ERMAL WALDEN WILLIAMSON: A man of the West, ex-stuntman for Universal Studios in Hollywood, California. He has performed on Duke’s yacht, the “Wild Goose”. ever since it has been rescued from almost going to Davy Jones’ Locker.. He has ridden in the Tournament of Roses Parade as John Wayne for three years, and has done a patriotic recitation at the Rose Bowl preceding the parade. He travels the world, appearing at corporate events throughout the country as host, emcee and/or entertainer. As an entertainer, he is an after-dinner speaker, a key-note speaker, he hosts conventions, performs at trade-shows, and emcees seminars. He carries his own audio/video projector and screen to enhance his program at special events.
AWARDS: Ermal is the recipient of many, one of which is the prestigious 2003 IGCITA Best Male Impersonator of the Year Award ￼ in Las Vegas and performed in Branson, Missouri with Paula Erlene in the production, “John Wayne and America’s Yodeling Sweetheart”. He adds all of his experiences in bringing to the audiences exciting anecdotes about Duke with Paula singing and yodeling, incorporating real Western history and folk lore while keeping his audience on the edge of their seats. They also carry their show on stage throughout the country, in churches and schools and for special events.
ACTING: He took up acting classes under Jerry Paris at Paramount Studios after graduating from college with a BS Degree in drama. Paris made for certain that Ermal was firmly planted on the set, constantly preparing him for his “Big Break”. Paris passed away shortly afterwards, and Ermal later won the supporting role of Randolph Hearst in “The Patty Hearst” movie, playing opposite the late Natasha Richardson.￼He gives Jerry credit for much of his acting ability. He performed for the full hour as John Wayne in “Diagnosis Murder” (with Paris’ friend and co-worker, Dick Van Dyke).
As a SAG, AFTRA and AEA actor, one can find Ermal in many types of films, such as: he appeared with Tom Hanks in “Bonfires of the Vanity”, and has appeared in dozens of sitcoms such as “The Twilight Zone”, “General Hospital”, “Superior Court”, “The Judge”, “Evening Shade”, “Delta”, “Golden Girls” and almost became a “regular” on Santa Barbara had it not been for an unforeseen accident. He made movies for TV; “Woman Against the Odds”, “Lies Before Kisses”, “The Black Hole” and others. Ermal starred in “Star Quest”, a Sci-Fi movie opposite Burt Ward. Having appeared in dozens of live stage productions, he enjoyed working with the two great women of television; Jean Stapleton, and Marion Ross. On a theater on Hollywood and Vine, Ermal starred in “Medea at the Stardust Grill” and won rave reviews as a hard-and-tough night-time television host.
EDUCATION: Along the trail, after earning two Bachelor of Arts Degrees (one in Acting), Ermal earned a Masters Degree and a Doctor of Ministry Degree from the Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. Shortly after his return to acting, Ermal was called upon to impersonate Gary Cooper in Sonora, California (the location site of “High Noon”) during the annual Sonora Film Festival, at their famous Jamestown Railroad and High Noon sites along the rails of Oakdale. Other peers soon saw him as the John Wayne look-alike.
ENTERTAINER: He wrote, directed, produced and starred in his one-man show “Memories with John Wayne and Gary Cooper” in Sherman Oaks, CA.
Fully utilizing his writing and acting talents, Ermal brought to life The Story of John Wayne ; a “rags-to-riches” story. As a raconteur, Ermal is a frequent speaker, host and emcee at corporate events, supper clubs, seminars and organizations. He performs as a professional host and emcee, giving motivational speeches about the Duke’s life and movies that encapsulate between 15 minutes to two hours in pure entertainment.
His life has been devoted to John Wayne in that he covers all aspects of his impersonation of the Duke; some events most fans never knew. He explains the truth in the talk, the walk, and the nuances in all facets of his very being on the screen. Because of his rich John Wayne mannerisms, he was chosen over a few hundred other actors to reenact the Duke in all of the Coors Light beer commercials. Here he stands tall with R. Lee Ermey in his first Super Bowl commercial.
For a while, he performed as Duke in his weekly Santa Clarita half-hour public cable TV segments in first person talking about Duke’s life, his movies, and giving personal anecdotes. The late Burt Kennedy, writer and director of several John Wayne movies, wrote me: “Saw your TV show – Great. A Fan. Burt Kennedy.” Another – “I tell you – his is the GREATEST PERFORMANCE OF AN IMPERSONATION THAT I HAVE EVER SEEN. And, most of you already know that I have been in the motion picture business ever since I was ten years old. . . . His act is not good – IT IS GREAT. IT IS EXCELLENT!” Ned Shaheen – Hollywood Producer.
LIFE-TIME EXPERIENCES: With an undisputed track record consisting of his Marine Corp experience, a rough-and-tough steelworker as a teen, cowboy stuntman thrilling the tour trams at Universal Studios, expertise on the Wild West, and a John Wayne and Gary Cooper impersonator, he has put his daily life-long experiences to work for him in all that he does. His creative writings reflect his no bars philosophies. Ermal does not hold back.
WRITER: Ermal has written patriotic poetry as: “John Wayne, American”, “Just a Piece of Cloth”, “America’s Kids Today”, and others that he recites with his wife, song-writer and show-partner, Paula Erlene on-stage and at times on horseback; an excellent horseman.
To date, he has authored seven Western novels with a single theme, “BRAZOS.” His books can be found on the menu above under SHOP.
As a man of entertainment, he gives his fans 180% of his God-given talent as John Wayne.