In 1983 he began his career as a model in Germany. During the following years he modeled for Kenzo, Issey Miyake, Hermès and Calvin Klein in Paris, Milan, Tokyo and New York. Darnell has also worked since 1990 as a choreographer and coached models for the catwalk.
He attained public fame in Germany when he took part in 2006 in the ProSieben show Germany's Next Topmodel as a juror. In connection with advertisements for this show he became famous for his typically American accent and his effeminacy. He has also become famous for his mistakes in spoken German, most notably "das ist der Wahrheit" (English "this is the truth", whereas it should be "die Wahrheit"), which he has since taken as a trademark expression.
He has appeared in television advertisements for C&A and O2. From February to March 2008 he hosted his own fashion-themed television show, called Bruce, on Das Erste, but the show received poor ratings and was canceled after the initial run's 20 episodes.
While Darnell does not appear in Germany's Next Topmodel anymore, he is still a coach on the Swiss edition of the show as well as being a judge on Das Supertalent, the German incarnation of the Got Talent franchise. In 2011, he was a judge on Deutschland sucht den Superstar along with Cascada singer Natalie Horler and Dieter Bohlen.
- (in German) Thomas Tuma, Bruce ohnmächtig, Spiegel Online, 2008-02-02. Accessed 2008-02-11.