Requiescat in Pace
Retta Blaney, who writes regularly about the arts for The Living Church, remembers the life and work of actor Edward Herrmann:
I had met Ed briefly backstage at Lincoln Center in the late 1990s, but was blessed to get to know him in 2002 when we sat together for an hour or so as I interviewed him for my book Working on the Inside: The Spiritual Life Through the Eyes of Actors. He was quite open with me about his faith — he was a convert to Catholicism — and his personal life before his conversion.
“In the sixties and seventies when sex was free and there was no disease, we thought it was great,” he told me. “We could sleep with anyone and we did. It’s a lie. The fact that we did it didn’t make it true. It’s not enlightening and helpful. We didn’t look for connections, for relationships. It was a bogus rainbow hair life.”
Raised Unitarian, he found that practice lacked regularity, dependent on inspiration and enthusiasm, which can wax and wane. So he started a spiritual quest, studying Eastern religions where he was drawn to Buddhism and followed a guru for a time. But it was the rigors of Catholicism that hooked him, with the familiarity of set prayers and the transcendence of the Mass.