Born William Anderson, this brawny, blond second lead had the looks of a Viking god. He worked as a band vocalist and trombone player, then gained a small amount of stage experience before debuting onscreen in a bit part (as a corpse) in Wanderer of the Wasteland (1935). Billed by Paramount as Glenn Erickson, he began his screen career as a leading man in Westerns. Because of his Nordic looks he was renamed Leif Erikson, which he later changed to Erickson. He played intelligent but unexciting second leads and supporting parts in many films. Erickson took four years off to serve in World War II and was twice wounded. He made few films after 1965 and retired from the screen after 1977. Also working on Broadway and in TV plays, he played the patriarch Big John Cannon in the TV series High Chaparral (1967-1971). From 1934 to 1942, he was married to actress Frances Farmer, with whom he co-starred in Ride a Crooked Mile (1938); later, he was briefly married to actress Margaret Hayes (aka Dana Dale).