West Wing is a political drama TV series set in the West Wing of the White House. It was created by Aaron Sorkin and broadcast on NBC for 7 good years (22nd September 1999 to 14th May 2006). The series assembled together a class of very fine and talented cast members from the industry. The West Wing cast and characters portrayed the numerous positions and offices involved in the day-to-day running of a federal government which comprises of the President, the First Lady and other important and highly ranked members of the Presidency.
The series is no doubt one of the greatest and most influential TV projects because of the set of talented actors and actresses portraying the various roles and characters. The series has won so many accolades which include 2 Peabody Awards, 3 Golden Globe Awards, and 26 Primetime Emmy Awards, plus 4 Outstanding Drama Series Awards. This wouldn’t have been possible without the talents assembled to project the storyline of the political drama.
Below is a list of 12 West Wing cast and characters, made up of stars who you would probably like to meet in real life because of how magnificently they portrayed their roles in the series. The list includes those who appeared in just a few episodes and yet made a tremendous impact and then those who made you wonder where the heck they were coming from.
Having said that, here is a list of 12 West Wing cast and characters ranked from best to worst.
12 West Wing Cast And Characters Ranked From Best To Worst
1. CJ Cregg (Allison Janney)
CJ Cregg is by far the best character of the West Wing series played by Allison Janney. The Press Secretary, she has the charm and no wonder she is given the press job – one that she executed so well. The press lady is a complete genius and knows how to handle tough issues lightly, for instance, when she’s bombarded with some of the biggest and hottest storylines and headlines.
She is regarded as capable, simple and compassionate and has been able to give a good representation of the white house under President Bartlet. She succeeded Leo McGarry as chief of staff and left the white house at the end of Bartlet’s administration. Take a character such as this away from the drama and a good number of audiences will be lost.
2. Joey Lucas (Marlee Martin)
Joey Lucas is another amazing character in the series played by none other than Marlee Martin. She is one of the characters that judiciously brought comedy into the series, she was so funny and yet hardly utters a word. Joey was one woman who’s not easily pushed aside or walked on by others, she made her own rules, set the ground running and have other people running after her for work. She makes a boring scene or event lively and exciting with her funny attitude. Taking her off the series meant taking away the humorous touch from the drama.
3. Josh Lyman (Bradley Whitford)
Bradley Whitford seems like he played the main character of the series. He featured in almost every storyline and of course, he had the widest playing his character. He played the character of Josh Lyman, the Deputy Chief of Staff to Leo McGarry, but he later left the White House and became a campaign manager for Santos’ presidency and would later become Chief of Staff when Santos eventually became president.
He is mostly seen as sympathetic, very caring and friendly, he cared so much about Donna Moss. Characters like Josh added so much spice to the drama series and as such, you can’t kill or replace them.
4. Charlie Young (Dule Hill)
This is another character that is seen as one of the most steady and reliable ones in the series. Played by Dule Hill, Charlie Young is a personal aide to the president, who would later become a Deputy Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff. His love for Zoe Bartlet took a weird turn when he began to stalk her. He is one of those you can rely on, always maintaining a professional aura in everything he does, and acting with restraint when things are thrown at him.
5. Abbey Bartlet (Stockard Channing)
Abbey Bartlet is one amazing character in the series played by Stockard Channing. Abbey was the wife of President Jed Bartlet and the First Lady who despite being the wife of one of the most powerful men on earth still runs her own world as a physician. She is tough and that’s why she doesn’t take shit from anybody, not even from her own her husband the president. She featured repeatedly in seasons 1-2 and regularly in seasons 3-7.
6. Amy Gardner (Mary-Louise Parker)
Amy Gardner, portrayed by Mary-Louise Parker, initially began lobbying for several feminist groups and eventually went to serve as an adviser in President Jed Bartlet’s administration. She later became the Chief of Staff to the First Lady. She’s a very determined character who always goes for what she wants (a go-getter); smart as hell, and can work in any capacity, under any circumstance. Her capability and dominant nature made her be highly preferred and considered superior to Donna Moss’ character and also seen as a much better match for Josh.
The combination of her and Josh made the first season of the series an interesting one. Their chemistry was perfect and she was the only stumbling block to the romance and relationship between Josh and Donna.
7. Donna Moss (Janel Moloney)
Janel Moloney played the role of Donna Moss, the senior assistant to Josh Lyman. She later left and became the mouthpiece (spokesperson) for Russell and Santos’ campaign. Following Santos’ election, she became the Chief of Staff to the First Lady. She is also one character that is termed as funny and caring, becoming a voice to those out there who want to know what is happening within Washington. She is in love with Josh, although the two don’t match at all. But somehow, Josh manages to complement her, because with him; her strength and weaknesses are laid open.
8. Kate Harper (Mary McCormack)
Mary McCormack played the role of Kate Harper – the Deputy National Security Adviser. She was a late addition to the series, appearing in a few episodes as a regular in seasons 6-7. It is clear that this lady just appeared out of nowhere and established her grounds. She is often seen in every meeting; however, the administration has been managing its affairs without a Deputy NSA at their back. Her sudden appearance in the series surprises people who wondered how she came in and managed to be part of the good people. This type of character is usually infused and introduced to add more fire and flair to a story and she did just well at it.
9. Annabeth Schott (Kristin Chenoweth)
Kristin portrayed Annabeth Schott – the Deputy Press Secretary. She was later appointed Press Secretary to the incoming First Lady at the end of the series. This means she was a late addition to the series, though she’s very charming, the role she played was a little off. Despite her position as a Deputy Press Secretary, she wasn’t able to face the press and brief which became a downside to her character. Aside from the gap that she filled when CJ was appointed Chief of Staff, there is little or no reason for her to feature as a regular.
10. Matthew Santos (Jimmy Smits)
Jimmy Smits played the character of Matthew Santos, he was initially a congressman who got convinced by Josh Lyman to run for the office of the president. He won the nomination and went on to win the presidential election. He featured in season 6 and 7 of the series, which automatically changes the way the series was viewed. He is one character that is seen as stubborn and has a wife that is seemingly irritating. Seeing him sworn in as the president didn’t really go down well with the entire West Wing, as well as audiences.
11. Mandy Hampton (Moira Kelly)
Moira Kelly portrays the character of Mandy Hampton, the ex-girlfriend of Josh Lyman. She was given a contract by the Bartlet administration as a media consultant, although she left without giving any explanation during season one. It is almost certain that her character was a mistake and that’s why nobody borders to question her disappearance from the series.
12. Will Bailey (Joshua Malina)
This character played by Joshua Malina was first hired as a speechwriter and later promoted to the rank of Deputy Communications Director. He later became the Chief of Staff to the Vice President and Russell’s campaign manager. At the end of the series, he became a congressman. He is perhaps one of the worst characters to have evolved from the series. He didn’t really fit into the role in which Sam Seaborn played before his character was killed and replaced.