Monday, May 23, 2022

John Aylward Passes On

John Aylward, who played Dr. Donald Anspaugh on ER and DNC Chairman Barry Goodwin on The West Wing, died on May 16 2022 at the age of 75.

John Aylward was born on November 7 1946 in Seattle, Washington.  He graduated from the Professional Actor's Training Program at the University of Washington in 1970. In 1973 he was among the founders of the Empty Space Theatre in Seattle. He made his television debut in the TV movie The Secret Life of John Chapman in 1976. His film debut was in Strings in 1985. In the late Eighties he appeared in the TV movies Stamp of a Killer, Third Degree Burn, and Child in the Night. He appeared in the movies Seven Hours to Judgement (1988) and Three Fugitives (1989).

It was in 1996 that John Aylward began playing Dr. Donald Anspaugh, the Chief of Staff at County General Hospital, on ER. He would ultimately appear in 74 episodes of the series. He also had recurring roles on the shows The Others, The Fugitive (2000), and Family Law. In the Nineties he guest starred on the shows Northern Exposure, Ink, Grace Under Fire, Any Day Now, Secret Agent Man, The Practice, and 3rd Rock from the Sun. He appeared in the mini-series From the Earth to the Moon and Creature. John Aylward appeared in the movies Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993), Eden (1996), Buddy (1997), Armageddon (1998), Finding Graceland (1998), Can't Stop Dancing (1999), and Thirteen Days (2000).

In the Naughts John Aylward continued to appear as Dr. Anspaugh on ER. He played the recurring role of Barry Goodwin on The West Wing. He guest starred on the shows Diagnosis Murder; Ally McBeal; Dharma & Greg; The X Files; Everwood; The Agency; Judging Amy; Good Morning, Miami; The D.A.; Nip/Tuck; Jack & Bobby; Carnivàle; Surface; Law & Order; Boston Legal; Stargate SG-1; Cold Case; Without a Trace; Cavemen; My Boys; Big Shots; The Mentalist; CSI: Crime Scene Investigation; Brothers & Sisters; Mad Men; and The Whole Truth. He appeared in the movies Just Visiting (2001), Harvey's Speech (2002), Bad Company (2002). Down with Love (2003), Monster-in-Law (2005), North Country (2005), The Celestine Prophecy (2006), The Gray Man (2007), Crimes of the Past (2009), The Crazies (2010), and Norman (2010).

In the Teens Mr. Aylward guest starred on the shows Harry's Law, Fringe; Fairly Legal; House of Lies; American Horror Story; Major Crimes; Impastor; Scorpion; Shameless; and Yellowstone. He had recurring roles on Nobodies and Briarpatch. He appeared in the movies Water for Elephants (2011), Gangster Squad (2013), A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014), The Architect (2016), The Nowhere Inn (2020), and The Way Back (2020).

John Aylward was an extremely talented actor. As Dr. Anspaugh on ER he played the character with a perfect balance of being by-the-book, while at the same time being caring. He also gave good performances as Barry Goodwin on The West Wing and pilot Charles "Red" Murphy on Northern Exposure. Over the years John Aylward played a wide variety of roles, including judges, clergy, lawmen, medical doctors, and even a paranormal researcher. From all reports John Aylward was also the consummate gentleman, known for his kindness and thoughtfulness. Talented and versatile, John Aylward will always be remembered.

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