Stage, screen actor Edward Herrmann dies at 71

FILE -- This Nov. 21, 2011 file photo shows, Edward Herrmann after presenting an award at the 39th International Emmy Awards, in New York. The son of Edward Herrmann says the "Gilmore Girls" star and Tony Award-winner has died. Rory Herrmann said that his father died Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014, in a New York City hospital where he was being treated for brain cancer. Edward He was 71. (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams, File)

Edward Herrmann, the towering, melodious-voiced actor who brought Franklin D. Roosevelt to life in films and documentaries, won a Tony Award and charmed audiences as the stuffy dad on TV’s “Gilmore Girls,” died Wednesday. He was 71.

Herrmann died at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital of brain cancer, his son, Rory Herrmann said. The actor, who had been hospitalized for several weeks, was surrounded by family members including his wife, Star, and his three children, his son said.

“He was full of knowledge and kindness and goodness. … He always wanted to share the great and beautiful things in life,” said Rory Herrmann. That included art, music and classic cars.

The 6-foot-5 actor’s favorite role was playing President Roosevelt, his son said, which he did in projects including the TV movies “Eleanor and Franklin” (1976) and its sequel “Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years” (1977) and in the 1982 movie musical “Annie.”

Herrmann also provided the voice for FDR in Ken Burns’ documentary series “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History,” which aired on PBS earlier this year.

His urbane tones were heard on a variety of other documentaries and on hundreds of audio books including Laura Hillenbrand’s “Unbroken.” He had recently narrated a documentary on cancer, Rory Herrmann said.

He appeared frequently on the big screen, in major films including “Reds” and “The Wolf of Wall Street,” and was an acclaimed stage actor whose Tony-winning performance came in 1976 for a revival of “Mrs. Warren’s Profession” opposite Lynn Redgrave.

His other Broadway credits included the original run of “Love Letters” in 1989, “The Deep Blue Sea” with Blythe Danner in 1998 and “Plenty,” for which he received a 1983 Tony nomination.

Television was also a familiar home, with recent appearances on “The Good Wife” and “How I Met Your Mother. His best-known role came on the 2000-07 series “Gilmore Girls,” on which he portrayed the patrician father of a single mother, played by Lauren Graham.

“My friend Ed Herrmann was the kindest, classiest, most talented man,” Graham posted on Twitter. “It was an honor and a joy to know him, a devastating blow to lose him.”

Herrmann, a native of Washington, D.C., graduated from Bucknell University and studied his craft on a Fulbright scholarship to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in 1968-69.

In a 2004 interview with The Associated Press, he waggishly shared his tips for theater audiences — especially those who offer standing ovations even for routine performances.

“Turn off your cellphone, your pagers, don’t talk, don’t unwrap the candy and DON’T STAND,” he said.

Besides his wife and son, Herrmann’s survivors include daughters Ryen and Emma. A private funeral was planned, followed by a public memorial early next week, Rory Herrmann said.

___

AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr in Los Angeles and AP researcher Barbara Sambriski in New York contributed to this report.

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s