Edward Hermann, best known for his roles in Gilmore Girls and Richie Rich, has died at the age of 71. He lost his long-running battle against brain cancer this morning in a New York hospital (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center), where he had been being kept in care for the last three and a half weeks.
The actor’s struggle to beat his illness had taken a turn for the worst about a month ago, so his family made the decision to admit him to the aforementioned hospital’s ICU in hopes that the situation would improve and perhaps Herrmann would get better. Their wishes were in vain, however, and the D.C. native’s health did nothing but deteriorate further during his hospitalization. Upon discussing what the best option for the man would be, his family decided that it would be in the actor’s best interest to pull the plug of the respirator he was attached to, and therefore him die in peace rather than continue to get sicker and suffer even more than he already had been for quite some time. Herrmann was married twice; his second wife, Star Hayner, says he is survived by three children. Two daughters, Ryan and Emma, and a stepson Rory Herrmann.
The actor’s death did not come as a shock to his Gilmore Girls co-stars, who were said to have been informed on Monday of his family’s intent to take him off the aforementioned respiratory system that was keeping him alive. On-screen wife Kelly Bishop (who played DAR head Emily Gilmore on the hit WB series), is said to have flown to MSKCC in order to say her last goodbyes to the actor, whom she worked side-by-side with on the series for seven years. Hermann was fully aware of the plan for him to pass away, and therefore wanted to say his farewells with whoever he could before it was too late, according to the Instagram account Gilmore Girls Daily. On-set daughter and granddaughter, Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel (who played Lorelai and Rory Gilmore, respectively), could not make it to New York in time but reportedly sent their love and respect Herrmann’s way before his life came to an end. Indeed, Graham issued a public statement shortly following news of the actor’s death having broke, in which she expressed her grief and sorrow over losing a man she gushed was inexplicably talented, classy and kind. She went on to say that it was an honor to know him and work with him, and an even larger blow to have to say goodbye to him today.
Herrmann gained notoriety on the show for playing the quick-witted, no-nonsense insurance bigwig Richard Gilmore, whom he portrayed for almost every single episode of the 2000-2007 comedy-drama, which in itself won several awards. These included three teen choice awards; Choice TV Show, Choice TV Actress (an honor which went to Alexis Bledel for her role as Harvard bound bookworm Rory), Choice TV: Parental Unit (given to Graham for portraying the fast-talking, pop-culture referencing mom of the century Lorelai), and a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Makeup.
Edward Herrmann has passed away at the age of 71, following a lengthy and fierce battle against brain cancer. There is no word yet as to the plans for his burial or suchlike arrangements, and his family is asking for privacy and respect in their time of grief.
By Rebecca Grace