Aylward has been confirmed dead at 75 on Thursday. Deadline reports the longtime actor died in his Seattle home over Monday night.

According to The U.S. Sun, Aylward’s wife, Mary Fields, confirmed the news, stating that the Dr. Donald Anspaugh and Barry Goodwin actor had been declining in health.

“I was shocked,” his longtime agent Mitchell Stubbs told Deadline. “He was a wonderful actor and a phenomenal human being. He was a dream client, a friend, and a dream person.”

As per The U.S. Sun, the dead star’s career spanned four decades, featuring John Aylward in 12 different television roles. Aylward most recently appeared in “Shameless” and Taylor Sheridan‘s hit neo-Western, “Yellowstone.”

Aylward kicked off his role on “ER” during the medical drama’s third season. The news outlet claims he is likely best remembered for his work in the famous series. Aylward’s character Anspaugh served as a surgeon on “ER,” and was also a leading hospital board member. Overall, the character filled several leading positions in County General.

Aylward’s character was also influential in another major character’s career path: Dr. John Carter.

However, his work on the “West Wing” is also notable as he played NC chairman Barry Goodwin. Goodwin served as a dynamic character within the series as he was an advisor to president Matt Santos.

Nevertheless, the actor held a handful of dynamic and crucial roles. In addition to “West Wing” and “ER,” John Aylward appeared in “3rd Rock From the Sun,” “Ally McBeal,” and “The X-Files.” However, he held a variety of other roles as well.

Aylward’s final television appearance took place in 2020, where he boasted a recurring role on “Briarpatch.” His most recent film appearance also took place in 2020, with the movie, “The Way Back.”

As a skilled actor, John Aylward also boasts an award for his work on the 1996 production, “Psychopathia Sexualis.

John Aylward’s Agency Shares Touching Tribute After Actor Confirmed Dead

While John Aylward’s widow Mary Fields has not released a public statement, the longtime actor’s talent agency shared a touching tribute of their own.

In a statement on Thursday, the agency said, “Received a devastating call from Mary Fields, John Aylward’s wife. This kind man and wonderful actor has left us. Very grateful to have known and worked with you, sir. RIP.”

So far, the outlet reports John Aylward’s cause of death has not been identified. However, considering his reportedly deteriorating health, any cause would likely stem from natural causes. That said, we’ll share more as further information becomes available.

According to Deadline, the iconic actor was born and raised in Seattle, so fans can at least take comfort knowing he passed in his longtime home.