Rex Linn was born in Spearman, Texas as the third child of Darlene and James Paul Linn. In August 1969, his parents moved to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where his father practiced law. There he attended Heritage Hall and later Casady School and was employed part-time at the Oklahoma City Zoo. It was in November 1975, after seeing Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, that Rex Linn announced that he really wanted to be an actor. In his high school’s production of Fiddler On The Roof, Rex Linn was asked to leave the play by his drama coach. He was advised to direct his energy to some other field of endeavor, which effectively ended his high school acting career. He graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1980.
After graduation, Rex Linn worked his way up to VP of Energy Lending for the Lakeshore Bank, remaining with it until July 5, 1982, when the bank went insolvent. Rex Linn was able to convince a talent agent to take a chance on him and represent him in the Oklahoma market. At the same time, he accepted a job with an oil company, all the while auditioning for film and TV commercial parts. After shooting some very bad commercials, he started landing small roles in various projects.
It was during this time that he was given the opportunity to act in his first film, Dark Before Dawn, which was being produced by his best friend, Edward K. Gaylord II. In 1989, he was cast in his first substantial role, as a serial killer, Floyd Epps, in Night Game, starring Roy Scheider. Following this film, and a part as the sheriff in the TV series, the Young Riders, he decided it was time to head west. He began with small ones in theatrical films such as My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys (1991), Thunderheart (1992), Sniper (1993) and Cliffhanger (1993), and guest shots on TV series including Northern Exposure, Raven, and The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.
Since Cliffhanger, he has appeared in more than 35 films. Rex Linn’s most recent work includes Cockfight, originally titled The Round and Round, released in 2004, Zodiac in 2005, and Abominable in 2006, with another picture, The Garage, in production in 2006.
He had recurring roles on several TV series, most recently as Sgt. Frank Tripp on CSI: Miami, a role for which, according to an article in the Dec. 27, 2004, issue of the Oklahoman, he was tricked into reading during the first season and which he held, as a series regular, until the end of the series.
On June 29, 1994, Linn was honored with a star on Carpenter’s Square Theatre Walk of Fame, in Oklahoma City. He was a celebrity co-host of the Oklahoma Film Society Real to Reel 2005: “Classic Monster Mash”. He has narrated three audiobooks, as well as a documentary for the Oklahoma University InvestEd program in 2004. A similar documentary, Anatomy of a Fraud: Catching Con in Logan County, also to be narrated by Linn, was described as being “in production” in 2005.
He currently is reported to be living in Sherman Oaks with his dogs in catsuits, Jack and Choctaw. Rex Linn is a University of Texas Longhorns fan, even taking the day off from his CSI: Miami work to attend the 2005 Rose Bowl game when his beloved team was playing against the University of Southern California. He is a former chairman of the Oklahoma City chapter of Ducks Unlimited, and in 1986, he won the state duck-calling competition and came fourth in the national competition.
Rex Linn is an active supporter of children’s charities as well as the arts. On May 12, 2007, he was a celebrity award presenter at the National Association of Police Organizations TOP COPS award ceremony in Washington D.C.
- 2014 The Lottery, Zombeavers, A Million Ways to Die in the West
- 2013 Devil’s Knot
- 2008 Trial By Fire, Appaloosa
- 2006 Abominable, Anatomy of a Fraud, Missing Persons
- 2005 A Man Called Cash, American Gun, One Ranger, The Zodiac
- 2004 After the Sunset, Anatomy of a Fraud
- 2003 The Hunted, Dry Cycle as Jeddidah, Monte Walsh, Cheaper by the Dozen
- 2002–2012 CSI: Miami
- 2002 Cockfight
- 2001 John Carpenter’s Ghosts Of Mars
- 1999 A Murder on Shadow Mountain, Blast from the Past, Instinct, The Jack Bull
- 1998 Rush Hour, Black Cat Run, The Odd Couple II
- 1997–2000 JAG
- 1997 Breakdown, The Postman, Horton Foote’s Alone
- 1996 Ghosts of Mississippi, Independence Day, Tin Cup, The Long Kiss Goodnight
- 1995 Cutthroat Island, Perfect Alibi
- 1994 Clear and Present Danger, Wyatt Earp, Iron Will, Drop Zone, Confessions: Two Faces of Evil
- 1993 Cliffhanger
- 1992 Thunderheart, In the Line of Duty: Siege at Marion
- 1991 My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys, The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw
- 1989 Dark Before Dawn, Night Game
- 1988 Calling All Turkeys
- 1986 PM Magazine