Edward Herrmann, Gilmore Girls Patriarch, Dead at Age 71

Edward Herrmann Dead

Gilmore Girls patriarch Edward Herrmann died on Wednesday, following a battle with brain cancer. He was 71.

The veteran actor’s family told TMZ that he had been in ICU in New York City for several weeks, and after showing no progress, he was taken off the respirator.

As recently as last month, Herrmann was appearing in a Westport Country Playhouse staging of Joanna McClelland’s Trying.

As Gilmore Girls‘ Richard Gilmore, Herrmann played dad to Lauren Graham’s Lorelai and grandfather to Alexis Bledel’s Rory. His extensive TV resume also includes — but is by no means limited to — The Good Wife (where he recurred as defense attorney Lionel Deerfield), Harry’s Law, Grey’s Anatomy, Oz, St. Elsewhere, a guest-starring run on The Practice (for which he won an Emmy) and, most recently, ABC’s Black Box.

He also narrated numerous programs for the History channel and portrayed President Franklin Delano Roosevelt twice in TV-movies (as well as in 1982’s Annie).

On Broadway, Herrmann collected two Tony Award nominations, winning in 1976 for his role in George Bernard Shaw’s Mrs. Warren’s Profession, while his film credits include The Paper Chase, Harry’s War and The Lost Boys.

Herrmann is survived by his second wife (of 22 years), Star, and a total of five children.

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60 Comments
  1. Et al says:

    Deeply saddened by this. RIP.

  2. GeoDiva says:

    He had such a great voice. Loved his work in the History Channel documentaries, like How The States Got Their Shapes. RIP!

  3. Laurie says:

    As someone who considers Gilmore Girls one of my favorite shows of all time, this makes me very sad. I remember him in many roles including FDR. But the role of Papa Gilmore will always hold a special place in my heart.

  4. flutiefan says:

    loved everything i saw him in. RIP, sir.

  5. B says:

    Oh dear. Very sad to hear this. RIP, and peace and comfort to his family.

  6. Kay L says:

    So incredibly sad to hear this!

  7. Mehvash says:

    RIP Richard Gilmore. he will be missed.

  8. Yogi Chelsea says:

    This is gonna take a few tissues. Goodbye Herman, Richard, and Edward.

  9. Steven says:

    But what about the Gilmore Girls movie! This is so sad. he was great in The Practice. That Emmy was well deserved. Rest in Peace.

  10. Demi says:

    This is so sad. RIP. Sending love to his family.

  11. Babybop says:

    Oh no… So sad.

  12. thisismenow says:

    May he rest in peace

  13. LJ Bissonnette says:

    Loved him in the Eleanor and Franklin series. Thought he was hilarious in Overboard. Loved his voice. He will be missed.

  14. Chad Smith says:

    What a terrible way to end 2014. Condolences to his family.

  15. TV Gord says:

    He elevated everything he was in. I’ll miss him.

  16. John says:

    Very sorry to hear this. A great loss.

  17. Tran says:

    He’ll always be Richard Gilmore from Gilmore Girls in our hearts forever. RIP :-(

  18. Kate says:

    RIP sir. You will be missed…

  19. Ines says:

    So sad to hear about his passing. Another great actor lost this year :'(

  20. Christina says:

    So sad.. Condolences and strength to his family – May he rest in peace.

  21. Sandy says:

    So sad. Rip Mr. Herrmann.

  22. Sharon Spurling says:

    I loved him in The Christmas wish,R.I.P Edward

  23. JimC says:

    I’ll never forget how well he portrayed FDR. So sad….

  24. Gwen says:

    What a wonderful legacy of performances he leaves for us.

  25. S.Orms says:

    So sad to hear this. They need to find a cure SOON for this. Lost a niece this year to the same thing! Condolences to his family & his tv family.

  26. lori says:

    Rest in peace, thanks for your work.

  27. RIP I know he is famous for so many acclaimed movies/shows but I did love him as the head vampire in Lost Boys. You will be missed.

    • LJ Bissonnette says:

      I forgot about that one. Never watched Gilmore Girls, but had I known he was part of the full time cast… He made everything he starred in worth watching.

  28. Larry C. says:

    Edward Herrmann was never less than wonderful. Condolences to his family and friends.

  29. lisa says:

    What a great actor. I recently just watched all 7 seasons of Gilmore girls, I suggest if you didn’t watch it already watch it on next flix.
    A great man that shined through his characters he portrayed

  30. TexasGreatGrams says:

    One of my very favorite actors-such a classy man. His work was always impeccable. He became that character. I am saddened by his illness and subsequent death. Rest in Peace Mr. Hermann

  31. fiberlicious says:

    I’m so sad! He was a fine actor.

  32. annwynlewis says:

    So sad :( R.I.P

  33. tazzy says:

    Very saddened by his passing. RIP, Mr. Herrmann.

  34. Mike says:

    Very interesting. If you all recall he played a neurosurgeon on Black Box this past summer who was dying of brain cancer. I wonder if that was art imitating life. Great actor, great voice

  35. Grey's Fan says:

    So sad. :( Perhaps the GG movie can start with Rory returning home to Stars Hollow after years of being a globe-trotting journalist for the funeral of her beloved grandfather… (No disrespect intended. I just always have ideas for stories.)

  36. well here in greece we just had the new year and i decided to start gilmore girls marathon for the 3rd time and right before i start watching i opened facebook and the news hit me!
    you will be missed sir , you were my grandad that never had.

  37. dj says:

    Just finished season one of Gilmore Girls. Love Edward Herrmann in it. RIP.

  38. MP says:

    I never watched Gilmore Girls, but I loved him in Richie Rich! He was also wonderful in Overboard, with Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn.

    • ChrisGa says:

      I HIGHLY recommend you seek out Gilmore Girls on Netflix or elsewhere. Hermann put on a master class every week in the art of understated, nuanced acting. And the other three principles–Kelly Bishop, Alexis Bledel and, of course, Lauren Graham–were damn good too.

  39. Gerry Prior says:

    Rest in Peace

  40. Jess says:

    RIP Edward Herrmann you will be missed greatly

    • MRC says:

      I’m actor. I work a lot and I’m of a different generation then MR. EDWARD. I say this because he was an inspiration. He was a phenomenal talent that was under the radar. I grew up watching him and know the craft. He never disappointed. Goodnight kind sir. You are a gem. May your family find solace in your legacy.

  41. Gwenna says:

    …and the lights dim on yet another inspirational talent. Mr Herrmann you will be missed.

  42. arial2 says:

    Edward Herrmann’s portrayal of FDR was the best I’ve ever seen. He will be missed.

  43. NF and SK fan always says:

    didn’t know him but my prayers to the family at this difficult time. (pause….) May he RIP and not forgotten from the ones who knew him best!

  44. Rick Katze says:

    A very classy actor.

  45. ee says:

    Aaaaw, man. Love this beautiful human being. My weird self has dreaded this day since veiwing ‘Overboard’ when I was a kid. First toasts of the New Year belong to him.

  46. H says:

    Gilmore Girls was my favorite show growing up and he was pretty much shaped what I knew of grandfather as I never really knew mine. May he rest in peace.

  47. jm says:

    i didnt like GG, but i always wanted to have a grandpa as his character. He was so fun in Grey´s Anatomy as the oldest world intern…. D.E.P

  48. gerry says:

    He was such an important part of the show, which was also one of my very favorite t-v shows, will miss him in his other ventures as well.

  49. Larry says:

    My wife was a fan of the show and made me sit down to watch it. I was hooked within minutes. Everything was great: the writing, the sets, the acting, and directing. The show made you feel as though you were part of the family. When I read of Edward’s passing I got choked up and a little teary eyed. We all lost someone very special today.
    Rest in peace Mr. Herrman, rest in peace Mr. Gilmore.