The Special Appearances of Edward Herrmann

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Have you ever wondered why Edward Herrmann receives special treatment in the Gilmore Girls opening credits, with his ‘Special Appearance By’ titles?

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Our favourite envelope-handing father figure is no stranger to the screen, small or silver.  Remember him as moderate vampire in The Lost Boys or Richard Rich in Richie Rich?  Or before that, displaying his sterling range of faces in TV land, including St Elsewhere, Oz and The Practice.  Not to mention two high billing roles opposite Robert Redford in The Great Gatsby and The Great Waldo Pepper.  

Did you recognise his reassuring patriarchal tones as the voice of the Stratton Oakmont TV commercial in The Wolf of Wall Street?

At 70 years old now, the camera continues to love him and his effortless ability to portray smart or plummy, the fool, the confidante, the fop.  Yes, even the re-animated Frankstein’s Munster.

edward herman munster

Since Gilmore Girls ended, you might have seen that big hunk of a man in 30 Rock and Greys Anatomy, as well as marking his territory in Matt Czuchry’s patch (Logan Huntzberger), as Lionel Deerfield in The Good Wife. 

He appeared as the reverend in How I Met Your Mother where he suffered a third fictional heart attack. He’s gotta be the go-to guy for heart attacks.

What’s your favourite Richard Gilmore moment?  Your favourite Edward Herrmann role? 

Pics c/o The WB and from Here Come The Munsters

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Rich

Rich originally began contributing to GIlmore News as 'Dairyman' in 2013, a reference to the character Dairyman Dick in Tess of the D'Urbervilles, (call me Rich). Here in the UK we were late to the Gilmore party and I don't remember what made me watch my first episode - the one where Lorelai picks Rory up from the police station after she and Logan steal a yacht - but I remember watching it again immediately. And then again. Thankfully, the next show was on the next day and I watched that one three times too. And then the boat one again. I couldn't believe the dialogue was so quick and so funny and I pretended to myself that I was only watching it so I could figure out who I was more keen on - the mom or the daughter. I swore that Aaron Sorkin must have been involved but I couldn't find his name attached anywhere, even on the internet. So I watched and loved and laughed and cried and the day after the series finale, they ran the entire show from the beginning again and Rory turned into a baby so then I was all about Lorelai. Lauren Graham is astonishing ("Mother: Breathtaking") and the show was - and is - lightning in a bottle. It's a treasure for those who watch and get swept up in it, like I did and like the readers of Gilmore News. It's heartbreak and chicken soup, family dysfunction and blind optimism, lighthearted romanticism and balls-out brilliant. Thanks to Arieanna and gilmorenews.com for letting me squat and allowing my inner Gilmore Geek out for air. I worry how it would otherwise manifest.

7 thoughts on “The Special Appearances of Edward Herrmann

  • April 9, 2014 at 3:01 pm
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    My favorite “Richard Gilmore Moment”? When he goes to visit Starshollow for the first time (I believe the episode is, “Richard in Starshollow” or something like that.) and somewhat nitpicks Lorelai’s coffee/no-work-coat-wearing/anti-grapefruit habits. By the end of the day Lorelai is exasperated and blows up at him. Richard blows right back saying, “Suddenly I realize what it feels like to be obsolete. I hope you never have to learn what that feels like.” Great moment that really ads some more depth to the character. And then when he goes home and says he ate Chinese and just sits alone in his study…tugs at the hearts strings.

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  • April 9, 2014 at 6:36 pm
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    My favorite is along the humerous moments such as when Rory and Richard team up to get even and scare the bleep out of Logan [falsely setting up their “emminent” engagment and marriage] after the crazy acting out in the classroom by the LDB trio. Always liked Richard’s understated and at times subversive sense of humor.

    My first viewing of EH was as a law student in the Paperchase study group.

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  • April 9, 2014 at 9:30 pm
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    I loved that moment where Lorelai and Emily are fighting and Richard, without a word, gives a newspaper to Rory. I just loved that character, one of my favorites.

    My favorite Edward Herrmann role would be in Intolerable Cruelty. Just priceless, check it out if you haven’t already.

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  • April 10, 2014 at 1:28 am
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    ……or maybe when he played Beecher’s dad in Oz (first time I saw him on tv). But that was a very grim storyline (then again, you’ll find very few light moments on that show).

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  • January 1, 2015 at 11:59 am
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    The AV Club interview with Ed Herrmann suggests why he had special billing:

    “… they worked out a deal where I would be recurring rather than a regular, because my little boy was 4, and I didn’t want to miss any of that. So I’d fly out, I’d stay at The Standard, they’d get me a car and I’d drive over and do my thing, and I’d go home. I didn’t realize this was a very special deal. I’ve tried to get it again and… I can’t. [Laughs.]”

    Also, of course, because he was awesome. Rest in peace, Grandpa.

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    • October 14, 2016 at 7:49 am
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      It was also because he was far and away the most famous actor in the show, to the extent that ASP was originally told by his agent or someone that he wouldn’t be able to do it and was only coming in to meet with her as a courtesy. But then when he got there, he asked her if he could read for the part and she was stunned and he did and he said he rather liked the role and did she think he could have it or something and he was so genuine, Amy basically couldn’t believe their luck. I read that in an interview somewhere. So anyway, they figured out this special deal for him to do the show around his schedule because he really wanted to be part of it.

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  • January 3, 2015 at 8:27 pm
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    Sorry of course to hear of Mr. Herrmann’s passing. Our condolences to his family and those fortunate enough to work with him these many years.Thanks and rest in peace–

    My last viewing of one of his projects was a fairly recent one…either a Hallmark of Lifetime effort involving a displaced broken family being welcomed into a small mountain west town. He was one of the towns patriarchs, a little bit cowboy/protector and a little bit diner owner channeling his best Luke Dane’s [without the romantic involvement]. He looked good as always but I kind of wondered why he was in the project. Maybe got a little bit of an answer when they rolled the final credits and I noticed one of the supporting roles was played by “Star Herrmann”. Assumed that meant one of his kids was taking up the trade but I guess noticing Kelly Bishop’s tweet that it also could have been his wife or one of the kids assuming their mom’s first name. So maybe the legacy continues…

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