Known best for his roles as Donald Anspaugh and Barry Goodwin on the respective NBC series ER and The West Wing, Aylward is also notable for his guest appearances on the shows Without a Trace, Judging Amy, and The X-Files.
After graduating from the University of Washington's Professional Actor Training Program, he became a founding member of the Empty Space Theatre in Seattle, Washington, and a regular performer with the Seattle Repertory Theatre.
He played Father Maley in a 2004 episode of Nip/Tuck.
He was born and raised in Seattle, Washington.
In the early 2000s, he appeared in several episodes of the Jennifer Garner series Alias.