The Show “The West Wing”, Cast, Pictures, and Trivia!
This series is basically set in what is known as the West Wing of the White House.
The West Wing of course being where the all-important Oval Office is located. In addition it is also the location of the presidential senior staff’s offices who loyally serve President Josiah Bartlet (Martin Sheen).
President Bartlet is a man who not only has strength of character, but also the strength to follow the law and the constitution. He is well-educated and establishes his administration carefully. There are many on his staff that play major and key roles both in his presidency, as well as in what is known as the “Washington power game”. He is a firm believer in family, and is completely devoted to his own. He treats his wife and daughters with great respect as well as love and admiration. He also is not one to back down when it comes to foreign policy.
This show basically follows the President and his staff around on a day to day basis, in the West Wing, but also in other various locations. And during the constant perusal of these characters you get to see many political events and how they unfold, as well as the mental, physical, and social demands that are put upon each person and the positions they hold. The personal sacrifices that sometimes have to be made and put first, ahead of everything else in the name of government and freedom.
President Josiah Bartlet (Martin Sheen)-Josiah “Jed” Bartlet is the (fictional) Democratic President of the United States. He is from Manchester, New Hampshire and is a direct descendant of Josiah Bartlet. (Bartlet being a real-world signatory of the Declaration of Independence.) President Bartlet is a devout Catholic, which he acquired from his mother. His father was a Protestant and wanted him raised that way, but his relationship with his father was quite uneasy and this was only one of the many problems between him and his father. Also added in was the fact that his father was physically abusive to him. Though he was accepted to several colleges, among them Harvard and Yale, he instead chose to attend Notre Dame, mostly due to the fact that before meeting his wife, he had had every intention of becoming a priest. He speaks four languages, and is a Nobel Laureate in Economics. He was Governor of New Hampshire for two terms and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for three. Starting with his second year in office, Bartlet and his character as well as issues of his presidency are shown. One issue for example being about the friction that exists between his policies and those of a Republican-dominated Congress. He also suffers from relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, something which he and his wife covered up during his first presidential run. He later received a Congressional censure for doing this while he ran for President. He is also obsessed with trivia and can never remember junior staffer’s names.
Abigail Bartlet (Stockard Channing)-Abigail “Abbey” Barrington Bartlet M.D. is the First Lady of the United States as well as a physician. She has been married to her husband for more than thirty years, and has had three daughters. She received her M.D. from the prestigious Harvard Medical School and is on the staff at both Boston Mercy Hospital (fictitious) as well as Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. In addition to this she is also Adjunct Professor of Thoracic Surgery at Harvard Medical School. To aid her husband in his bid for presidency, she secretly started giving the President doses of betaseron which helps to keep his multiple sclerosis in check. (This of course is a violation of an assorted number of AMA (American Medical Association) rules.) She later decides to give up her medical license on a voluntary basis, while she is living in the White House.
Leo McGarry (John Spencer)-Leo McGarry is the White House Chief of Staff and President Bartlet’s best friend. He is also known to be somewhat of a father figure to the Senior Staff. Both his position and his workaholic attitude have created many problems when it comes to his personal life. McGarry actually admits that his job at the White House is more important to him than his marriage. He has one child, a daughter, and is a veteran of the United States Air Force. He flew in the Vietnam War during which time he was shot down and injured. He speaks Spanish fluently, is an attorney and has more wealth than even the President. McGarry like his father before him has an addiction to alcohol. He is now a recovering alcoholic as well as a recovering Valium addict.
Josh Lyman (Bradley Whitford)-Josh Lyman is the White House Deputy Chief of Staff, as well as Chief Political Advisor. He is well known for having a razor-sharp mind, is charming, slightly arrogant and a know-it-all. He also has an exceptional political mind, is an attorney and graduated from Harvard University and Yale Law School. He is Jewish (though non-practicing) and had a grandfather who was held in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II. His father, an attorney as well, is also an old friend of White House Chief of Staff, Leo McGarry. And on a much sadder note, he also had an older sister, Joanie, who died when Josh was just a child. She was babysitting him in her own home when a fire broke out; she tried to put the fire out while Josh ran outside. She died, and the tragedy has always haunted him.
C.J. Cregg (Allison Janney)-C.J. (Claudia Jean) Cregg is the White House Press Secretary and has a master’s degree in political science from the University of California, Berkeley. She is Catholic and a former National Merit Scholar. Her father used to be a math teacher, and her mother has been dead for quite a while, though she does have two older brothers. Many a joke is made about C.J.’s height and her Secret Service codename is “Flamingo”, much to her disgust.
Toby Ziegler (Richard Schiff)-Toby Ziegler is the White House Communications Director and a Reform Jew. He grew up in a family that spoke Yiddish and has a father who served time in prison due to being a former member of Murder, Inc. (the “enforcement arm” of the Jewish mafia). Toby does not seem particularly close to the rest of his relatives, and the relationship with his father is complicated due to his past. Toby is a fan of the New York Yankees and can name all the kinds of punctuation from memory. He is a pessimist but strangely enough, he is also what one would call an idealist as well. And also claims to have found a possible typographical error in the United States Constitution.
Sam Seaborn (Rob Lowe)-Sam Seaborn is the Deputy White House Communications Director and a magna cum laude graduate of Princeton University as well as Duke University School of Law. As a result of this, his Secret Service Codename is “Princeton”. Sam’s greatest strength is his steadfast idealism; however it also tends to be one of his downfalls at times. He is also an incredibly talented writer and excels as a speechwriter, sometimes re-writing a speech repeatedly just to ensure that no words are put into the President’s mouth that he is not happy with. As for Sam’s personal life, his relationships with women do not seem to have the best results on a fairly consistent basis.
Will Bailey (Joshua Malina)-Will Bailey holds different positions in both the White House Office of Communications and the Office of the Vice President. He is an Air Force reservist and his father was the former NATO Supreme Allied Commander.
Charlie Young (Dule Hill)-Charlie Young is the Personal Aide to the President. However, before receiving this job he had actually applied at the White House personnel office for the position of a part-time messenger. After he is interviewed he is then recommended for his current position, despite the fact that his only real work experience consisted of being a waiter and a golf caddy. Although he graduated from high school and had high grades, Charlie did not feel he had the luxury of attending college. His mother was a police officer in Washington, D.C. and was killed in the line of duty. Charlie then felt it was his responsibility to support both himself and his younger sister as their father was no longer in the picture.
Donna Moss (Janel Moloney)-Donna Moss is the senior assistant to Josh Wyman (Deputy White House Chief of Staff). She was born just outside of a place called Warroad, Minnesota, and later had her citizenship briefly revoked because of it. Due to border changes the town became a part of Canada. Her citizenship was quickly restored though after a loophole or grandfather clause in the law was found.
Mandy Hampton (Moira Kelly)-Mandy Hampton was the White House media consultant and also an ex-girlfriend of Josh Lyman. She has several degrees, one in political science, another in art history, and one in communications.
Kate Harper (Mary McCormack)-Kate Harper is the Deputy National Security Advisor. She was a member of the United States Navy and was a CIA agent. She has also been both married and divorced several times.
Annabeth Schott (Kristin Chenoweth)-Annabeth Schott is the Deputy Press Secretary for Media Relations. She attended the University of Maryland and has a Bachelor’s degree in Art History. She is also the one who is usually chosen to brief the press.
Matt Santos (Jimmy Smits)-Matt Santos is a Democratic Congressman from Texas. He is Catholic and from a large family. He is one of seven children. He has been married to his wife of fifteen years, Helen Santos (Teri Polo) and has two children. He speaks three languages, and was an officer (lieutenant colonel) in the United States Marine Corps. He saw action during the first Persian Gulf War and was a combat pilot. He also attended the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, and has a degree in Engineering.
Arnold Vinick (Alan Alda)-Arnold Vinick is a Republican senator from California. He attended and graduated from both Yale and Stanford Law School. He was married to the same woman for thirty years before her death. He is against partial-birth abortion but for parental consent.
This show was on for seven seasons and would probably have continued longer, had NBC not decided to move the show from its traditional Wednesday time slot to Sunday nights. But regardless of this, the show was very well written, dramatic, interesting and had the ability to draw you in and keep you there for every episode. I give this show 8 out of 10.
Josiah Bartlet–Martin Sheen
Abigail Bartlet-Stockard Channing
Leo McGarry-John Spencer
Josh Lyman-Bradley Whitford
C.J. Cregg-Allison Janney
Toby Ziegler-Richard Schiff
Sam Seaborn-Rob Lowe
Will Bailey-Joshua Malina
Charlie Young-Dule Hill
Donna Moss-Janel Moloney
Mandy Hampton-Moira Kelly
Kate Harper-Mary McCormack
Annabeth Schott-Kristin Chenoweth
Matt Santos-Jimmy Smits
Arnold Vinick-Alan Alda
Recurring Cast Years
Margaret Hooper-Nicole Robinson 1999-2006
Carol Fitzpatrick-Melissa Fitzgerald 1999-2006
Ginger-Kim Webster 1999-2006
Katie Witt-Kris Murphy 1999-2005
Mark O’Donnell-Timothy Davis-Reed 2000-2006
Larry-William Duffy 1999-2006
Ed-Peter James Smith 1999-2006
Nancy-Renee Estevez 1999-2006
Reporter Steve-Charles Noland 1999-2006
Bonnie-Dvika Parikh 1999-2003
Deborah Fiderer-Lily Tomlin 2002-2006
Chris-Mindy Seeger 1999-2005
Mrs. Landingham-kathryn Joosten 1999-2002
Danny Concannon-Timothy Busfield 1999-2006
Roger Salier-Ivan Allen 1999-2006
Zoey Bartlet-Elisabeth Moss 1999-2006
Amy Gardner-Mary-Louise Parker 2001-2006
Bob Russell-Gary Cole 2003-2006
Ronna-Karis Campbell 2004-2006
Percy Fitzwallace-John Amos 1999-2004
John Hoynes-Tim Matheson 1999-2006
Nancy McNally-Anna Deavers Smith 2000-2006
Arthur Leslie-Randy Brooks 2000-2005
Bruno Gianelli-Ron Silver 2001-2006
Helen Santos-Teri Polo 2005-2006
Joey Lucas-Marlee Matlin 2000-2006
Miles Hutchinson-Steve Ryan 2003-2006
Bram Howard-Matthew Del Negro 2005-2006
Ron Butterfield-Michael O’Neill 1999-2006
Louise Thornton-Janeane Garofalo 2005-2006
Andrea Wyatt-Kathleen York 2000-2006
Kenny Thurman-Bill O’Brien 2000-2005
Bob Slatterly-Thomas Kopache 2001-2005
SS Agent Donnie-Bradley James 1999-2005
Anchor #2-Penny Griego 1999-2006
Ainsley Hayes-Emily Procter 2000-2006
Bobbi-Jana Lee Hamblin 1999-2002
Reporter John-Ron Ostrow 2002-2005
Mallory O’Brien-Allison Smith 1999-2006
Theodore Barrow-Ron Canada 2003-2006
Ned-Evan Arnold 2004-2005
Otto-Ramon De Ocampo 2005-2006
Reporter Charlayne-Joyce Guy 2003-2006
Tom-Ralph Mayering Jr. 2000-2003
Ryan Pierce-Jesse Bradford 2003-2004
Cathy-Suzy Nakamura 1999-2000
Sheila Brooks-Patricia Richardson 2005-2006
Jeff Haffley-Steven Culp 2003-2005
Bob Mayer-Stephen Root 2005-2006
Ellie Bartlet-Nina Siemaszko 2001-2006
Mike Chysler-Glenn Morshower 2001-2002
Reporter Gordon-Tom Chick 2003-2005
Oliver Babish-Oliver Platt 2001-2005
Michael Casper-Clark Gregg 2001-2004
Greg Brock-Sam Robards 2004-2005
Elsie Snuffin-Danica McKellar 2002-2003
Robbie Mosley-Gregory Alan Williams 2000-2002
Edie Ortega-Diana Maria Riva 2005-2006
Martin Sheen (born Ramon Antonio Gerard Estevez) is the father of Charlie Sheen, Emilio Esteves, Renee Estevez and Ramon Estevez. He adopted the name Sheen for his acting career from Rev. Fulton J. Sheen, a man he greatly admired. His daughter, Renee, was also on The West Wing.
Rob Lowe is deaf in his right ear.
Stockard Channing (First Lady Abbey Bartlet) is a graduate of Radcliffe College.
Alan Alda has been married to his wife, Arlene, for 56 years. They have 3 children.
John Spencer died in real life on December 16, 2005 of a heart attack, only four days before his 59th birthday. His character on the show, Leo McGarry almost died of a heart attack a year earlier. After Spencer’s death, on the first new episode that aired, Martin Sheen delivered a memorial message about Spencer before it started.
Joshua Malina (Will Bailey) is another actor on The West Wing who was also in the film, “The American President”.
Allison Janney dreamed of becoming an Olympic skater, however, this was taken away after a bizarre accident left her seriously injured. She ran blindly, straight through a glass door.
Janel Moloney has a twin sister named Carey.
Kristin Chenoweth (Annabeth Schott) is adopted.
When Moira Kelly (Mandy Hampton) was cast in the film “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me”, she went home
to her priest in order to get permission, to do what would be her first sexual scene.
The West Wing was #4 on Empire magazine’s list of 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time.
Though one of his greatest roles, Alan Alda did not sign on to play the part of the humorous Dr. Hawkeye Pierce until six hours before the series started filming its pilot episode. He also commuted while filming M*A*S*H for all of its eleven years, because his family did not want to be uprooted to LA. Also, he was unsure of how long the show would last.
Mary McCormack’s (Kate Harper) older sister, Bridget Mary McCormack, won a seat on Michigan’s State Supreme Court in 2012. During her campaign, Mary and several of her co-stars from The West Wing, performed in a video as their “West Wing” characters to lend support.
Dule Hill (Charlie Young) co-starred in the film “She’s All That” with Freddie Prinze Jr. When Prinze married Sarah Michelle Gellar several years later, he also attended the wedding.
Martin Sheen has been married only one time to Janet Sheen, mother of his four children. They have been married for 52 years.
Rob Lowe (Sam Seaborn) was a member of the famous “Brat Pack” in the 1980’s. This group included Emilio Estevez (Martin Sheen‘s son), Demi Moore, Molly Ringwald, Charlie Sheen (another of Martin Sheen‘s sons), Judd Nelson, Anthony Michael Hall, Andrew McCarthy, and Ally Sheedy.
Richard Schiff has been married to his wife, actress Sheila Kelly, for 17 years. They have 2 children.
Martin Sheen (President Josiah Bartlet) is very active in politics and has played a number of political characters. He also has been involved in quite a number of protests, including one at California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base. In addition, he has been involved in a protest every single year since 1998, regarding the School of the Americas. He is a very strong advocate for its closing. All in all, Sheen has been arrested for his participation in different protests more than 70 times.
Joshua Malina graduated from Yale University.
Alan Alda’s (Arnold Vinick) name at birth was Alphonso Joseph D’Abruzzo.
Jimmy Smits (Matt Santos) and actress Wanda De Jesus have been living together for the past 27 years.
Kristin Chenoweth became only the third musical performer in history, to have a solo performance at New York City’s Metropolitan Opera in January of 2007.
To this day, the set for the pilot and the series of The West Wing were the largest ever constructed. At one point it was even housed on two stages due to its size. Later however, it was moved to a larger stage and put together where it remains today.
Janel Moloney had a son on Valentine’s Day 2010.
Bradley Whitford (Josh Lyman) attended Wesleyan University and his roommate while there was actually the younger brother of Richard Schiff. Schiff of course was one of Whitford’s co-stars on The West Wing.
Allison Janney (C.J. Cregg) and former co-star on The West Wing, Janel Moloney (Donna Moss) live
across the street from each other.
When Stockard Channing acted in the film “Grease” as high school teenager Betty Rizzo, she was actually 33 years old.
When Alan Alda was a child, he suffered from a severe case of polio. It was so bad, that when it was at its worst he could only move his left arm. He was actually treated by the Australian polio expert, Nurse Sister Kenny.
Martin Sheen gave Carroll O’Connor credit publicly, for his assistance in helping his son, Charlie, to get off of drugs. At O’Connor’s funeral, Martin Sheen read one of the scriptures.
In the mid 1980’s Rob Lowe had a problem with drugs and alcohol, leading to a scandal involving a minor and a very explicit sexual videotape. After he did community service for the matter, he then got help for his problems. He is now clean and sober and has been for more than two decades.
Dule Hill’s acting mentor is his co-star on The West Wing, Martin Sheen.
Joshua Malina while in Aaron Sorkin’s (The West Wing’s creator/writer) movie “A Few Good Men”, was with him (and the rest of the bowling team they were members of) one night. Sorkin was trying to entertain the team and started choking on a hamburger and though Malina had no idea how, he started trying to do the Heimlich maneuver on him. He managed to dislodge the burger but broke three of Sorkin’s ribs as well.
Due to his left arm being crushed with forceps during his birth, Martin Sheen’s left arm is 3″ shorter than his right. He also has limited lateral movement in that arm. And because of this, he can only put on his jacket by flipping it over his head (like Bartlet does in The West Wing).
This series was developed after the enormous success of the movie “The American President” which was written by Aaron Sorkin. After the movie came out, between a suggestion from Akiva Goldsman (a film and television, writer, director and producer) as well as some of the unused plot elements from the film, Sorkin then came up with The West Wing.
When Martin Sheen’s father died, he was unable to attend the funeral due to work constraints. His death occurred right before the premiere of “Blind Ambition” in 1979. As a way to mourn his father without actually being there, Sheen used the scene where John Dean cries in his jail cell as an alternative.
Moira Kelly spent more than two months training to figure skate, for her role as Kate Moseley in the movie “The Cutting Edge”. Her co-star in the movie, D.B. Sweeney, did the same and they became very close during this time. They are still close friends today.
Alan Alda is the first person to ever win Emmy awards for acting, directing and writing. All three were done on the M*A*S*H series.
In its first season, The West Wing won a record nine Emmy awards. This was the most awards won for any season of a television series. By its last Emmy appearance, the show had received a total of 26 Emmy awards which was the most in television history for a drama series. Tying only with the popular series, “Hill Street Blues”.
Leo McGarry tells a story on the show about Andrew Jackson, called “Big Block of Cheese” story. It is actually true.
Rob Lowe has been married for 22 years and has 2 children.
Originally, the character of President Josiah Bartlet was only scheduled to be on four episodes a season, but after seeing Sheen in the part, this was changed.
Janel Moloney’s first ever nude scene was in the series “Brotherhood”. She was 38 years old.
While attending Kenyon College, Allison Janney was in a play there that was being directed by Paul Newman. Afterward, both Newman and his wife, Joanne Woodward, encouraged her to go to New York City and continue to study acting.
Martin Sheen knows and can sing every Frank Sinatra song by heart.
When Warner Bros. have studio tours, apparently the groups are not allowed inside the sound stages where the series is filmed. The reason given for this is that the set is so realistic that it would cause security concerns for the White House.
Rob Lowe was one of the actors considered for the part of Derek Shepherd on “Grey’s Anatomy”.
John Spencer was a self-described liberal. One of his heroes was former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Joshua Malina, who is an ardent poker player, came in 6th place in the LA Poker Classic at Commerce Casino’s first event in 2008. He did this out of a group of more than 1,100 players and won over $11,000.
Bradley Whitford was married to actress Jane Kaczmarek before their divorce in 2010 and have 3 children together.
While serving in the U.S. Army, Alan Alda went AWOL every weekend. The reason for this was that he was dating a certain woman, whom he eventually married. His wife, Arlene.
Kristin Chenoweth created an organization called, “Maddie’s Corner” to honor the bond between people and their animals, as well as help when required.
Martin Sheen is the only actor to have played both Kennedy brothers. Robert F. Kennedy in “The Missiles of October”, and John F. Kennedy in “Kennedy”, the mini-series.
Mary McCormack is the older sister of Will McCormack, also an actor.
Stockard Channing has been married as well as divorced, a total of four times. However, she has been in a relationship with Daniel Gillham (a cinematographer) for over 20 years. She has no children.
Rob Lowe told USA Today that he went grey at the age of 24.
In the third season of the series, a documentary special was done on the show, comparing the show’s depiction of the West Wing to what it is really like. Many former residents of the West Wing praised the show’s likeness to the real one. Some of these people included former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, as well as Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and others.
While filming “Apocalypse Now” in 1979, Martin Sheen had a severe heart attack.
Jimmy Smits turned down a role on NYPD Blue in 1993 to play a character named Flinn. A year later, David Caruso left the series and Smits took over his role on the show. The character’s name that Caruso had been playing was Det. John Kelly, who had originally been Flinn, before they re-named him.
Bradley Whitford and ex-wife Jane Kaczmarek founded the charity “Clothes off our Back” in 2002.
In 2003, Alan Alda had to have emergency surgery in Chile. When the surgeon tried to explain it to him in layman’s terms, Alda maintained that he knew exactly what it was and proceeded to tell him its name. When a very surprised surgeon asked him how he knew that, Alda simply said that he had had to do the procedure on M*A*S*H many times.
The late John Spencer (Leo McGarry), one of Martin Sheen‘s former co-stars on The West Wing, is also whom Sheen considers to be his best friend. The two shared not only an addiction to drugs and alcohol, but also a recovery from them.