Bruce Campbell

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Bruce Campbell
Bruce Campbell 2014 Phoenix Comicon (cropped).jpg
Campbell at the 2014 Phoenix Comicon
Born Bruce Lorne Campbell
(1958-06-22) June 22, 1958 (age 56)
Royal Oak, Michigan, U.S.
Occupation Actor, author, producer, writer, director
Years active 1972–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, 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. Campbell is of Scottish descent.[1]

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.[2]

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.[3]

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. With Gearon, Campbell has another two children.

Campbell is an ordained minister and has married couples.[4]

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 at WonderCon in 2013

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.[5] The film is directed and produced by his friend Mike Richardson.[6]

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.[7] 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, Danny Webber voices the character in the game, instead of Bruce Campbell.[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.[8] The autobiography was a successful New York Times Best Seller.[9] 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 books, 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.[10] The blog has since been discontinued.

Filmography[edit]

Films[edit]

Year Film Role Director Notes
1977 It's Murder! Cop on Bicycle Sam Raimi Short film
1978 Within the Woods Bruce
1979 Attack of the Helping Hand Scott Spiegel Short film
Cinematographer only
1981 The Evil Dead Ash Williams Sam Raimi Also co-Executive Producer
1982 Cleveland Smith: Bounty Hunter Cleveland Smith Josh Becker Short film
1983 Going Back Brice Chapman Ron Teachworth
1985 Crimewave Renaldo 'The Heel' Sam Raimi
Thou Shalt Not Kill... Except Video newscaster Josh Becker
1987 Evil Dead II Ash Williams Sam Raimi
1988 Maniac Cop Jack Forrest William Lustig
1989 Intruder Officer Howard Scott Spiegel
Moontrap Ray Tanner Robert Dyke
The Dead Next Door Voice J.R. Bookwalter
1990 Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat Robert Van Helsing Anthony Hickox
Maniac Cop 2 Jack Forrest William Lustig
Darkman Final Shemp Sam Raimi Cameo
1991 Lunatics: A Love Story Ray Josh Becker
1992 Eddie Presley Asylum Attendant Jeff Burr
Waxwork II: Lost in Time John Loftmore Anthony Hickox
Mindwarp Stover Steve Barnett
Army of Darkness Ash Williams/Evil Ash Sam Raimi
1994 The Hudsucker Proxy Smitty Joel and Ethan Coen
1995 Congo Charles Travis Frank Marshall
The Demolitionist Raffle Winner Robert Kurtzman
1996 Fargo Soap Opera Actor Joel and Ethan Coen
Tornado! Jake Thorne Noel Nosseck Television film
Escape from L.A. Surgeon General of Beverly Hills John Carpenter
Assault on Dome 4 Alex Windham Gilbert Po Television film
1997 In the Line of Duty: Blaze of Glory Jeff Erickson Dick Lowry
Menno's Mind Mick Dourif, Rebel Leader Jon Kroll
Running Time Carl Josh Becker
McHale's Navy Virgil Bryan Spicer
The Love Bug Hank Cooper Peyton Reed Television film
Goldrush: A Real Life Alaskan Adventure Pierce Thomas 'PT' Madison John Power
1998 The Ice Rink Actor Jean-Philippe Toussaint
1999 From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money Barry Scott Spiegel Direct-to-DVD
2000 Icebreaker Carl Greig David Giancola
Timequest William Roberts Robert Dyke
2001 Hubert's Brain Thompson Phil Alden Robinson Voice
The Majestic Roland the Intrepid Explorer Frank Darabont
2002 Spider-Man Ring Announcer Sam Raimi Cameo
Bubba Ho-Tep Elvis Presley Don Coscarelli
Serving Sara Gordon Moore Reginald Hudlin
Terminal Invasion Jack Sean S. Cunningham Television film
Fanalysis Himself Himself Documentary
2003 Drugs Bruce Chad Peter Direct-to-DVD
Intolerable Cruelty Soap opera actor on TV Joel and Ethan Coen
2004 The Ladykillers Humane Society Worker
Comic Book: The Movie Himself Mark Hamill
A Community Speaks Himself Himself & Ida Gearon Documentary,
Spider-Man 2 Snooty Usher Sam Raimi Cameo
2005 Alien Apocalypse Dr. Ivan Hood Josh Becker Television film
Man with the Screaming Brain William Cole Himself
Sky High Coach Boomer Mike Mitchell
2006 The Woods Joe Fasulo Lucky McKee
Touch the Top of the World Ed Weihenmayer Peter Winther Television film
The Ant Bully Fugax John A. Davis Voice
2007 Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters Chicken Bittle Matt Maiellaro, Dave Willis
Spider-Man 3 Maître d’ Sam Raimi Cameo
My Name Is Bruce Himself Himself
2009 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Mayor Shelbourne Phil Lord and Chris Miller Voice
White on Rice Muramoto Dave Boyle
2011 Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe Sam Axe Jeffrey Donovan Television film
Cars 2 Rod "Torque" Redline John Lasseter, Brad Lewis Voice
2012 Tar Goody Various
2013 Oz the Great and Powerful Winkie Guard Sam Raimi Cameo
The Evil Dead Old Ash Williams Fede Alvarez Cameo

TV series[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1979 Knots Landing Joel Benson 9.07 "Say Uncle"
1983 Generations Alan Stuart
1993 The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. Brisco County, Jr. Series Lead (1993–1994)
1995 Hercules: The Legendary Journeys Autolycus 1995–1999
Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Bill Church Jr. 2.20 "Individual Responsibility"; 2.21 "Whine, Whine, Whine"; 3.01 "We Have a Lot to Talk About"
American Gothic Lt. Drey 1.07 "Meet the Beetles"
1996 Ellen Ed Billik 7 episodes (1996–1997)
Xena: Warrior Princess Autolycus 1996–1999
Homicide: Life on the Street Jake Rodzinsky 4.13, 4.14 "Justice Parts 1 & 2"
1997 Weird Science Gene the Genie 5.11 "I Dream of Gene"
1998 Hercules: The Legendary Journeys Rob Tapert 4.15 "Yes, Virginia, There Is a Hercules"
Timecop Agent Tommy Maddox 1.09 "The Future, Jack, the Future"
1999 The X Files Wayne Weinsider 6.07 "Terms of Endearment"
Hercules: The Legendary Journeys Rob Tapert 5.09 "For Those of You Just Joining Us.."
2000 Jack of All Trades Jack Stiles / Daring Dragoon Series Lead (2000)
2001 Beggars and Choosers Jack 2.20 "The Long Goodbye"
The Legend of Tarzan Max Liebling 1.28 "Tarzan and One Punch Mullargan"
2002 Charmed FBI Agent Jackman 4.21 "Witch Way Now?"
2003 Duck Dodgers Pork Piggler 1.06 "K-9 Kaddy/Pig of Action"
My Life as a Teenage Robot Himcules 1.11 "Daydream Believer/This Time with Feeling"
2004 Megas XLR Magnanimous 1.03 "Battle Royale"; 2.02 "The Return"
2006 Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! Captain Shuggazoom 4.49 "Golden Age"
The Replacements Phil Mygrave 5 episodes (2006–2009)
2007 Burn Notice Sam Axe Main Character (2007–2013)
El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera The Industiralist Episode: Burrito's Little Helper/Crouching Tigre, Hidden Dragon
2013 1600 Penn Doug 1.6 "Skip the Tour"
2014 Psych Dr. Ashford N. Simpson 8.10 "A Nightmare on State Street"
The Evil Dead Ash Williams Developing

Director[edit]

Year Film Notes
2002 Fanalysis Documentary
2004 A Community Speaks
2005 Man with the Screaming Brain
2007 My Name Is Bruce

Producer/executive producer[edit]

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

Writer[edit]

Year Film Notes
1985 Thou Shalt Not Kill... Except
1992 The Nutt House Credited as R.O.C. Sandstorm
2005 Man with the Screaming Brain

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]