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Gregory Itzin Dies: Actor Who Played ‘24’ President Charles Logan Was 74

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Gregory Itzin, who played the U.S. president in Fox’s hit series 24, died today due to complications during an emergency surgery. He was 74.

His death was announced by his son, the actor Wilke Itzin.

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According to a family statement, Itzin suffered a major heart attack while onstage performing Shakespeare, as Falstaff, in 2015, and “came back only to continue to thrive in theatre, film and tv.”

“It is with an incredibly heavy heart to announce that my father Gregory Martin Itzin has passed on,” Wilke Itzin wrote on Instagram. (See the full post below).

Gregory Itzin - Credit: Wilke Itzin
Gregory Itzin - Credit: Wilke Itzin

Wilke Itzin

“My friend Greg Itzin passed away today,” Jon Cassar, producer and director of 24, wrote on Twitter. “He was one of the most talented actors I had the honor to work with but more than that he was an all around great guy. He’ll be missed by his 24 family who had nothing but love & respect for him. You made your mark, now Rest in Peace friend.”

Itzin, who was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance in 1993’s The Kentucky Cycle, joined the cast of 24 during the series’ fourth season in 2005. Initially a recurring role as Vice President Charles Logan, Itzin returned the following season as President and became one of the show’s central figures.

He was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his performance.

Itzin, a Washington D.C. native who later moved to San Francisco and trained at the American Conservatory Theatre, began his TV career in the 1980s in small roles on such series as Mork & Mindy, Charlie’s Angels, Fame, Dallas, Hill Street Blues, Lou Grant and many others while also taking similar film roles in movies including Airplane!, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and The Fabulous Baker Boys.

In 1989 he landed a series regular role on the short-lived Mel Brooks-Alan Spencer sitcom The Nutt House starring Cloris Leachman and Harvey Korman. He maintained a prolific television career throughout the ’90s, appearing in, among many others, Matlock, Major Dad, Quantum Leap, L.A. Law, Picket Fences, Something Wilder, ER, and, in 1995, Murder One, on which he played Distract Attorney Roger Garfield.

In the 2000s, Itzin had roles on Profiler, Bull, Strip Mall, The Practice, Friends, Judging Amy and in three Star Trek series (Deep Space Nine, Enterprise and Voyager).

His signature role came in 2005 with with his casting as the vice president on 24, starring Kiefer Sutherland and, the following season, as the president. He would remain with the series through its conclusion in 2010.

After 24, Itzin played the recurring characters on Big Love, The Mentalist, Covert Affairs, Mob City and, most recently, NCIS.

On the film side, Itzin appeared as Judge John A. Campbell in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln (2012), as well as roles in The Change-Up, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and The Ides of March. 

Itzin also maintained a busy stage career with many performances at such theaters as the Mark Taper Forum, the Kennedy Center, the Antaeus Theatre Company, and the Matrix Theatre Company.

On Broadway, he was Tony-nominated as best actor in a feature role in a play for 1993’s The Kentucky Cycle. He returned to Broadway in 2010 as Kenneth Lay in Enron.

“My dad was known in the world as a phenomenal actor with a body of work that would trump most famous actors resumes,” wrote son Wilke. “He’s been on everything from Airplane, Friends, Star Trek deep space nine, Mork and Mindy and of course the infamous president on 24 and so much more. But what many people truly knew him for was his incredible performances on the stage. I remember watching him in the one man show Shipwrecked by Donald Margulies and being blown away, in awe that the man on stage was my dad. He was in love with the theater, and even on his dying breath he could recite Shakespeare like he made the words up himself.”

Itzin is survived by wife of 43 years Judie, son Wilke, daughter Julia and grandson Wylder Gregory. According to the family statement, he spent his final days in the midwest with his sister Pamela and niece and nephew, Deidre and Aaron, and great niece and nephew, Claire and Cole, along with his son and grandson.

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