Very sad news today: veteran character actor Edward Hermann has died at the age of 71. Hermann had a long career but is perhaps best known for playing patriarch Richard Gilmore for 154 episodes of Gilmore Girls. He died from complications due to brain cancer on Wednesday.
Hermann was tall and avuncular, often bespectacled and adorned in a bow tie, with one of the most soothing and distinct voices in Hollywood, one that exuded erudition and class, which led him to narrative commercials and television documentaries, and his voice even appeared, doing that very thing, in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street. He could also use that seemingly friendly aspect to play terrifying villains, like Max the head vampire in 1987’s The Lost Boys. He also played Herman Munster in an early-’90s TV movie of The Munsters, which seemed like a perfect fit for such a type as he.
Hermann won a Primetime Emmy award in 1999 for playing the guest character Anderson Pearson on The Practice and was previously nominated for the award, twice for playing the same character in St. Elsewhere and twice for playing Franklin D. Roosevelt in the TV movies Eleanor and Franklin and its follow up Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years.
In recent years, Hermann’s output had gone down due to his failing health but he still appeared on television shows like How I Met Your Mother, CSI, and six episodes of The Good Wife.
With Gilmore Girls having recently been put on Netflix, people were rediscovering Hermann’s understated and distinctly wise portrayal of Lorelei Gilmore’s father and it’s truly sad that we won’t be getting any more such stately performances any more.