His mother is Portuguese and his father was German. He is in fact a German citizen: he never acquired dual citizenship, first so he could avoid conscription and the Portuguese Colonial War (1961 to 1974) and secondly because he said he was not interested. He went to Lisbon's German school Deutsche Schule Lissabon for all his schooling and is fluent in Portuguese, German, English, French, and Spanish. He lives in Azeitão, Setúbal, and keeps houses in Lisbon and Vilamoura, Algarve.
Herman José was a singer as a popular one-man-show in the late 1970s and early 1980s, travelling through Portugal and abroad, entertaining groups of Portuguese emigrants. His discs "Saca o Saca-Rolhas" ("Screw the Corkscrew", 1977) and "Canção do Beijinho" ("The Kiss Song", 1980) both reached gold record status.
He owns Café Café and Bastidores, two popular back-to-back restaurants in Lisbon, where he performs stand-up comedy once a week. He is also a partner in the seafood restaurant Jardim do Marisco and the Tivoli Theatre, both also in Lisbon. His expensive tastes include high-end automobiles and motorbikes. He currently owns two Bentleys, a BMW Z4, a BMW Z8, a BMW 7 Series 760, and a Rolls Royce and keeps a large Azimute 55 yacht at the Vilamoura marina.
He is known for destroying scenery and props. On the last broadcast of Wheel of Fortune, in 1993, he fired a shotgun live on air at the scenery and at a TV set. He later justified the act as "just wanting to see what it looks like on the inside". Later shots destroyed a light bulb on the set, and during the credits he pretended to kill some of the onstage staff, saving himself for last.
- 6 Vocals
- 3 Instruments & Performance
- 8 Writing & Arrangement
- 2 Conducting & Leading
- 3 Acting, Literary & Spoken