Edward Herrmann Dies at Age 71


With deepest sadness we report that Edward Herrmann, the actor who so memorably portrayed Richard Gilmore, passed away on the morning of New Year’s Eve in a hospital in New York, aged 71.

Lauren Graham (Lorelai Gilmore): My friend Ed Herrmann was the kindest, classiest, most talented man. It was an honor and a joy to know him, a devastating blow to lose him.
@thelaurengraham on Twitter

Edward had been battling brain cancer and in intensive care for the last three weeks, TMZ reports. His condition did not improve and he was taken off the respirator yesterday.

Well Emily, for tonight and tonight only, my name is Bill and this is our song.


Richard Gilmore’s fluctuating health led to some of the most poinient moments in the show. Remember putting your hands over your mouth when he’s giving a lecture and keels over sideways? Or Lorelai standing at the foot of his post-angina attack hospital bed unable to tell him… well unable to speak. Which is kind of how I feel right now.

Amy Sherman-Palladino (creator of Gilmore Girls): Ed Herrmann was a towering presence who filled the room with grace, laughter, Chekhov references and several salty stories. He was our patriarch… Gilmore Girls would not exist without Ed. There really are no words.
Speaking on Variety

After recent appearances in Black Box, The Good Wife and The Town That Dreaded Sundown, his final feature will be in Coach of the Year, currently in post-production and slated for release in 2015.

David Sutcliffe (Christopher Hayden): Sad to hear about the passing of Ed Herrmann, aka Richard Gilmore from Gilmore Girls. Great man, great actor. He will be missed.
@SutcliffeDavid on Twitter

Only prostitutes have two glasses of wine for lunch

Edward Herrmann is survived by his wife Star Hayner and two daughters, Emma and Ryan. Also his stepson, chef Rory Herrmann.

His on-screen wife, Kelly Bishop (Emily Gilmore) spoke to TVLine:

Kelly Bishop: We, the Gilmore Girls family, are so terribly sad and somewhat stunned. We only learned about his illness a week or so ago. I got a call from Star Monday night asking if I wanted to come to the hospital to say good-bye. I went yesterday and was able to give Ed love from Lauren, Alexis and Amy… I have so many fond memories of our time together on Gilmore Girls and since, mainly via email. I think everyone who knew or worked with Ed found him to be absolutely delightful… Everything looks a little dim, as if the lights went down.


It takes a remarkable person to inspire all this


Pics c/o TheWB & TheCW



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.

19 thoughts on “Edward Herrmann Dies at Age 71

  • January 1, 2015 at 7:40 am

    The cast of Gilmore Girls was flawless, but Edward Herrmann might be my favorite, particulary considering his work outside of the show. 80´s teenage vampire movie? Dark jailhouse tv show? Cohen brothers flick? Just about any other genre you can think of? He would find the exact right tone. As for his part in Gilmore Girls, just try and imagine someone else playing Richard Gilmore and achieving such a funny, warm character while giving him some ruthlessness as well. Once you’ve seen him, you can’t picture anyone else in these shoes. The way he portrayed that man and expressed his feelings to his family was the perfect definition of comedy/drama. The only comforting thing I can think of right now is that with such a body of work and classy presence, he will be remembered fondly by so many of us. And many of us will miss him, even if we never got to meet him.

    • January 6, 2015 at 11:58 am

      You’ve all summed up what I’ve been trying to get closure on… that nobody else could have played him, the same way nobody could have played Lorelai. More impressively still, the characters were right there from day one. His absence from any kind of Gilmore sequel would be as obvious as a dropped stitch. Kelly Bishop’s hospital visit moves me to tears, thinking about Emily visiting a frail Richard in hospital:

      Emily: No! I did not sign on to your dying. And it is not going to happen. Not tonight, not for a very long time. In fact, I demand to go first. Do I make myself clear?
      Richard: Yes, Emily. You may go first.

      Alexis spoke to TVLine, saying “Ed Herrmann was a wonderful actor and a kind man. He was endlessly knowledgeable about theater, TV and film, and would generously share his wisdom or tell stories from a long and rewarding career. I am grateful to him for that, and will miss him tremendously. He loved acting and was the head of our Gilmore family with his strong presence and great sense of humor. May he rest in peace.”

      Richard was the perfect foil, straight man and gentleman. And Wiffenpoof. I’m abstaining from blogging this week, as a sign of respect, to take a moment to reflect. Business as usual next week.

  • January 1, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    I’m so insanely sad. :(

  • January 1, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    nice job rich

    this just breaks my heart
    i feel like i lost a family member
    time to re-watch the series
    won’t be the same

  • January 4, 2015 at 10:17 am

    I was touched that Kelly Bishop went to his bedside … yes, that most have opened a floodgate of memories for her. I have such a difficult time getting my comments to post, but thanks for the nice write up Rich. Sniffling here too

  • January 5, 2015 at 6:31 am

    Apologies commenters for our over-enthusiastic spam blocker. Some comments sit in limbo until I spot that they’ve been waiting and manually approve. Thank you for your thoughts, your patience and your impressive persistence in getting your words out there. They are *always* appreciated.

  • January 6, 2015 at 7:11 am

    What a sad news to welcome 2015 :(

    He will be missed

    I’m glad to hear though that Emily was able to send on behalf of Lauren,Alexis and Amy their goodbyes

    Cancer is a bitch

  • January 7, 2015 at 12:02 am

    Rich! You beat me to the “You may go first” quote because this instantly came to my mind when I heard of his passing. A truly wonderful man with a great legacy. May you rest in peace Mr Gilmore. We will miss you.

    • January 8, 2015 at 1:01 am

      Great minds :) the hospital scene from the final episode of Dawson’s Creek has the same effect on me. I can’t even think about it without welling up.

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  • May 9, 2019 at 1:30 am

    Listening to Morrissey’s cover of ‘Wedding Bell Blues’ and reading this blog post made me tear up again. *Sniff* Ended up spinning this comment into a Post, oops. Still love ya x


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