James Robert Rebhorn (September 1, 1948 – March 21, 2014) was an American 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.
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. He was of German descent. Rebhorn moved to Anderson, Indiana, as a child and graduated from Madison Heights High School. A devout Lutheran, 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 married Rebecca Linn and was the father of two daughters.
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. In 1994 he played the role of supervillain John McFlemp in the episode “Farewell, My Little Viking” of the Nickelodeon series The Adventures of Pete & Pete. In 1998, he played the District Attorney in the two-part series finale of Seinfeld. He also appeared in a supporting roles in The Game, Meet the Parents, and Regarding Henry. 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’s bipolar father. Another performance was a cameo in Madonna’s video for her single “Bad Girl” along with Christopher Walken (1993).
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 recently co-starred in the Comedy Central sitcom Big Lake. 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. 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.
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.
- September, 01, 1948
- United States
- March, 21, 2014
- United States
- New Jersey