Bruce Campbell

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Bruce Campbell
Bruce Campbell by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Campbell at WonderCon in 2013
BornBruce Lorne Campbell
(1958-06-22) June 22, 1958 (age 55)
Royal Oak, Michigan, U.S.br
OccupationActor, author, producer, writer, director
Years active1972–present
Spouse(s)
  • Christine Deveau (m. 1983–89)

  • Ida Gearon (m. 1991)

Website
bruce-campbell.com
 
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Bruce Campbell
Bruce Campbell by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Campbell at WonderCon in 2013
BornBruce Lorne Campbell
(1958-06-22) June 22, 1958 (age 55)
Royal Oak, Michigan, U.S.br
OccupationActor, author, producer, writer, director
Years active1972–present
Spouse(s)
  • Christine Deveau (m. 1983–89)

  • Ida Gearon (m. 1991)

Website
bruce-campbell.com

Bruce Lorne Campbell (born June 22, 1958) is an American film and television actor, director, writer, producer and author. As a cult film actor, Campbell is best known for his role as Ash Williams in Sam Raimi's hit Evil Dead series of films and he has starred in many low-budget cult films such as Crimewave, Maniac Cop, Bubba Ho-tep, Escape From L.A. and Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat. He would later spoof his B-movie career in My Name Is Bruce, which he starred and directed. He has since made voice appearances in animated films, including Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Cars 2.

In television, Campbell is known for his lead roles in both The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. and Jack of all Trades, his portrayal of Autolycus (the King of Thieves) in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess, and notably for his role as Sam Axe on the USA Network series Burn Notice.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Campbell was born in Royal Oak, Michigan, the son of Joanne Louise (née Pickens), a homemaker, and Charles Newton Campbell, an amateur actor and traveling billboard inspector. He has an older brother, Don, and an older half-brother, Michael Rendine.[2]

Campbell's first wife was Cristine Deveau, whom he married in 1983. They had two children, Rebecca and Andy, before their divorce in 1989. Campbell currently lives in Jacksonville, Oregon, with his second wife, costume designer Ida Gearon, whom he met on the set of the movie Mindwarp.

Campbell is an ordained minister and has married couples.[3]

Career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Campbell signing a VHS copy of The Evil Dead at a fan meet-and-greet

Bruce Campbell began acting as a teenager and soon began making short Super 8 movies with friends. After meeting Sam Raimi in Wylie E. Groves High School, the two became very good friends and started making movies together. Campbell would go on to attend Western Michigan University while he continued to work on his acting career. Campbell and Raimi collaborated on a 30-minute Super 8 version of the first Evil Dead film, titled Within the Woods, which was initially used to attract investors.

Major film roles[edit]

A few years later, Campbell and Raimi got together with family and friends and began work on The Evil Dead. Campbell starred and worked behind the camera, receiving a "co-executive producer" credit. Raimi wrote, directed and edited, while fellow Michigander Rob Tapert was producer. Following an endorsement by horror writer Stephen King, the film slowly began to receive distribution. Four years following its original release, it became the number one movie in the UK. It then received distribution in the U.S., spawning two sequels: Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness. Campbell's role as Ashley J. "Ash" Williams has since become iconic. The first two films in the series are considered horror classics and are credited with spawning the "horror comedy" genre.

He was also drawn in the Marvel Zombie comics as his character, Ash Williams. He is featured in five comics, all in the series Marvel Zombies vs. Army of Darkness. In the comics he fights alongside the Marvel heroes against the heroes and people who have turned into zombies (deadites) while in search of the Necronomicon (Book of the Dead).

He has appeared in many of Raimi's films outside of the Evil Dead series, notably cameo roles in the Spider-Man film series. Bruce Campbell also joined the cast in Raimi's Darkman and The Quick and the Dead, though having no actual screen time in the latter film's theatrical cut.

Campbell often takes on quirky roles, such as Elvis Presley in the film Bubba Ho-tep, and appears in B-Movies and starred in My Name Is Bruce. Along with Bubba Ho-tep, he also played a supporting role in Sky High, He also was featured in the Jim Carrey drama The Majestic. Campbell also had a key supporting role in the Coen Brothers film The Hudsucker Proxy. Campbell was also the star of the Maniac Cop B-movie series.

Other roles in mainstream films for Campbell included the Michael Crichton adaptation Congo, the film version of McHale's Navy, and Escape From L.A., the sequel to John Carpenter's Escape From New York.

Campbell had a starring voice role in the hit 2009 animated adaptation of the children's book Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and Cars 2.

In January 2010, he stated in an interview that his new film project is called Bruce vs. Frankenstein.[4] The film is directed and produced by his friend Mike Richardson.[5]

Campbell produced the remake of The Evil Dead, along with Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert. Campbell made an appearance that may allude to his signature character, Ash, and will reprise his role in Army of Darkness 2.[6] In an interview with Erin Darling, Campbell announced that Army of Darkness 2 is not happening, saying "It's all internet b.s. There's no reality whatsoever. These random comments slip out of either my mouth, or Sam Raimi's mouth, next thing you know, we're making a sequel."

Television roles[edit]

Outside of film, Campbell has appeared in a number of television series. He starred in The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. a boisterous science fiction comedy western created by Jeffrey Boam and Carlton Cuse that ran for one season. He played a lawyer turned bounty hunter who was trying to hunt down John Bly, the man who killed his father. He starred in the television series Jack of All Trades, set on a fictional island, occupied by the French in 1801. Campbell was also credited as co-executive producer, among others. The show was directed by Eric Gruendemann, and was produced by various people, including Sam Raimi. The show aired for two seasons, from 2000 to 2001. He had a recurring role as "Bill Church Jr." based upon the character of Moxie Mannheim's son (Bruno Mannheim) from the Superman comics on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.

In 1996–1997, Campbell was a recurring guest star on the show Ellen as Ed Billik, who becomes Ellen's boss when she sells her bookstore in season four. He is also known for his supporting role as the recurring character Autolycus ("the King of Thieves") on both Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess, which reunited him with producer Rob Tapert. Campbell played Hercules/Xena series producer Tapert in two episodes of Hercules set in the present. He directed a number of episodes of Hercules and Xena, including the Hercules series finale. Campbell also landed the lead role of race car driver Hank Cooper in the Disney made-for-television remake of The Love Bug.

Campbell made a critically acclaimed dramatic guest role as a grief-stricken detective seeking revenge for his father's murder in a two-part episode of the fourth season of Homicide: Life on the Street. Campbell later played the part of a bigamous demon in The X-Files episode, "Terms of Endearment". He also starred as Agent Jackman in the episode "Witch Way Now?" of the WB series Charmed, as well as playing a state police officer in an episode of the short-lived series American Gothic titled "Meet the Beetles".

Campbell co-starred on the television series Burn Notice, which aired from 2007 to 2013 on USA Network. He portrayed Sam Axe, a beer-chugging, womanizing former Navy SEAL now working as an unlicensed private investigator and occasional mercenary with his old friend Michael Westen, the show's main character. When working under cover, his character frequently used the alias Chuck Finley. Campbell was the star of a 2011 Burn Notice made-for-television prequel focusing on Sam's Navy SEAL career, titled Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe.

Voice acting[edit]

Campbell is featured as a voice actor in several video game titles. He provides the voice of Ash in the three games based on the Evil Dead film series: Evil Dead: Hail to the King, Evil Dead: A Fistful of Boomstick and Evil Dead: Regeneration. He also provided voice talent in other titles such as Pitfall 3D: Beyond the Jungle, Spider-Man: The Movie, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man.

He provided the voice of main character Jake Logan in the PC title, Tachyon: The Fringe, the voice of main character Jake Burton in the PlayStation game Broken Helix and the voice of Magnanimous in Megas XLR. Campbell voiced the pulp adventurer Lobster Johnson in Hellboy: The Science of Evil and has done voice-over work for the Codemaster's game Hei$t, a game which was announced on the 28 January 2010 to have been "terminated". He also provided the voice of The Mayor in the 2009 film Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, the voice of Rod "Torque" Redline in Cars 2 and the voice of "Fugax" in the 2006 film The Ant Bully.

Despite the inclusion of his character "Ash Williams" in Telltale Games' Poker Night 2, Campbell does not voice the character in the game.[citation needed]

Writing[edit]

Bruce Campbell, If Chins Could Kill

In addition to acting and occasionally directing, Campbell has become a writer, starting with an autobiography, If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor, published on August 24, 2002.[7] The autobiography was a successful New York Times Best Seller.[8] The paperback version of the book adds a chapter about the reaction of fans at book signings.

Whenever I do mainstream stuff, I think they're pseudo-interested, but they're still interested in seeing weirdo, offbeat stuff. And that's what I'm attracted to.

If Chins Could Kill follows Campbell's career to date as an actor in low-budget films and television, providing his insight into "Blue-Collar Hollywood".

Campbell's next book, Make Love! The Bruce Campbell Way was published on May 26, 2005. The book's plot involves Bruce (depicted in a comical way) as the main character struggling to make it into the world of A-list movies. He later recorded an audio play adaptation of Make Love with fellow Michigan actors, including longtime collaborator Ted Raimi. This radio drama was released through the independent label Rykodisc and spans 6 discs with a 6-hour running time.

In addition to his novels, Campbell also wrote a column for X Ray Magazine in 2001, an issue of the popular comic series The Hire, and comic book adaptations of his Man with the Screaming Brain. Most recently he wrote the introduction to Josh Becker's The Complete Guide to Low-Budget Feature Filmmaking.

Campbell maintained a blog on his official website, where he posted mainly about politics and the film industry.[9] The blog has since been discontinued.

Filmography[edit]

Films[edit]

YearFilmRoleDirectorNotes
1977It's Murder!Cop on BicycleSam RaimiShort film
1978Within the WoodsBruce
1979Attack of the Helping HandScott SpiegelShort film
Cinematographer only
1981The Evil DeadAsh WilliamsSam Raimi
1982Cleveland Smith: Bounty HunterCleveland SmithJosh BeckerShort film
1983Going BackBrice ChapmanRon Teachworth
1985CrimewaveRenaldo 'The Heel'Sam Raimi
Thou Shalt Not Kill... ExceptVideo newscasterJosh Becker
1987Evil Dead IIAsh WilliamsSam Raimi
1988Maniac CopJack ForrestWilliam Lustig
1989IntruderOfficer HowardScott Spiegel
MoontrapRay TannerRobert Dyke
The Dead Next DoorVoiceJ.R. Bookwalter
1990Sundown: The Vampire in RetreatRobert Van HelsingAnthony Hickox
Maniac Cop 2Jack ForrestWilliam Lustig
DarkmanFinal ShempSam RaimiCameo
1991Lunatics: A Love StoryRayJosh Becker
1992Eddie PresleyAsylum AttendantJeff Burr
Waxwork II: Lost in TimeJohn LoftmoreAnthony Hickox
MindwarpStoverSteve Barnett
Army of DarknessAsh Williams/Evil AshSam Raimi
1994The Hudsucker ProxySmittyJoel and Ethan Coen
1995CongoCharles TravisFrank Marshall
The DemolitionistRaffle WinnerRobert Kurtzman
1996FargoSoap Opera ActorJoel and Ethan Coen
Tornado!Jake ThorneNoel NosseckTelevision film
Escape from L.A.Surgeon General of Beverly HillsJohn Carpenter
Assault on Dome 4Alex WindhamGilbert PoTelevision film
1997In the Line of Duty: Blaze of GloryJeff EricksonDick Lowry
Menno's MindMick Dourif, Rebel LeaderJon Kroll
Running TimeCarlJosh Becker
McHale's NavyVirgilBryan Spicer
The Love BugHank CooperPeyton ReedTelevision film
Goldrush: A Real Life Alaskan AdventurePierce Thomas 'PT' MadisonJohn Power
1998The Ice RinkActorJean-Philippe Toussaint
1999From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood MoneyBarryScott SpiegelDirect-to-DVD
2000IcebreakerCarl GreigDavid Giancola
TimequestWilliam RobertsRobert Dyke
2001Hubert's BrainThompsonPhil Alden RobinsonVoice
The MajesticRoland the Intrepid ExplorerFrank Darabont
2002Spider-ManRing AnnouncerSam RaimiCameo
Bubba Ho-tepElvis PresleyDon Coscarelli
Serving SaraGordon MooreReginald Hudlin
Terminal InvasionJackSean S. CunninghamTelevision film
FanalysisHimselfDocumentary
2003DrugsBruceChad PeterDirect-to-DVD
Intolerable CrueltySoap opera actor on TVJoel and Ethan Coen
2004The LadykillersHumane Society Worker
Comic Book: The MovieHimselfMark Hamill
A Community SpeaksHimselfDocumentary
Spider-Man 2Snooty UsherSam RaimiCameo
2005Alien ApocalypseDr. Ivan HoodJosh BeckerTelevision film
Man with the Screaming BrainWilliam ColeHimself
Sky HighCoach BoomerMike Mitchell
2006The WoodsJoe FasuloLucky McKee
Touch the Top of the WorldEd WeihenmayerPeter WintherTelevision film
The Ant BullyFugaxJohn A. DavisVoice
2007Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for TheatersChicken BittleMatt Maiellaro, Dave Willis
Spider-Man 3Maître d’Sam RaimiCameo
My Name Is BruceHimself
2009Cloudy with a Chance of MeatballsMayor ShelbournePhil Lord and Chris MillerVoice
White on RiceMuramotoDave Boyle
2011Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam AxeSam AxeJeffrey DonovanTelevision film
Cars 2Rod "Torque" RedlineJohn Lasseter, Brad LewisVoice
2012TarGoodyVarious
2013Oz the Great and PowerfulWinkie GuardSam RaimiCameo
Evil DeadAsh WilliamsFede AlvarezUncredited cameo
TBABruce vs. FrankensteinHimselfUpcoming

TV series[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1979Knots LandingJoel Benson9.07 "Say Uncle"
1983GenerationsAlan Stuart
1993The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.Brisco County, Jr.Series Lead (1993–1994)
1995Hercules: The Legendary JourneysAutolycus1995–1999
Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of SupermanBill Church Jr.2.20 "Individual Responsibility"; 2.21 "Whine, Whine, Whine"; 3.01 "We Have a Lot to Talk About"
American GothicLt. Drey1.07 "Meet the Beetles"
1996EllenEd Billik7 episodes (1996–1997)
Xena: Warrior PrincessAutolycus1996–1999
Homicide: Life on the StreetJake Rodzinsky4.13, 4.14 "Justice Parts 1 & 2"
1997Weird ScienceGene the Genie5.11 "I Dream of Gene"
1998Hercules: The Legendary JourneysRob Tapert4.15 "Yes, Virginia, There Is a Hercules"
TimecopAgent Tommy Maddox1.09 "The Future, Jack, the Future"
1999The X FilesWayne Weinsider6.07 "Terms of Endearment"
Hercules: The Legendary JourneysRob Tapert5.09 "For Those of You Just Joining Us.."
2000Jack of All TradesJack Stiles / Daring DragoonSeries Lead (2000–2001)
2001Beggars and ChoosersJack2.20 "The Long Goodbye"
The Legend of TarzanMax Liebling1.28 "Tarzan and One Punch Mullargan"
2002CharmedFBI Agent Jackman4.22 "Witch Way Now?"
2003Duck DodgersPork Piggler1.06 "K-9 Kaddy/Pig of Action"
My Life as a Teenage RobotHimcules1.11 "Daydream Believer/This Time with Feeling"
2004Megas XLRMagnanimous1.03 "Battle Royale"; 2.02 "The Return"
2006Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!Captain Shuggazoom4.49 "Golden Age"
The ReplacementsPhil Mygrave5 episodes (2006–2009)
2007Burn NoticeSam AxeMain Character (2007–2013)
El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny RiveraThe IndustiralistEpisode: Burrito's Little Helper/Crouching Tigre, Hidden Dragon
20131600 PennDoug1.6 "Skip the Tour"
2014PsychDr. Ashford N. SimpsonCameo

Director[edit]

YearFilmNotes
2002FanalysisDocumentary
2004A Community Speaks
2005Man with the Screaming Brain
2007My Name Is Bruce
TBABruce vs. FrankensteinUpcoming

Producer/Executive Producer[edit]

YearFilmNotes
1981The Evil Dead
1987Evil Dead II
1991Lunatics: A Love Story
1992Army of Darkness
2002Fanalysis
2004A Community Speaks
2005Man with the Screaming Brain
2007My Name Is Bruce
2011Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe
2013Evil Dead
TBABruce vs. Frankenstein

Writer[edit]

YearFilmNotes
1985Thou Shalt Not Kill... Except
1992The Nutt HouseCredited as R.O.C. Sandstorm
2005Man with the Screaming Brain

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]