|By Carol Beggy & Mark Shanahan, Globe Staff
HOUSE HUSBAND He's one of the busiest actors on TV, with recurring roles on "The West Wing," "ER," "JAG," and "Enterprise," but that doesn't mean Brandeis grad Steven Culp isn't picky about the parts he reads for. When the role of Rex Van De Kamp on "Desperate Housewives" came along, for instance, he hesitated. "It was a women's show, and I knew the male characters would be subsidiary," said Culp, whose film credits include a turn as Robert F. Kennedy in "Thirteen Days." "But the writing was just terrific. You don't read scripts like that very often." So he took the job, and he's glad he did. Not only is "Desperate Housewives" the hottest show on TV, but Culp is surrounded by a bevy of lovely and talented actresses, including Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Eva Longoria, Nicollette Sheridan, and Marlborough native Marcia Cross, who plays Culp's TV wife. "Really, I thought it'd be like 'Arrested Development,' a cult hit that was too weird for broadcast TV and not edgy enough for cable," he said. Boy, was he wrong.