Great Character Actors of Today #1

May 25, 2011

Name: James Rebhorn.

Description: Tall, angular, and toothy, Rebhorn specializes in villainy of every nuance, from psychopathic to weaselly to merely bureaucratic.

Famous As: The headmaster in Scent of a Woman (1992); the defense secretary in Independence Day (1996).

Recently Seen As: A creepy small-town doctor with a gruesomely funny death scene in the odd neo-noir Don McKay (2010).

What He Needs to Do Next: Play some nice guys.  He has the range.  His villains are always strangely likable; I’d like to see Rebhorn play some worldly grandpas as he approaches Social Security age.

On TV: Recently a regular on Big Lake and recurring on White Collar.  I haven’t seen either show, but eventually I’ll take a look, if only to see what Rebhorn is doing in them.  If this new series of quick takes on underappreciated, contemporary actors needs a subhead, it would be that: Actors whose movies (or TV shows) I’ll watch just because they’re in them.

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4 Responses to “Great Character Actors of Today #1”

  1. Marty McKee Says:

    Rebhorn’s basically a generic authority figure on WHITE COLLAR. It’s nice to see him, but he just appears occasionally to give some orders. At least he isn’t a villain.

  2. Mark Says:

    Bradley Raines! He played Bradley Raines on Guiding Light in the 1980s.
    A really nasty character with no redeeming qualities.
    http://www.soapcentral.com/gl/whoswho/bradley.php
    Whenever my wife and I see him in a movie we try to warn the other characters (“Watch out — it’s Bradley Raines — he’s evil!”) The nicest character I ever saw him play was in Meet the Parents and maybe the sequel, where he was merely a jerk.

  3. Jeff Wildman Says:

    Rebhorn always reminded me a little of retired character actor James Olson.

    • Stephen Bowie Says:

      Good call, Jeff. Rebhorn has a thinner face, but he does resemble Olson a bit, and they exude a similar smarm.


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