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Actor James Rebhorn 'was a lucky man,' he wrote in his own obituary

Stephen Lovekin / Today
James Rebhorn in New York in November 2009.

James Rebhorn, the longtime film and television actor, penned a touching recollection of his own life in an obituary written before his death on Friday at age 65. It was shared by his church on Monday.

St. Paul Lutheran Church in Jersey City, N.J., posted "His Life, According to Jim" on its website and credited the actor for writing it sometime this month. Rebhorn died at home, surrounded by family, after a long battle with melanoma.

A character actor who had roles on TV shows ranging from "Homeland" and "The Practice" to "Seinfeld," and in films including "My Cousin Vinny," "Independence Day," and "Silkwood," Rebhorn opened his piece by saying that he was born on Sept. 1, 1948, in Philadelphia. 

"His mother, Ardell Frances Rebhorn, nee Hoch, loved him very much and supported all his dreams," Rebhorn wrote. "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."

Rebhorn mentioned being survived by his sister, and his wife, Rebecca Fulton Linn, and two daughters, Emma and Hannah. "They anchored his life and gave him the freedom to live it," he wrote. "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."

The remembrance made only a passing reference to his life's work, at the end, where he wrote that he "was fortunate enough to earn his living doing what he loved. He was a professional actor."

Rebhorn closed by saying of himself: "He was a lucky man in every way."

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