Edward Herrmann, best-known for playing beloved grandfather Richard Gilmore on Gilmore Girls, has died after a battle with brain cancer. He was 71 years old.
Robbie Kass, Herrmann’s manager, said in a statement that “Besides being an accomplished actor, [Herrmann] was also a true gentleman and a scholar, as well as being an incredibly kind and decent man. He will be sorely missed.”
And Robyn Stecher, Herrmann’s voice manager, told the Huffington Post that “He was an extraordinary human being. His work ethic was extraordinary until the end. He worked until about a month ago. He was so committed to his craft and wanting to work despite his challenges.”
Voice-wise, Herrmann’s most notable role was probably Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who he depicted most recently in in Ken Burns’ documentary The Roosevelts: An Intimate History. But Herrmann had ample experience portraying the former President, having done so in the 1976 TV movie Eleanor and Franklin and in 1977’s Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years. (Also in the original film version of Annie, which is probably the hammiest and most fun version of FDR ever put to screen.) Herrmann was nominated for an Emmy for the ’77 film.
Between then and now, Herrmann did a lot of great acting in a lot of great things. He was in an episode of M*A*S*H; he was in The Purple Rose of Cairo; he played Nelson Rockefeller in Oliver Stone’s Nixon; he worked with the Coen Brothers in Intolerable Cruelty; and, in more recent years, he had minor roles on 30 Rock, How I Met Your Mother, Law & Order, and Grey’s Anatomy, along with a steady stream of movie parts.
But it was the work he did as Richard Gilmore for which he will be most fondly remembered.
And, as a quick and serious aside? He wore a mustache really well. Herrmann looked seriously dapper in a mustache. Maybe it was genetic disposition; maybe it’s a generational thing; but that’s not a look that anyone can just pull off. Edward Herrmann was made handsomer and kinder by a mustache, and may God bless him for it.
Rest in peace, kind sir.
(Photo credits: WENN)