James Rebhorn, Homeland Actor, Wrote His Own Obituary Before Death: Read It Now

Celebrity News Mar. 25, 2014 AT 9:30AM
James Rebhorn at the BAMcinemaFest 2012 opening night on June 20, 2012 Credit: Robin Marchant/Getty Images

James Rebhorn, in his own words. As previously reported, the respected actor of TV and screen -- with nearly four decades of screen credits to his name, including a recent role as Carrie Mathison's father on Homeland -- lost a long battle with melanoma this past weekend. Sixty-five years old at the time of his death, Rebhorn is survived by wife Becky and his daughters Hannah and Emma as well as sister Janice Galbraith.

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While the Scent of a Woman standout has been the subject of moving tributes from fans, critics and costars since news of his passing broke on Sunday, it turns out that Redhorn wrote his own obituary some time during his final days.

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The full piece was first posted on the website for St. Paul Lutheran Church in Jersey City, NJ, of which he was a longtime member. Remembering his late parents, Rebhorn writes, "They gave him his faith and wisely encouraged him to stay in touch with God." In a tribute to his wife and daughters, he writes, "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."

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"His children made him immensely proud," the piece continues. "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."

"Jim was fortunate enough to earn his living doing what he loved," he concluded.  "He was a lucky man in every way."

Read the full, moving obituary 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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