James Rebhorn

James Rebhorn

Rebhorn at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival
Born James Robert Rebhorn
(1948-09-01)September 1, 1948
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died March 21, 2014(2014-03-21) (aged 65)
South Orange, New Jersey, United States
Alma mater Wittenberg University
Columbia University
Occupation Actor
Years active 1976–2014
Spouse(s) Rebecca Fulton Linn (?-2014; his death; 2 daughters)

James Robert Rebhorn (September 1, 1948 – March 21, 2014) was an American character actor who appeared in over 100 films, television series, and plays. At the time of his death, he had recurring roles in the current series White Collar and Homeland. He also appeared in films such as Scent of a Woman, Carlito's Way, Independence Day, My Cousin Vinny, and Meet the Parents.

Early and personal life

Rebhorn was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Ardell Frances (née Hoch) and James Harry Rebhorn, an industrial engineer and salesman.[1][2][3] He was of German descent. Rebhorn moved to Anderson, Indiana, as a child and graduated from Madison Heights High School. A devout Lutheran,[4][5] he attended Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, where he studied political science. While there, he was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. Richard S. Huffman was one of his instructors and directed him in a lead role in Aristophanes' Lysistrata as well as Molière's Tricks of Scapin. After graduating in 1970, Rebhorn moved to New York City, where he earned a Master of Fine Arts in acting from Columbia University's School of the Arts, and joined the metropolitan theater scene.

Rebhorn was married to Rebecca Linn and was the father of two daughters.[6]


An early performance was in Butterflies are Free at the Peterborough Players in New Hampshire in 1974. Rebhorn played Peter Latham in Forty Carats at the GasLight Dinner Theatre in Salt Lake City in the 1970s. He was known both for portraying WASP stereotypes, lawyers, politicians, doctors, and military men, as well as portraying individuals with criminal behavior. He has delivered equally notable performances in a variety of other roles, including that of a brutal serial killer on NBC's Law & Order (he would later return to the show in the recurring role of defense attorney Charles Garnett), Ellard Muscatine in Lorenzo's Oil (1992), Fred Waters in Blank Check (1994), Clyde Frost, the father of famed bullrider Lane Frost, in 8 Seconds (1994), Lt. Tyler in White Squall (1996), and a shipping magnate in The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999). One of his best known performances came in the popular 1996 film Independence Day, where he played Secretary of Defense Albert Nimzicki. He acted in Scent of a Woman (1992), and also played an expert witness in My Cousin Vinny (1992). He appeared in Carlito's Way the following year. Rebhorn also played an FBI Agent in the 1994 film Guarding Tess.

Rebhorn played several roles on television, including an abusive stepfather, Bradley Raines, on the soap opera Guiding Light from 1983 to 1985, and an abusive father, Henry Lange, on sister soap As the World Turns from 1988 to 1991. An earlier daytime role was as John Brady in Texas from 1981 to 1982. Also in 1991 he played the role of 'Ezra' in the TV movie/pilot Plymouth. Another performance was a cameo in Madonna's video for her single "Bad Girl" along with Christopher Walken (1993). In 1994 he appeared in an episode of the Nickelodeon series The Adventures of Pete & Pete titled "Farewell, My Little Viking" as Mr. McFlemp. In 1998, he played the District Attorney in the two-part series finale of Seinfeld. He also appeared in supporting roles in Regarding Henry, The Game, The Talented Mr. Ripley and Meet the Parents. In 2004, he appeared in the TV miniseries Reversible Errors. His role in the short-lived and controversial NBC drama The Book of Daniel cast him as the father of the title character. More recently, he appeared in the Showtime series Homeland as Carrie Mathison's father.

Rebhorn also appeared as a judge in Baby Mama. In the 2009 movie The Box, Rebhorn portrayed a NASA scientist. He had recurring roles on the USA series White Collar as Special Agent Reese Hughes, and also as Frank Mathison, the father of the protagonist Carrie Mathison, on Homeland. Rebhorn co-starred in the Comedy Central sitcom Big Lake in 2010. He played Max Kenton's uncle in the 2011 movie Real Steel. He starred as Oren in the miniseries Coma. Rebhorn starred as Gary Pandamiglio in the 2012 Mike Birbiglia comedy Sleepwalk with Me. In 2012 he also played the role of Archbishop McGovern in "Leap of Faith"[7] the 13th episode of the 2nd season of the CBS police procedural drama Blue Bloods. He co-starred in the 2013 romantic comedy The Perfect Wedding. His stage career included seven Broadway productions, as well as numerous appearances with New York City's Roundabout Theatre Company.[8]


Rebhorn lived in South Orange, New Jersey. On March 21, 2014, he died aged 65 at his home (where he had been receiving hospice care of melanoma diagnosed in 1992). [9] [8][10] The season 4 finale of Homeland was dedicated to him.[11] Rebhorn penned his own obituary.[12]


  1. "James Rebhorn Biography". TV Guide. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
  2. "James Harry Rebhorn (1923 - 2008)". Findagrave.com. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
  3. "ARDELL F. (Hoch) REBHORN Obituary". Legacy.com. April 22, 2011. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
  4. "Veteran Actor Shines" (PDF). Cross & Crescent. Lambda Chi Alpha. June 2007.
  5. "In memory of Jim Rebhorn". Jersey City, NJ: St Paul Lutheran Church. March 24, 2014. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
  6. "James Rebhorn dead: Homeland and Scent of a Woman actor dies of skin cancer, aged 65". The Independent. Retrieved March 25, 2014.
  7. Kris Wolf (February 10, 2012). ""Blue Bloods" Leap of Faith (TV Episode 2012)". IMDb.
  8. 1 2 Hayden, Erik; Barnes, Mike (March 23, 2014). "'Homeland' Actor James Rebhorn Dead at 65". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
  9. "James Rebhorn dead: Homeland and Scent of a Woman actor dies of skin cancer, aged 65". The Independent. March 24, 2014. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
  10. "James and Rebecca Rebhorn". Daily E News. March 23, 2014. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
  11. "For 'Homeland' finale, a change of pace". BostonGlobe.com. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
  12. "Every Man Can Learn From This Actor's Self-Written Obituary". Made Man. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
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