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‘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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