Edward Herrmann Biography

Edward Herrmann was an American actor, best remembered for his on-screen portrayal of Franklin D Roosevelt in the TV movie ‘Eleanor and Franklin’. Check out this biography to know about his childhoodfamily life, achievements and other fun facts.

Quick Facts

Birthday: July 21, 1943

Nationality: American

Famous: Actors American Men

Died At Age: 71

Sun Sign: Cancer

Also Known As: Edward Kirk Herrmann

Born in: Washington, D.C.

Famous as: Actor

Height: 6'5" (196 cm), 6'5" Males


Spouse/Ex-: Star Herrmann, Leigh Curran (m. 1978–1992)

father: John Anthony Herrmann

mother: Jean Eleanor

children: Emma Herrmann, Rory Herrmann, Ryan Herrmann

Died on: December 31, 2014

Cause of Death: Cancer

More Facts

education: Bucknell University

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Edward Herrmann was an American actor, comedian, writer and director, best remembered for his on-screen portrayal of Franklin D Roosevelt in the TV movie ‘Eleanor and Franklin’. His more than four decade-long acting career saw him essaying a number of memorable stage and screen roles. The family patriarch Richard Gilmore on the TV show ‘Gilmore Girls’ and the head vampire Max in the film ‘The Lost Boys’ are some of his most notable performances. However, his role of Franklin D Roosevelt in numerous productions, including the television movie ‘Eleanor and Franklin’ and the musical ‘Annie’, has immortalized him in people’s memories. Herrmann closely identified with the character of President Franklin D Roosevelt, who overcame polio as a young man and led America during tough times, such as the Depression era and World War II. Herrmann was the voice of Franklin Roosevelt in the television documentary miniseries ‘The Roosevelts: An Intimate History’. His narration was as popular as his acting. The viewers of the History channel especially cannot forget his voice, as it regularly featured in many historical programs and documentaries on the network. Herrmann was also a vintage car enthusiast who restored many automobiles.

  • Edward Herrmann’s acting career began on stage in the early 1970s. One of his first professional appearance was in the play ‘Moonchildren’ (1971). Around this time, he was also seen in some uncredited roles in movies. His initials films were ‘The Paper Chase’ (1973) and ‘The Great Gatsby’ (1974). In 1976, he landed the defining role of his career when he was cast as Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the TV movie ‘Eleanor and Franklin’. In the following year, he reprised his role in the sequel ‘Eleanor and Franklin:
  • The White House Years’. He played the role of the former American president once again in the 1982 musical film ‘Annie’. The 2014 miniseries ‘The Roosevelts: An Intimate History’ saw him playing the same role yet again. Overall, he played the character of Franklin D Roosevelt five separate times, in addition to narrating a documentary about him.
  • Other notable films of Herrmann’s career were ‘Harry's War’ (1981), ‘The Lost Boys’ (1987) and ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ (2013). He played the role of the family patriarch Richard Gilmore on ‘Gilmore Girls’ (2000 - 2007), appearing in all episodes. Thanks to his marvelous performance as Richard Gilmore, he will always be remembered as one of the greatest on-screen grandfathers, fathers and husbands.
  • Apart from acting, Herrmann was also a prolific narrator, known for his clear and distinguished voice. As a voice-over artist, he worked in many History channel and PBS specials. It all started with him hosting ‘History Lost And Found’, a History channel series on the whereabouts of famous artefacts. The show’s popularity led to him becoming the audio-presenter of dozens of History channel programs. Besides these, he recorded many audiobooks and voiced numerous television commercials. His final work as a narrator was for a documentary called ‘Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies’. Herrmann was also a well-known vintage car enthusiast, who hosted the television show ‘Automobiles’ on the History channel.
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Family & Personal Life
  • Edward Herrmann was born on July 21, 1943, in Washington D.C. His father John Anthony Herrmann was an engineer in the automotive and rail industry, and his mother Jean Eleanor Herrmann was a homemaker. He was brought up in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. He graduated from the ‘Bucknell University’ in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania in 1965. After developing a passion for the 17th century British literature and poetry, he joined the ‘London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts’ on a Fullbright Scholarship.
  • Herrmann married his longtime girlfriend and screenwriter Leigh Curran in 1978, but they got divorced in 1992. Two years later, in 1994, he married Star Roman, remaining with her until his death in 2014. The couple had two daughters; Ryen and Emma, and a stepson called Rory from Roman's previous relationship. He was an avid collector of military memorabilia and loved to restore vintage automobiles. Herrmann died of brain cancer on December 31, 2014, at ‘Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Hospital’, New York City, New York.


Primetime Emmy Awards
1999 Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series The Practice (1997)

See the events in life of Edward Herrmann in Chronological Order

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