SPRINGFIELD, Ohio - Ever since actor James Rebhorn graduated from Wittenberg University in 1970, he has shown theatre, movie and television audiences he can adapt to any stage and be successful.
Rebhorn played a mean game of water volleyball with Robert De Niro in "Meet the Parents," battled against aliens in "Independence Day," crossed paths with Al Pacino in "Scent of a Woman," sent Seinfeld to the slammer in the show's final episode and most recently lit up the marquee at Lincoln Center in "Dinner at Eight."
On Wednesday, Sept. 17, Rebhorn will share his stories and experiences as one of the busiest supporting actors in the industry today. He will also be presented with the Wittenberg Fellow citation and medal at 4 p.m. in Chakeres Theatre on the same stage where he honed his craft.
"Jim is an excellent role model for our students because he has made his acting career out of terrific hard work and dedication to his craft," said Steven Reynolds, chair of Wittenberg's department of theatre and dance. "He proves you can have a career in show business through dedication to your work as an actor. He is respected for his technique and artistry, and he is the consummate professional."
Rebhorn earned a degree in theatre and political science from Wittenberg and a master of fine arts in acting from Columbia University. Since that time, his movie credits total more than 34 supporting and co-starring roles, including "Head of State;" "Scotland, PA;" "Snow Falling on Cedars;" and "The Talented Mr. Ripley." Rebhorn was a member of the Tony Award-winning Best Revival production of "Our Town" in 1989 and received the Dramalogue Award in 1989 for his portrayal of Major Gurney in "Nebraska."
Rebhorn also had a leading role in one of six episodes of Tom Hank's Emmy Award-winning HBO miniseries, "From the Earth to the Moon." Other television work includes roles in "Law & Order," "Third Watch," "Spenser for Hire," "As the World Turns" and "Guiding Light," just to name a few.
Established by the university's board of directors in 1999, the Wittenberg Fellows program recognizes notable accomplishments by people in the mid-range of their careers who can serve as role models for current students. The criteria for selection as a Wittenberg Fellow include significant contribution to human welfare, significant academic achievement and/or noteworthy achievement in a chosen field of endeavor.
"The students are really looking forward to asking Jim about his career because everyone is familiar with the many projects he has been involved with," Reynolds said.
Rebhorn returned to campus in 1999 to perform in "Love Letters," with Tony-nominated actress and alumna Catherine Cox, '72. Next week, a video of major scenes from his film work will be shown after which Rebhorn will answer questions about the highly competitive and rarely dull business of acting. He will also visit acting classes during his time on campus. The Sept. 17 presentation and question-and-answer session is open to the public.
Rebhorn becomes the eighth Wittenberg Fellow since the program's inception. Questions about Rebhorn's visit can be directed to the department of theatre and dance, (937) 327-7464.
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