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 — but series creator Marc Cherry says his demise was a long time coming. "Bree is based on my mom. And my dad died, so I told poor Steven, 'Had my dad lived, you'd still have a job.'" Rex won't be the last Wisteria Lane resident to bite the dust, Cherry reveals. "Somebody will meet a surprising end at least once a year," he says. Here, an unbelievably upbeat Culp talks about his departure, his reaction and his plans.
TV Guide: We're so sorry. You finally found joy in your sex life and then you had to die!
Steven Culp:
How like life. [Laughs]

TVG: How did you find out that Rex was toast?
Culp:
In April the guys from the show went on Celebrity Poker Showdown [airing on Bravo in the fall]. I came back from that feeling very pleased with myself. After about a half hour I got a call saying, "They'd like to see you in the producers' office this afternoon." I knew what was coming.

TVG: Were you angry?
Culp:
If it's where Marc wants to go, I'm not going to argue, because it's his vision that made the show such a huge hit.

TVG: You didn't say, "Hey, wait a second! I have some great ideas for Rex"?
Culp:
I did mention [doing more of] the S&M stuff, and Marc said we pretty much went as far as we could with that on network television. I'm not quite sure if he was ready to see his surrogate mother in bondage gear. [Laughs]

TVG: Looks like there may be more Wisteria Lane men dying.
Culp:
Hey, the show was never called Desperate Husbands. It's kind of great to be the first one [to go], because I think it's going to have the most impact.

TVG: Will you still be watching?
Culp:
Well, one of my favorite characters will be gone. But Marcia Cross doesn't watch the show — she's too critical of her work — so somebody is going to have to let her know how she's doing. [Laughs]

TVG: What's next for you?
Culp:
You know, I was killed on Enterprise. On JAG, I was left for dead twice. And this year, Rex died. This could be a new career for me. I'm the go-to guy for May sweeps deaths.