Tribute: Edward Herrmann

Posted on January 1, 2015 at 10:41 am

The loss of actor Edward Herrmann was a sad end to 2014. His elegant, patrician quality made him a perfect choice to play real-life characters like Franklin Roosevelt in Eleanor & Franklin and its sequel (and in “Annie!”) and fictional characters like Richard Gilmore in Gilmore Girls. I first noticed him in a tiny role as the piano player in The Great Gatsby. In just seconds, with the way he held his shoulders and his expression of resolute good cheer, he told us everything about the life of a man living on the good will and careless extravagance of others. He was perfectly cast as the headmaster of a prep school in the delightful “Lawrenceville Stories,” unable to hide his amusement at the antics and pranks of his charges.

He was an exceptionally accomplished narrator of audiobooks, including No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, The Home Front in World War II.  When Martin Scorsese needed a voice of impeccable credibility to create a “Wolf of Wall Street” television commercial for the film, he went to Edward Herrmann.

Lauren Graham, who played his daughter on “The Gilmore Girls,” said,

Ed Herrmann’s combination of pure charisma plus his distinctive voice lit up any room he entered. He had a gentlemanly manner, a wicked sense of humor, and a sharp wit. He was well-read, interesting, and just plain fun to be around. He had deep respect and love for the craft of acting and led by example. You wanted to be better prepared, or just plain better, because he always was. He brought such humor and humanity to all his work, but I know the character of Richard Gilmore had a special place in his heart. He loved our show and was touched by the enthusiasm of its fans.

May his memory be a blessing.

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One Reply to “Tribute: Edward Herrmann”

  1. Very much agree. The world, at the very least the film and TV industry, is a sadder place.

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