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James Rebhorn
Rebhorn at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival
James Robert Rebhorn

(1948-09-01)September 1, 1948
DiedMarch 21, 2014(2014-03-21) (aged 65)
EducationWittenberg University (BA)
Columbia University (MFA)
Years active1976–2013
Rebecca Fulton Linn
(m. 1969)

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 series White Collar and Homeland. He also appeared in films such as Scent of a Woman, The Game, Carlito's Way, Independence Day, My Cousin Vinny, and Meet the Parents.

Early 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] He was of German descent. Rebhorn moved to Anderson, Indiana, as a child and graduated from Madison Heights High School in 1966. A devout Lutheran,[3][4] 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,[5] and joined the metropolitan theater scene.


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 engaged in or responsible for criminal behavior.

He 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 was in the popular 1996 film Independence Day, where he played Secretary of Defense Albert Nimzicki. He acted in Scent of a Woman (1992), and played an expert witness in My Cousin Vinny (1992). He appeared in Carlito's Way as an obsessed district attorney the following year. Rebhorn 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 1991, he played the role of Ezra in the television movie/pilot Plymouth. He cameoed 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 appeared in supporting roles in Regarding Henry, The Game, The Talented Mr. Ripley and Meet the Parents. In 2003, he appeared in the Chris Rock film Head of State, as Democratic Senator Bill Arnot. In 2004, he appeared in the television 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. From 2009 to 2013, Rebhorn played the recurring role of Reese Hughes, the FBI white-collar division chief, on White Collar.

Starting in 2011, Rebhorn appeared in the Showtime series Homeland as Frank Mathison, father of the series' main character Carrie Mathison, played by Claire Danes. His character suffered from bipolar disorder like Danes's character did. However, Frank had been able to get it under control and became quite functional on a daily basis with the correct dosing of medications, and would often encourage Carrie to do the same. Rebhorn's death in 2014 meant his character died in the show as well. The season 4 finale of Homeland was dedicated to him.[6]

In 2004 he appeared on Broadway as Juror 4 in the Roundabout Theatre Company production of Twelve Angry Men at the American Airlines Theatre.

Rebhorn appeared as a judge in Baby Mama. In the movie The Box, Rebhorn portrayed a NASA scientist. He had a recurring role on the series White Collar as Special Agent Reese Hughes. Rebhorn co-starred in the Comedy Central sitcom Big Lake in 2010. He played Max Kenton's uncle in the movie Real Steel in 2011. 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 played the role of Archbishop McGovern in "Leap of Faith",[7] the 13th episode of the second season of the CBS police procedural drama Blue Bloods. He co-starred in the romantic comedy The Perfect Wedding in 2013. His stage career included seven Broadway productions, as well as numerous appearances with New York City's Roundabout Theatre Company.[8]

Personal life

Rebhorn was married to Rebecca Linn and was the father of two daughters.[9]


Rebhorn died at his home in South Orange, New Jersey on March 21, 2014, as a result of melanoma, which he had been battling since 1992.[9][8][10] Rebhorn wrote his own obituary.[11]



Year Title Role Notes
1976 The Yum Yum Girls Casting Director
1980 He Knows You're Alone Professor Carl Mason
1982 Soup for One Lawyer
1983 Silkwood Los Alamos Doctor
1985 Cat's Eye Drunk Businessman
1986 Whatever It Takes Michael Manion
1988 The House on Carroll Street The Official
1988 Heart of Midnight Richard
1990 Desperate Hours Prosecutor
1991 Regarding Henry Dr. Sultan
1991 Shadows and Fog Hacker's Vigilante #1
1992 My Cousin Vinny George Wilbur
1992 Basic Instinct Dr. McElwaine
1992 White Sands FBI Agent Flynn
1992 Wind George
1992 Scent of a Woman Mr. Trask
1992 Lorenzo's Oil Ellard Muscatine
1993 Carlito's Way Bill Norwalk
1994 Blank Check Fred Waters
1994 8 Seconds Clyde Frost
1994 Guarding Tess Howard Schaeffer
1994 I Love Trouble Mando, The Thin Man
1996 White Squall Tyler
1996 Up Close & Personal John Merino
1996 If Lucy Fell Simon Ackerman
1996 Independence Day Albert Nimziki
1996 My Fellow Americans Charlie Reynolds
1997 The Game Jim Feingold
1998 All of It Bill Holbeck
1999 Snow Falling on Cedars Alvin Hooks
1999 The Talented Mr. Ripley Herbert Greenleaf
2000 The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle President Signoff
2000 Meet the Parents Dr. Larry Banks
2001 Scotland, PA Norm Duncan
2001 Last Ball Mr. Corcoran
2002 The Adventures of Pluto Nash Belcher
2002 Far from Heaven Dr. Bowman
2003 The Trade John Torman
2003 Head of State Senator Bill Arnot
2003 Vacuums Dirk Bentley
2003 Cold Mountain Doctor
2004 The Last Shot Abe White
2006 How to Eat Fried Worms Principal Nelson Burdock
2006 Bernard and Doris Waldo Taft
2007 Spinning into Butter President Winston Garvey
2007 Anamorph Chief Lewellyn Brainard
2008 Baby Mama Judge
2008 An American Affair Lucian Carver
2009 The International New York D.A.
2009 Don McKay Dr. Lance Pryce
2009 The Box Norm Cahill
2010 A Little Help Dr. Bronstein
2010 The Sparrow and the Tigress Ernest
2011 The Line The Man Short
2011 Real Steel Marvin
2012 Sleepwalk with Me Frank
2012 The Odd Life of Timothy Green Joseph Crudstaff
2012 The Perfect Wedding Richard Fowler
2013 Before I Sleep Priest Final film role


Year Title Role Notes
1977 The Doctors Tom Carroll
1982 Will: G. Gordon Liddy Peter Maroulis Television film
1981–1982 Texas John Recurring cast member
1983 Sessions Harry Television film
1983–1985/1989 Guiding Light Bradley Raines Cast member
1984 He's Fired, She's Hired Man on Phone Television film
1985 ABC Weekend Special Charlie Riley Episode: "The Adventures of Con Sawyer and Hucklemary Finn"
1985 North and South Major Anderson Episode: "Episode Six"
1985 Kane and Abel Federal Prosecutor Episode: "Episode Two"
1985–1986 Search for Tomorrow Al Miller
1985–1986 Kate & Allie Derek 2 episodes
1985–1987 Spenser: For Hire Father Hoyt / Paul Manning 2 episodes
1986 Rockabye Arthur Reardon Television film
1986 A Deadly Business Corbett Television film
1986–1988 The Equalizer Gant / Eric 2 episodes
1987 Kojak: The Price of Justice Quibro Television film
1989 Great Performances Dr. Gibbs Episode: "Our Town"
1989 Kojak: Fatal Flaw Slusher Television film
1989 ABC Afterschool Special Dan Jensen Episode: "A Town's Revenge"
1989 Kojak: Ariana Slusher Television film
1990 H.E.L.P. Perry Episode: "Fire Down Below"
1990 Against the Law Mayor Episode: "We, the Jury"
1990 Wiseguy Agent White 3 episodes
1990 Everyday Heroes Jim Television film
1990 As the World Turns Angus Oliver / Henry Lange 3 episodes
1991 Sarah, Plain and Tall William Wheaton Television film
1991 Plymouth Ezra Television film
1991 Dead and Alive: The Race for Gus Farace Timothy Lanigan Television film
1992 I'll Fly Away Roger Thorne Episode: "The Slightest Distance"
1992 Deadly Matrimony Lieutenant Lloyd Butler Television film
1992–2008 Law & Order Charles Garnett / Dr. Horace Garrison / Albert Lawrence Cheney 7 episodes
1993 JFK: Reckless Youth St. John 2 episodes
1993 Skylark William Wheaton Television film
1994 The Adventures of Pete & Pete John McFlemp 2 episodes
1995 The Buccaneers Mr. Closson Episode: "Invasion"
1995 The Wright Verdicts Will Garrett Episode: "Special Prosecutor"
1996 Mistrial Mayor Taylor Television film
1997 New York Undercover Tuckett Episode: "The Promised Land"
1998 From the Earth to the Moon Harrison Storms Episode: "Apollo One"
1998 Seinfeld District Attorney Hoyt Episode: "The Finale"
1998 A Bright Shining Lie Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker Television film
1999–2002 Third Watch Captain Elchisak 6 episodes
2000 Now and Again General Frederick Augustus Irving 2 episodes
2000 Hopewell John Melville Television film
2001 Amy & Isabelle Avery Clark Television film
2001 The Practice Attorney John Rapherson 2 episodes
2001 UC: Undercover Deputy Warden Richard Petrocelli Episode: "The Siege"
2003 Hack Richard Farrell 2 episodes
2004 Reversible Errors Erno Erdai Television film
2006 Waterfront Thomas Porter 2 episodes
2006 The Book of Daniel Bertram Webster 6 episodes
2006 Candles on Bay Street Farmer Frieden Television film
2007 The Knights of Prosperity Harrison Plunk Episode: "Operation: Rent Money"
2008 Comanche Moon Gov. Elisha Pease Miniseries
2008 Canterbury's Law Dr. Allen Petch Episode: "Baggage"
2008 Boston Legal Wade Mathis 2 episodes
2009 Royal Pains Will Episode: "No Man Is an Island"
2009–2013 White Collar Reese Hughes 16 episodes
2010 30 Rock Dr. Kaplan 2 episodes
2010 Big Lake Carl Franklin 10 episodes
2011–2013 Homeland Frank Mathison 8 episodes
2012 Blue Bloods Archbishop McGovern Episode: "Leap of Faith"
2012 Coma Oren Miniseries
2012 Made in Jersey Judge Hudnut Episode: "Ridgewell"
2013 The Good Wife Wilkes Ingersol Episode: "Boom De Yah Da"
2013 Enlightened Charles Szidon 4 episodes


  1. ^ "James Rebhorn Biography". TV Guide. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
  2. ^ "ARDELL F. (Hoch) REBHORN Obituary". April 22, 2011. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
  3. ^ "Veteran Actor Shines" (PDF). Cross & Crescent. Lambda Chi Alpha. June 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 24, 2014.
  4. ^ "In memory of Jim Rebhorn". Jersey City, NJ: St Paul Lutheran Church. March 24, 2014. Archived from the original on July 29, 2014. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
  5. ^ "30 Movie and TV Stars who Graduated from Columbia". Columbia Magazine. Retrieved October 2, 2021.
  6. ^ "For 'Homeland' finale, a change of pace". Boston Globe. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
  7. ^ Kris Wolf (February 10, 2012). ""Blue Bloods" Leap of Faith (TV Episode 2012)". IMDb.
  8. ^ a b Hayden, Erik; Barnes, Mike (March 23, 2014). "'Homeland' Actor James Rebhorn Dead at 65". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
  9. ^ a b Shelby, Jenn (March 14, 2014). "James Rebhorn dead: Homeland and Scent of a Woman actor dies of skin cancer, aged 65". The Independent. Retrieved March 25, 2014.
  10. ^ "James and Rebecca Rebhorn". Daily E News. March 23, 2014. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
  11. ^ "Actor James Rebhorn Pens His Final Curtain Call; Read the Obit He Wrote for Himself". March 24, 2014.