Edward Herrmann spent seven seasons portraying Richard Gilmore on Gilmore Girls. To be honest, we couldn’t see anyone else taking on the role of stoic but caring Richard. Neither could famed showrunner Amy Sherman-Palladino. Following Herrmann’s tragic death in 2014, Sherman-Palladino spoke about how Herrmann came to be Richard Gilmore, and the story is rather incredible.
Edward Herrmann offered to read for ‘Gilmore Girls’ after his agent said he wouldn’t read for the role
Amy Sherman-Palladino recalled the extraordinary circumstances that led to Ed Herrmann’s casting as Richard Gilmore to TV Line shortly after his December 2014 death. She told the publication that when they were casting for the series, they kept coming back to the part of Richard Gilmore. Sherman-Palladino recalled saying that she wished they could get Ed Herrmann, who, at that point in his career, was highly in demand and well-respected. They took a shot and sent a script to his agent.
Sherman-Palladino said they were surprised to hear back from his agent, who said Herrmann was willing to meet with the team, but he would under no circumstances audition for the role. The agent was so adamant that he put a “no reading” stipulation on the meeting. Thrilled just to get a chance to sell Herrmann on the part, Sherman-Palladino agreed.
Apparently, the instance that Herrmann wouldn’t audition didn’t come from the legendary actor. Sherman-Palladino recalled that Herrmann walked into the room, sat down, and told everyone that he liked the script. Then, to the surprise of everyone, he asked if he should read for the part. He didn’t even wait for their answer. He simply started reading from the script.
Edward Herrmann always appeared as a ‘special appearance’
Edward Herrmann was sold on Gilmore Girls pretty instantly. He liked the script, and he wanted the part of Richard. Still, the famed actor was a huge pull for a fledgling show. While he appeared in more than 100 episodes, he was never listed as a member of the main cast, though. Instead, Herrmann was always listed as a “special appearance” in the credits.
Over the years, fans have questioned the odd presentation of the cast. Many were offended for Herrmann. They didn’t need to be. While the “special appearance” listing has bothered some fans, it’s actually a sign of respect. His billing, at the end of the credit sequence, as a “special appearance by” was used to honor Herrmann’s accomplishments as an actor.
Edward Herrmann lived in a town not unlike Stars Hollow
While most of the cast made their home in Hollywood and the surrounding neighborhoods, Herrmann had a little in common with his Gilmore Girls character. He, too, called Connecticut home. To be fair, though, he lived in a Connecticut town more similar to Stars Hollow than Hartford.
According to a DVD-exclusive interview, Herrmann resided in Sharon, Connecticut. A small town tucked into the hills of Litchfield County, Connecticut. With a tiny population, the town is close-knit, and small, independently-owned businesses dot its main shopping area. Herrmann still differed from his on-screen character in one big way. Richard Gilmore was a proud Yale graduate, while Herrmann attended Bucknell University in Pennsylvania.