‘Gilmore Girls’ Actor Edward Herrmann, Who Also Portrayed FDR, Dies

December 31, 2014

Edward Herrmann, the actor perhaps best known for his Emmy-nominated portrayals in the 1970s of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and more recently for his role as Richard Gilmore on Gilmore Girls, has died at the age of 71 in New York, his manager confirmed in a statement. The cause was brain cancer.

“Besides being an accomplished actor, was also a true gentleman and a scholar, as well as being an incredibly kind and decent man,” Robbie Kass, his manager, said in an emailed statement. “He will be sorely missed.”

Actress Lauren Graham, who played Herrmann’s daughter on Gilmore Girls, called his death “a devastating blow.”

Herrmann was nominated for Emmy awards multiple times and won in 1999 for his role in The Practice.

He portrayed Roosevelt in Eleanor and Franklin in 1976 and Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years in 1977. He earned Best Actor Emmy nominations for both made-for-TV movies. He also earned Emmy nominations for two appearances on St. Elsewhere.

For seven years, until 2007, Herrmann played Richard Gilmore on Gilmore Girls. From 2010 to 2013, he appeared in CBS’ Good Wife as a defense attorney.

He won a Best Actor in a Play Tony Award in 1976 for his performance in Mrs. Warren’s Profession. In movies, Herrmann played Max, the head vampire in The Lost Boys, and more recently appeared in The Wolf of Wall Street.

Herrmann was also known for his voice work, including in Ken Burns’ recent PBS documentary, The Roosevelts: An Intimate History.

David Bianculli, TV critic for WHYY’s Fresh Air, noted that Herrmann’s vocal performance as Roosevelt brought “the man to life again … with such authority and accuracy, that his vocal impersonation stands proudly alongside recordings of the real Franklin.”

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