Tim Williams – The Trivago Guy

“Forget that Dos Equis dude, Trivago Guy is the
Most Interesting Man in the World.”
Rolling Stone

A Texan in Germany
Born Timothy Leigh Williams on August 16, 1966 in Houston, Texas, Tim Williams is an actor and musician who has been living in Germany since August 2001. In his US homeland he is best known as the “Trivago Guy” who can be seen in a seemingly neverending series of television commercials for that Düsseldorf-based hotel search engine. (“Hotel? Trivago.”) But Tim Williams has also appeared in several Hollywood and German feature films, including Valkyrie (2008), Ninja Assassin (2009), and Labyrinth of Lies (“Im Labyrinth des Schweigens,” 2014). In Labyrinth, a German production, the Texas native plays an American major who speaks almost accent-free German. (The film is available from Netflix in the US.) Williams, however, claims his German isn’t that good. He never took a German course or learned “proper German.” All of his German was gained from daily life, friends, family, and the German scripts he had to memorize. (See the links below for a sample of Williams’ German.)

The Trivago Guy

Tim Williams as he appears in the Trivago TV commercials. PHOTO: Trivago.com

From 2011 to 2014 Tim Williams also appeared on German television in the popular daily soap opera Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten (GZSZ, “Good times, bad times”) as Kurt LeRoy, a member of the fictional rock band Dark Circle Knights. The vocals were dubbed, but in 2013 Williams recorded his own EP entitled “Temporary Man.”

After developing an interest in acting in high school, Williams went to New York City, where he attended the respected Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. After minor roles in several American TV series (Law & Order and The Sopranos), a German director invited Williams to go to Germany in 2001 to co-star with Katrin Weisser in the romantic comedy Suche impotenten Mann fürs Leben based on a novel by Gaby Hauptmann. During the filming of that German production in Cologne he met and fell in love with a German lady.

A little over a week after his arrival in Germany the 9/11 terrorist attack in New York took place, giving him one more reason to stay in Germany for at least a little longer. Although he and his lady love later separated, he has called Berlin home ever since. He has two sons, Chase and Jack.

Williams first gained true fame in Germany as Stefan Gronewoldt in the ZDF TV series Samt und Seide. In 2008 he played a doctor in the Tom Cruise blockbuster Valkyrie (German: Operation Walküre – Das Stauffenberg Attentat), which was filmed in and around Berlin, including at the Babelsberg Studios in nearby Potsdam. Because of his Trivago spots, he is now perhaps better known in the United States than in Germany.

When he is not shooting Trivago spots, his current interests revolve around music. See his “Temporary Man” Facebook page for more. Although he likes Berlin, Williams has one complaint: the long, grey Berlin winters.

From 1998 to 2001 Williams was married to the American actress Angelica Page, the daughter of actors Rip Torn und Geraldine Page.

Filmography (Selected films and TV series)

  • My So-Called Life (1994, US TV series, one episode)
  • Law & Order (1999, US TV series, one episode)
  • The Sopranos (1999, US TV series, one episode)
  • Suche impotenten Mann fürs Leben (2003, Germany)
  • SOKO Köln (2003, German TV series, one episode)
  • Beyond the Sea (2004, USA)
  • Samt und Seide (2004-2005, German TV series) – as Stefan Gronewoldt
  • SOKO Rhein-Main (2007, German TV series, one episode)
  • Valkyrie (2008, USA) – as a doctor
  • Ninja Assassin (2009, USA) – as Europol cell guard
  • Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten (German TV series, 2011–2014) – as bandleader Kurt LeRoy
  • Oh Boy (A Coffee in Berlin, 2012) – as barkeeper
  • The Apparition (2012, USA) – as an office executive
  • The Forbidden Girl (2013, Germany, in English) – as Sheriff Reynolds
  • Labyrinth of Lies (Im Labyrinth des Schweigens, 2014, Germany) – as Major Parker

OTHER “FAMOUS” AMERICANS IN GERMANY

  • Bruce Darnell is an African American who has had success on German television.
  • Ron Williams, the other Williams in Germany, is an African American from Oakland, California who has lived and worked in Germany for decades.
  • Hans-Jürgen Massaquoi (1926-2013) was an African-German, born in Hamburg, who gained success in the US as the editor of Ebony.
  • Black History and Germany – The largely unknown story of African Americans and other black people who have had an influence on German and world history.

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