A prominent theater actor who developed into a well-known supporting player on television, Evan Handler's life and career were almost cut short when he was diagnosed with a supposedly incurable form of leukemia in 1985. But instead of succumbing to the disease, Handler drew upon his youthful exuberance and stubbornness to combat his cancer, though he faced myriad challenges that included shoddy care from health professionals in addition to an already low chance of survival. After four years of his life spent beating the disease with chemotherapy and a risky bone marrow transplant, Handler emerged with renewed vigor, establishing himself as a key performer on hit shows like "Sex and the City" (HBO, 1998-2004), "The West Wing" (NBC, 1999-2006) and "Californication" (Showtime, 2007- ). Because of his success against cancer, Handler turned into an outspoken health care advocate, writing a scathing novel, Time on Fire: My Comedy of Terrors, which savaged the treatment he received, while subsequently inspiring readers with his valiant fight. He also routinely spoke to various health care groups and wrote articles for major magazines about the poor state of medical care in the United States. Never one to fall into sentimentality, Handler proved to be an effective activist and talented performer, establishing himself as a vibrant presence both on screen and off.