‘Gilmore Girls’ star, Emmy and Tony winner Edward Herrmann dies

12.31.14 3 years ago


Character actor Edward Herrmann has died at the age of 71.

The news was first reported by TMZ and confirmed by Buzzfeed.

Herrmann's career spanned over four decades and it's no wonder that he's being memorialized today in different ways by different generations of film, TV and theater audiences. 

Most recently, Herrmann was beloved for his performance as Richard Gilmore on The WB's “Gilmore Girls.” The performance capped years as one of Hollywood's go-to actors for roles as patrician parents, lofty corporate board members and other ostensibly rigid WASPs. The catch with Richard Gilmore was that while he was introduced as seemingly out-of-touch and disapproving when it came to daughter Lorelai, his warmth for both his estranged progeny and for granddaughter Rory was a key source of “Gilmore Girls” heart. Herrmann and Kelly Bishop's parts could have been marginalized, what with The WB's focus on young female viewers, but the actors and their connection with co-stars Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel helped give “Gilmore Girls” a multi-generational appeal that you can put to the test if ever you happen to watch to check out episodes on Netflix.

Slightly older viewers loved Herrmann from his role as Max in the horror-comedy “The Lost Boys,” which was both a box office hit and a cable staple from 1987 on. The role, a seemingly uptight video store owner, capitalized on Herrmann's uptight persona, but also offered opportunities for fun when other characters begin to suspect that Max is a vampire. I'll also accept that for some viewers, Herrmann will always be best known as Goldie Hawn's husband from “Overboard,” or the upper crust variations on that theme that he played from “Big Business” to “Richie Rich.”

With a film career that began with high profile '70s features “The Paper Chase,” “The Day of the Dolphin” and “The Great Gatsby,” Herrmann was sought out by the creme de la creme of feature directors including Warren Beatty (“Reds”), Woody Allen (“Purple Rose of Cairo”),  Oliver Stone (“Nixon”), Sidney Lumet (“Critical Care”), the Coen Brothers (“Intolerable Cruelty”) and Martin Scorsese (“The Wolf of Wall Street”).

Herrmann received a pair of Emmy nominations for his performances as Franklin Roosevelt in the telefilms “Eleanor and Franklin” and “Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years,” work so indelible that he also played FDR in John Huston's “Annie” and then Ken Burns brought him back to voice FDR in this year's “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History.” After two additional Emmy nominations for “St. Elsewhere,” Herrmann finally won his first Emmy for “The Practice” in 1999. Herrmann's TV credits also include stints on “Oz,” “Grey's Anatomy,” multiple “Law & Order” appearances and, most recently, “The Good Wife.” A frequent voice-over performer and narrator, Herrmann could be heard in practically countless History Channel and PBS productions, as well as in many commercials, while he also had a run as on-camera spokesman for Dodge.

Herrmann was also a Tony winner for “Mrs. Warren's Profession” and a nominee again for “Plenty.”

So that's “Gilmore Girls” and “The Lost Boys” and FD, but a whole lot more.

How will you remember Edward Herrmann?

Around The Web