‘Homeland’ Actor James Rebhorn Dies at 65

Actor James Rebhorn, seen most recently in turns on “White Collar” and as the father of Claire Danes’ character Carrie Mathison on “Homeland,” died Friday of melanoma. He was 65.

Actress Frances Fisher, who appears on ABC’s “Resurrection,” tweeted the news very early Sunday morning.

Along with his supporting role on the Showtime CIA hit, he recently played Special Agent Reese Hughes on USA Network’s “White Collar.” He has a special place in “Seinfeld” history as well, having played the district attorney who sent the gang to jail in the 1998 series finale.

The character actor appeared in several big screen hits, including “Meet the Parents,” (2000) “Scent of a Woman” (1992) and “Independence Day,” (1996) where he had a memorable role as the Secretary of Defense. Other notable credits include “The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle,” (2000) David’s Fincher’s “The Game” (1997) and comedy “My Cousin Vinny.” (1992)

Rebhorn’s vast television career includes stints on several law and crime shows, including “The Practice,” “Third Watch,” “Law & Order” and “Boston Legal.” The Philadelphia native also appeared on “30 Rock,” “Enlightened,” “Katie & Allie” and “The Equalizer.”

Off-screen, Rebhorn had a large theater presence, especially at the Roundabout Theatre Company. Recently, he starred in “Too Much, Too Much, Too Many.” In 1985, he appeared in the original stage production of “I’m Not Rappaport” and was in revivals including “Our Town” and “12 Angry Men.”

Updated on 03/26/13, 2:42 PM: James Rebhorn’s self-written obituary appeared on the St. Paul Lutheran Church website Monday. The full obit is below.

James Robert Rebhorn was born on Sept. 1, 1948, in Philadelphia, PA. His mother, Ardell Frances Rebhorn, nee Hoch, loved him very much and supported all his dreams. She taught him the value of good manners and courtesy, and that hospitality is no small thing. His father, James Harry Rebhorn, was no less devoted to him. From him, Jim learned that there is no excuse for poor craftsmanship. A job well done rarely takes more or less time than a job poorly done. They gave him his faith and wisely encouraged him to stay in touch with God.

He is survived by his sister, Janice Barbara Galbraith, of Myrtle Beach, SC. She was his friend, his confidant, and, more often than either of them would like to admit, his bridge over troubled waters.

He is also survived by his wife, Rebecca Fulton Linn, and his two daughters, Emma Rebecca Rebhorn and Hannah Linn Rebhorn. They anchored his life and gave him the freedom to live it. Without them, always at the center of his being, his life would have been little more than a vapor. Rebecca loved him with all his flaws, and in her the concept of ceaseless love could find no better example.

His children made him immensely proud. Their dedication to improving our species and making the world a better place gave him hope for the future. They deal with grief differently, and they should each manage it as they see fit. He hopes, however, that they will grieve his passing only as long as necessary. They have much good work to do, and they should get busy doing it. Time is flying by. His son-in-law, Ben, also survives him. Jim loved Ben, who was as a son to Jim, especially through these last months.

His aunts Jean, Dorothy and Florence, numerous cousins and their families, and many devoted friends also survive Jim. He loved them all, and he knows they loved him.

Jim received his BA at Wittenberg University and his MFA at Columbia. He was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Nu Zeta 624, a life-long Lutheran, and a longtime member of both the AMC and ACLU.

Jim was fortunate enough to earn his living doing what he loved. He was a professional actor. His unions were always there for him, and he will remain forever grateful for the benefits he gained as a result of the union struggle. Without his exceptional teachers and the representation of the best agents in the business, he wouldn’t have had much of a career. He was a lucky man in every way.

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  1. vanboy says:

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  3. obamia says:

    I vividly recall james in the andromeda strain …a nail-biter of movie…

  4. deadre says:

    He has always been at the top of my list of character actors, the ones we notice and love and bring so much. He will be missed.

  5. Chelsea says:

    RIP :(

  6. therealeverton says:


  7. Mary Jo Slater says:

    He was one of my heroes and a life long friend. I can’t imagine not seeing him in life and on the screen. He was such a kind and special person. My heart is breaking. My thoughts and prayers go to his beautiful family. Mary Jo Slater

  8. E Cheung says:

    He was wonderful as the Headmaster and punctilious grammarian in “Scent of a Woman.”

  9. Beat Me Up says:

    He looks about 80 in that picture. Surely they could have found a more complimentary one.

  10. Richard Mugg says:

    We recall him from a recurring role in The Guiding Light many years ago as Beth’s not so kind father.

    • Peas and Tanks says:

      Yes! Bradley Raines. It was a brave role to portray at a time when the subject matter of rape and incest were rarely discussed. He brought depth and humanity to what could easily have been a caricature. A performance worthy of an Emmy. I was always so happy whenever I saw him in any role. A wonderful, wonderful actor. May he rest in peace.

  11. 1favored says:

    A life lesson…Don’t waste a dime of life. Spend it wisely. May Mr. James Rebhorn rest in peace, and may those who love(d) him find comfort in knowing they were blessed to have known him as family and friend.

  12. Robyn Goodman says:

    James Rebhorn was all talent and class. He will be deeply missed.

  13. john says:

    I will miss this great actor , A showman and a man who was so underated . Thank-You For All Your Work And Passion You left Behind . When Actors pass away from my time it takes a part of me as well , I have a great respect for for there craft and knowing how hard there work is . I grew up on movies and tv for most of my life and no matter how bad my day was , it was the Actors who would put these great stories on the screen and on the stage. So Take a bow James Rebhorn This life performance has us all on our feet . The End.

    • Smooth says:

      I don’t think he was underrated, you knew who he was didn’t you. If anyone is underrated it’s you, because we don’t know who you are. Besides, underrated is spelled with double RR’s. Such a stupid comment. RIP Jim, and thanks for everything.

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  15. PETER says:

    I’ve seen him in so many movies and TV shows for so long. He was still young.

  16. Chris says:

    Great guy. Underrated actor. The kind of pro that makes me proud to be part of the profession.

    Condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.

  17. Davyjc says:

    He was amazing in The Talented Mr. Ripley. What a great character actor. He will be missed. Rest in Peace!

  18. Bill says:

    So sad.

    To me he’ll always be the C.R.S sales rep in David Fincher’s “The Game.”

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