Ernest Waddell

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Ernest Waddell
Born (1982-07-22) July 22, 1982 (age 39)
EducationNew York University BFA Tisch School of the Arts, Bishop McNamara High School
OccupationActor, painter, photographer
Years active2003–present

Ernest Waddell (born July 22, 1982) is a New York City-based actor. He is perhaps best known for his recurring roles on two television series: Fin Tutuola's son Ken Randall on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and Omar Little's boyfriend Dante on The Wire.[1] His credits also include the television series As the World Turns and One Tree Hill, and the film The Poker Game. He is also an abstract painter and photographer.[1]


Ernest Waddell grew up in Bowie, Maryland. He developed an interest in acting and attended a summer program at the Oxford School of Drama before enrolling at New York University. When accepting his first recurring role, Waddell was apprehensive because he thought that appearances in The Wire would lead to him being typecast. Having appeared multiple times on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Waddell has stated that a big difference compared to The Wire is that SVU films under heavier time constraints.[2]

Two of Waddell's favorite shows are Cosmos: A Personal Voyage and The Blue Planet.[2] Ernest has also directed numerous short films. Connected to this is his work on, a self-help actor website, turned experimental video hub, which he co-founded with actor Brandon Scott. Referring to Waddell, Victoria Cartagena has stated that the two of them were cast in The Bedford Diaries because he helped her practice lines while waiting for an audition.[3]


Film or Television Title Character Episodes Year(s)
Seasons of Youth Flint Williams -- 2003
Third Watch Tony 1 episode 2004
The Wire Dante 9 episodes 2003–2004
As the World Turns Curtis Harris 9 episodes 2005
Rock the Paint Student Protester -- 2005
Kiss Me Again Student 3 -- 2006
The Bedford Diaries Lee Hemingway 8 episodes 2006
Stutter Shep -- 2007
One Tree Hill Derek Sommers 6 episodes 2006–2008
CSI: Miami MDPD Officer 1 episode 2009
Buppies Shaka 4 episodes 2009
Mother Country Clark -- 2011
Absence of Love James -- 2012
About Cherry Vaughn -- 2012
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Ken Randall 9 episodes 2003–2018
Happy Baby Police Officer -- 2014
What We Talk About When We Talk About Zombies Steve -- 2015


  1. ^ a b Ernest Waddell Bio - Ernest Waddell Biography - Ernest Waddell Stories
  2. ^ a b Clay, Karlton (July 26, 2012). "KARLTON SAYS Real Talk with Ernest Waddell". YouTube. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
  3. ^ Rapp, Ilana. "How to make a memorable character with Gotham's Victoria Cartagena". NY Castings. Archived from the original on March 10, 2016. Retrieved March 7, 2016.

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