Some might argue that he was cinema’s most prominent “That Guy”, showing up in everything from The Talented Mr. Ripley to Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day. Perhaps you remember him from Seinfeld or 30 Rock or David Fincher’s The Game. Maybe you’ve seen him in Carlito’s Way, Meet the Parents, Cold Mountain, or Law & Order. His last work was on the shows White Collar and Homeland. What I’ll remember, however, is that James Rebhorn made me laugh in Mike Birbiglia’s Sleepwalk with Me. An intensely personal film, Sleepwalk with Me showed a heartbreakingly funny relationship between a comedian and his parents. James Rebhorn played a fictionalized version of Birbiglia’s father, and the wonderful Carol Kane played the mother. These characters were crucial to the film’s narrative impact, and getting Rebhorn and Kane was a stroke of luck, no doubt. Rebhorn’s stern, often severe characters frequently made for his funniest and most memorable. If you didn’t know his name, you most likely knew his face. Maybe you just knew him as “That Guy”.
On Friday, James Rebhorn died at the age of 65, from melanoma. We’ll miss him here at CHUD.