Raised in New York City by an architect father (Michael Wurmfeld) and a documentary photographer mother (Hope Herman), Charles Herman-Wurmfeld grew up in a family of artists and inventors. He went on to study theater and studio art at Ohio's Oberlin College, and following graduation he started a theater company called Hubinspoke in the small rural town of Brandon, Vermont. He moved to San Francisco in the early '90s, where he established himself as a theater director.
Along with singer-songwriter D'Arcy Drollinger, he developed a trilogy of rock operas -- Possession of Mrs. Jones, Suburbia 3000 and The Cereal Killers -- before making his first low-budget 16mm feature, Fanci's Persuasion (1995), an offbeat slice of experimental San Francisco life. The experience made Herman-Wurmfeld realize that he wanted to be a filmmaker, and so in 1997 he headed to Los Angeles on his bicycle, with nothing but his banjo and a knapsack. His first project was From There to Here, a documentary about a singer who was struggling to get a record deal. As a result, the singer landed a record deal, and the film was honored as Best Music Documentary at the Yahoo! Internet Life Online Film Festival in 2000.
Actress/writers Heather Juergensen and Jennifer Westfeldt, working in collaboration with Herman-Wurmfeld's sister, producer Eden Wurmfeld, invited him to direct Kissing Jessica Stein. Shot entirely on location in New York in 23 days with a budget of $1 million, the gender-bending take on modern relationships piqued the interest of Fox Searchlight, which bought it for domestic distribution. The film received the Audience Award at the 2001 Los Angeles Film Festival, the Audience Award at the 2001 Miami Film Festival and a 2003 Glitter Award for Best Lesbian Feature. As well, it earned Herman-Wurmfeld a spot on Variety's prestigious 10 Directors To Watch 2002.
He next turned to a project made for television, The Facts of Life Reunion (2001) based on the popular sitcom that ran on NBC from 1979 to 1988, before returning to the big screen with the sequel, Legally Blonde 2, Red, White & Blonde (2003). He followed that up by directing a sitcom pilot, Legally Blonde, based on the hit movie.
Herman-Wurmfeld lives in Los Angeles with his domestic partner, Jason Bushman.