What's New | Learning | Avant Garde | Guests | Archive | About IN | What is Integral?

Who is Chantal Westerman?

From her professional debut on Dallas radio, to success in the competitive world of Los Angeles television, through 13 years on "Good Morning America," followed by hosting two innovative television series, Chantal Westerman has become an audience favorite as a result of her unique, intimate, revealing interview style that renders some of the world's most fascinating people unusually accessible.

A committed community volunteer as well as a highly regarded television personality, Chantal is also currently featured in a number of high profile national and international television commercials and print advertisements.

She was born in Washington, D. C. to Colonel George Frederick Westerman, a tough, disciplined military professional, and his completely opposite wife Dodie, an artistic, creative dreamer. Life was never dull in the Westerman household. Chantal took traits from both parents and "never a dull moment" remains the hallmark of her existence as she is seen rescuing dogs on Southern California's hazardous freeways, appearing before Hollywood cameras, entering a maximum security juvenile facility to guide grateful felons to a state of meditation, or bicycling from San Francisco to Los Angeles helping raise millions of dollars in the California AIDS Ride, one of her most rewarding experiences.

It is Chantal's distinctive blend of intelligence, humor, sensitivity, curiosity and awe regarding the human condition that has sustained her through a kaleidoscope of media challenges.

Quite by accident, she one day found herself as the "traffic girl" on Dallas radio. She segued to a spot as entertainment reporter for KNUS Radio, which evolved into a critic-at-large position. After being judged by D Magazine as "The Sexiest Woman In Dallas," it was natural that television came calling. She became a contributing reporter for WFAA-TV's "PM Magazine" and soon was an extremely popular Texas personality.

She was called to Los Angeles to serve as entertainment critic for KHJ-TV's "Nine O'Clock News." She held the post for five years, and is still remembered for, among other things, reviewing the motion picture "Indiana Jones" while cracking a whip. During the period, she also frequently co-hosted the popular "Mid-Morning L.A." program.

Chantal's sometimes quirky, always professional and fascinating work before the camera caught the attention of ABC Television's top-rated "Good Morning America," and she was signed to become part of the national institution's talented team of reporters and interviewers.

During an almost record-breaking 13 years with "Good Morning America," she traveled the world covering all facets of entertainment, the arts and human interest. She conducted revealing interviews with countless stars, including, to name just a few, Cher, Michael Caine, Tom Cruise, Billy Crystal, Bette Davis, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Whoopie Goldberg, Shirley MacLaine, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Sharon Stone, Denzel Washington, and Robin Williams.

She subsequently hosted Wisdom Television's signature original series "Conversations With Remarkable People." Among her subjects for in-depth conversations were Trappist monk and author Father Thomas Keating; Dolores Hart, who rejected film stardom and is now a mother superior; heiress and businesswoman Gloria Vanderbilt, speaking poignantly about the suicide of her son; one of Alfred Hitchcock's favorite leading ladies, Tippi Hedren, now one of the world's foremost animal protection activists; poet, scholar and spiritual elder Robert Bly; and the great music man Quincy Jones.

Chantal's innate sensitivity, refined by profound life experiences and, ultimately, sobriety, have often made her the interviewer of choice for celebrities in crisis, among them actress-producer Drew Barrymore, former First Lady Betty Ford, actor Michael Landon, and, shortly before their deaths, Harper's Bazaar editor Liz Tilberis, and pediatric AIDS activist Elizabeth Glaser.

Most recently, Chantal hosted an innovative series titled "Second Look" for the Style Network, a ground-breaking show that demonstrated a social responsibility. Chantal says, "They called it 'a makeover show with a heart', but we saw it as so much more. We searched shelters, recovery facilities and safe houses for women and men who had recently been homeless, who were disenfranchised, disillusioned, frightened, often battered and forgotten. But they had taken their first step to seek help and hope. We told their story, always stories of great courage and strength and survival against devastating odds. And we gave them the tools - jobs, clothing, food, skills, cosmetic makeovers - whatever it took to lift them up to that second step."

When not before the cameras, Chantal can be found in an unusual array of places. You might see her doing the most dangerous thing in all of Southern California, running across six lanes of the Santa Monica Freeway at rush hour on the heels of a ragged, terrified dog. Or, for The Bill Foundation, in the horrid bump rooms of high-kill animal shelters searching for adoptable dogs and cats with only moments of life left simply because they have no human friend. Or delivering meals to homebound AIDS patients for Project Angel Food, which she has done for 10 years. Or spending time with people recovering from substance abuse.

One of her unusual activities is going twice weekly to a maximum-security juvenile-detention facility that houses youthful offenders and gang members involved in extremely serious crimes. She gathers them in a circle, talks to them, plays music, listens to their concerns and guides them through meditation, a state of silence and peace many have never before experienced.

Possibly the rarest thing about Chantal Westerman is that she doesn't think she is anything out of the ordinary.

Chantal has appeared on Integral Naked:

Towards an Integral Lifestyle. Part 2. A Deeper Wisdom. 11/8/2004
Towards an Integral Lifestyle. Part 1. From Dallas to L.A.9/20/2004

What's New | Learning | Avant Garde | Guests | Archive | About IN | What is Integral? | Contact Us