It was a sad case of life imitating art for Homeland star James Rebhorn when the cancer-stricken star decided to write his own obituary, just like a character in his final play.
Scroll down to read James’ obituary in full.
James was playing a man with Alzheimer’s disease in Too Much, Too Much, Too Many, at New York’s Roundabout Underground’s Black Box Theater. The play included a woman who didn’t care for the typical newspaper obits she encountered, so created her own.
This inspired 65-year-old James to do the same, his agent Dianne Busch told The Hollywood Reporter.
The star, who died on Friday after a long battle with skin cancer, referred to himself as “a lucky man in every way” in the touching text, which focused mainly on his family.
He only mention of his acting career came at the end. He wrote: “Jim was fortunate enough to earn his living doing what he loved. He was a professional actor.
“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.”
James was most recently known for his role as Frank Mathison – the father of Clare Danes‘ character Carrie Mathison in spy series Homeland.
His other notable roles include parts in Cold Mountain, Meet the Parents, and TV jobs including Seinfeld and The Good Wife.
He appeared with Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman and played Secretary of Defence Albert Nimziki in Independence Day.
James Rebhorn’s obituary in full
“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.”