Edward Herrmann, 71

EKHEdward Herrmann, a talented character actor who excelled on the stage and screens both big and small has died after a battle with brain cancer. He was 71.

Herrmann, after a brief career on the Broadway stage in the early 1970s, came to Hollywood to work in film. His first credited role was that of a law student in Timothy Bottom’s characters study group in the 1973 film, The Paper Chase. He would work in supporting roles in films such as The Great Gatsby and The Great Waldo Pepper before taking on the role that would become his trademark. In 1976, he starred as Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the TV movie, Eleanor and Franklin, a role he would reprise a year later in the TV movie sequel, Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years.

For many, Herrmann’s FDR was the definitive FDR. It certainly was for me. I remember seeing those films as a kid, and Herrmann’s Emmy-nominated turn in those films took a man I had just started learning about in school books and who I had known mostly as being on the and turned him into a vibrant, living human being. I have Mr. Herrmann to thank for my love of history in general, American history in particular, and Presidential history in specific, as his performance was one of the reasons I started down that path. Herrmann would return to the role in 1982’s Annie and in voice-over form in Ken’ Burns’ 2014 documentary series, The Roosevelts: An Intimate Portrait.

Herrmann would go on to a long and successful career in film, appearing in a diverse array of films ranging from Reds to The Lost Boys, from The Purple Rose of Cairo to The Wolf of Wall Street, and from Richie Rich to Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star. But Herrmann probably gain the most recognition from his work in television, appearing in guest appearances in shows such as M*A*S*H, Law & Order and Homicide: Life On the Street and recurring roles in St. Elsewhere, The Practice (which won him an Emmy), and Gilmore Girls, where he played family patriarch Richard Gilmore.

His voice was also a sought after commodity in the voice over market, and Herrmann provided narration to a number of TV and film documentaries.


About William Gatevackes 1971 Articles
William is cursed with the shared love of comic books and of films. Luckily, this is a great time for him to be alive. His writing has been featured on Broken Frontier.com, PopMatters.com and in Comics Foundry magazine.
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
December 31, 2014 8:03 pm

Edward Herrmann, 71: Edward Herrmann, a talented character actor who excelled on the stage and screens both bi… http://t.co/nSRs3l9r9Z

Joseph Januszewski
December 31, 2014 9:16 pm


Richard Zeszotarski
January 2, 2015 5:44 pm

Richard Zeszotarski liked this on Facebook.

John E Woodside
January 2, 2015 5:44 pm

John E Woodside liked this on Facebook.

Michael Henley
January 2, 2015 5:44 pm

Michael Henley liked this on Facebook.

Maura Casey
January 2, 2015 5:44 pm

Maura Casey liked this on Facebook.

William Gatevackes
January 2, 2015 5:44 pm

William Gatevackes liked this on Facebook.

Bob Ballentine
January 2, 2015 5:44 pm

Bob Ballentine liked this on Facebook.

Ellen O'Brien Sherry
December 31, 2014 7:17 pm

totally! Loved this guy – especially his FDR!

Carl Cannon
January 2, 2015 5:44 pm

Carl Cannon liked this on Facebook.

Crystal Brown
January 2, 2015 5:44 pm

Crystal Brown liked this on Facebook.

Greg Korin
January 2, 2015 5:44 pm

Greg Korin liked this on Facebook.

Pall Gasp
January 2, 2015 5:44 pm

Pall Gasp liked this on Facebook.

Ellen O'Brien Sherry
January 2, 2015 5:44 pm

Ellen O’Brien Sherry liked this on Facebook.

Todd Pettibon
January 2, 2015 7:31 pm

Enjoyed his work, RIP Mr. Herrmann

Iris Johnston
January 2, 2015 11:19 pm

i liked him best in Lost Boys and Oz, of course, but I actually like to play out his little song and dance with Christine Ebersole in Richie Rich.