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Steven Culp as Rex Van De Kamp


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Steven Culp

Rex Van De Kamp on Desperate Housewives

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Even before his critically-acclaimed performance as Robert F. Kennedy in the film "Thirteen Days" brought him to the attention of moviegoers, Steven Culp had already attracted a large following among television fans for his recurring role as the mysterious CIA agent Clayton Webb on the series "JAG."

Last season he achieved what may have been a TV first by appearing in major recurring roles on four different series at the same time - as Webb on "JAG," as House Speaker Jeff Haffley on "The West Wing," as Dr. Corday's love interest, Dave Spencer, on "ER," and as the stalwart Major Hayes on "Star Trek: Enterprise." He also guest starred on "CSI" and "Lyon's Den." Somehow, in the midst of this schedule, he managed to take on a leading role in the upcoming feature "The Sisters," starring Maria Bello, Mary Stuart Masterson and Erica Christensen.

Culp's other feature films include "The Emperor's Club," "Spartan," "Nurse Betty," "James and the Giant Peach," "Fearless" and "Dead Again." He made his primetime TV debut as John Hay in the Emmy-winning miniseries, "Gore Vidal's Lincoln," opposite Sam Waterston and Mary Tyler Moore. Since then he has appeared in numerous episodic television shows and TV movies, among them recurring roles on "24," "Ally McBeal" and "Philly"; guest-starring appearances on "The Practice," "Crossing Jordan," "Providence," "Boston Public" and "Chicago Hope"; and roles in the movie-of-the-week, "A Story to Die for," with Angela Lansbury, "How to Make a Monster" for Cinemax's "Creature Features," produced by Stan Winston, and the television movie "Norma Jean and Marilyn."

HOMETOWN:La Jolla, CA

BIRTHDATE: December 5

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  • 2 months later...

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'I BET IT WAS GOING TO BE ME'

By Michael Starr

REX Van De Kamp's death on the season finale of "Des perate Housewives" wasn't a total shock to Steven Culp, the actor who portrayed him. "I had a sneaking suspicion someone was going to go," Culp, 49, tells Entertainment Weekly. "The show's about the housewives," he says. "You got to keep them desperate."

Culp wasn't exactly thrilled to be written off TV's hottest new show, but says he understands how it works in the TV business. "I was laying bets with the other guys in the cast it was going to be me," he says. "After I found out it was, I stopped doing that."

Culp says he learned of his "Housewives" fate in early April after the show's writers and series creator Marc Cherry decided that the Rex-Bree plotline had run its course.

The uptight Bree, played by Marcia Cross, had nursed her cheating, S&M-loving hubby through his heart attack. She seemed to finally forgive him after his second heart attack when she learned on the season finale that Rex had died in the hospital.

Culp likens the feeling to being written off "Housewives" to being dumped by a girlfriend, but says he still feels good about his run on the show. He says he broke the news of his "death" to his wife, Barbara Ayers (they have two kids) and his father that night by opening some wine and toasting a fine year. "Here's the worst-case scenario: I've been on this phenomenal success. Done work I'm proud of. Made money to provide for my family. And I'm free again. That's not a bad situation," says Culp.

"If millions of people call in and say, 'How can you kill Rex?' maybe they'll make it all a hoax," he says, laughing.

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Guest ranster627

FROM TV GUIDE: The Insider

Housewives' Sexy Rex Says Goodbye

by Ileane Rudolph

Rex Van De Kamp didn't stand a chance. Bree's S&M-loving hubby (played by Steven Culp) went the way of Mary Alice and Mrs. Huber in the season finale of Desperate Housewives

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Veronica in Trouble? Alias Off for Fall? We Delve into TV's Gravest Dangers; Plus, 6FU is Back!

by Kristin Veitch | June 3, 2005

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Desperate Housewives: Call it denial, dementia, delirium, what have you. I'm choosing to not believe Rex (Steven Culp) is dead on Desperate Housewives.

Sure, the doctor called Rex's wife Bree (Marcia Cross) in the finale to tell her that he'd kicked it. Sure, executive producer-creator Marc Cherry fashioned the character after his own father--who also died of heart failure. But it must be obvious that they cannot afford to lose Rex, for he's one of the only likable, relatable, believable characters on the show.

Between Gabrielle's gardener-pumping, Bree's Bible-thumping and Carlos' wife-whumping (not to mention the skeezy Springer-ness that is now Mike Delfino's storyline), we fans need something to cling to.

Still, there is hope. Sources close to the show tell me one storyline being kicked around is that Rex faked his death to get away from Bree, who he thought was killing him softly by poisoning his food. Meaning, Steven Culp could (fingers crossed) be back next season. Here's hoping he does, and gives that creepy pharmacist a taste of his own medicine.

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