Actor James Rebhorn, who appeared in over 50 films and countless television roles on shows like Law & Order, Seinfeld and most recently, Homeland, has died at the age of 65. Although Rebhorn had one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood, most people probably would not have known his name if asked. His illustrious career spanned five decades and included roles in movies such as Independence Day, Carlito’s Way, Basic Instinct, Scent of a Woman and My Cousin Vinny. But the two roles that most stand out for me are The Game and Meet The Parents. His role in Meet The Parents demonstrated his comedic talent and versatility as he mocked Ben Stiller. Although it was not a large role, he made the most of it.
Rebhorn was born on September 1, 1948 in Philadelphia and originally thought about becoming an ordained minister but instead opted for a degree in political science and theater at Wittenberg University in Ohio. He then moved to New York where he received a Master’s in Fine Arts Degree from Columbia University. He began his career in Theater and television commercials and then branched out into films and television.
It’s important not to let the cause of his death by melanoma as reported by his agent, Dianne Busch go unnoticed. Melanoma is a very treatable cancer, if caught early. Yearly screenings should be conducted by a dermatologist, particularly on anyone who spends any time outdoors. Everyone should use a sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or 45. The American Cancer Society estimates that “in 2014, there will be 76,100 new cases of melanoma and 9,710 deaths.” As the planet heats up, the number of cases are expected to rise. Early detection, as is the case with all cancers, is the first, best defense in the fight against this ever more common cancer. Rebhorn is survived by his wife and two daughters.