Houston has produced many famous actors and actresses, but few get as much on-screen time as Lee High School class of '85 grad Tim Williams.
You don't recognize the name? You probably know him better as "The Trivago Guy," who assures TV viewers that "Trivago makes it easy to find the ideal hotel for the best price." Yes, he's the no-belt, scruffy beard, tousled hair actor whose commercial seemingly runs in an endless loop day and night.
Williams left Houston for New York after graduation, landed guest shots in TV drama series, and eventually made his way to Cologne, Germany for a part in the film, Suche Impotenten Mann Furs Leben (In Search of an Impotent Man). That led to a long-running soap opera role in Berlin playing an American rock star.
Williams fell in love with Germany, and a German woman, and stayed. That's how he became a pitchman for Trivago, an international travel company based in Dusseldorf. Williams is just one of several "Trivago Guys" and "Trivago Women," depending on where the commercials run. Williams is our guy in the U.S.
Williams' latest project is a country album called Magnolia City, with its first single by the same title. The song "Magnolia City" is about missing his hometown. (There are several promotional videos on Youtube.) That's him, the Trivago Guy, strumming a guitar and crooning in authentic "Texan English."
The opening lyrics go:
I'm calling Houston,
I have a problem,
I'm feeling lonely as the far side of the moon.
And I am homesick
And I miss the old folks,
Wishing I could go anytime soon.
Oh, Magnolia City
Sometimes it's a pity you're so far from where I roam,
Whenever I'm feeling down, longing for the old H-Town,
Only when I'm in Houston, I am home.
After that, in true country fashion, the song gets really sad. Williams visits Houston a few times a year. One time, I had lunch with him at Pappas Barbecue.
So many customers formed a line for his autograph, his brisket sandwich got cold. He's a star, all right.
"We reached No. 58 in the Music Row Nashville charts with my first single, Magnolia City, which is all about Houston," Williams says.
"Crazy enough, it's not being played in Houston, go figure! I'll have to find a good PR person in Houston to promote me and get it on the radio. The second song on the album is about my dad. I hope people will enjoy it back home. Other than that, I'm busy with films, promoting the album in Europe, Trivago spots, and my kids, of course."