Ron Silver, the award-winning actor who became an outspoken supporter of George W. Bush late in his career, died yesterday of esophageal cancer at age 62. As the Los Angeles Times writes, Silver won a Tony for his role in David Mamet's play Speed-the-Plow and won acclaim as campaign strategist Bruno Gianelli on The West Wing. He also served as president of Actor's Equity, the profession's labor union, throughout the 1990s.
Silver campaigned for Bill Clinton and was a vocal advocated for liberal causes such as gay rights and stem cell research—but after 9/11, he became a staunch Republican and even spoke at the GOP convention in 2004. Silver said that his support for Bush may have cost him some roles in Hollywood, but "in this business, there are a million different reasons people don't want to work with you."