Childhood & Early Life
Bruce Campbell was born in Royal Oak, Michigan to Charles Newton Campbell and Joanne Louise. His father was a struggling actor and a travelling billboard inspector while his mother was a housewife.
He was brought up in Birmingham, Michigan. He grew up in the upper-middle class environment and had his childhood home surrounded by woods and nature. He used to play a lot of hockey as a kid and is youngest of the three brothers.
His father supported his desire to act professionally it was in his high school, Wylie E. Groves High School, that Campbell met Sam Raimi and they became close friends and started making movies together.
Campbell went to the Western Michigan University and Sam Raimi pursued his acting career. Sometime later, Campbell and Raimi got together again and started to work on their first ever movie project together, ‘The Evil Dead’.
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In 1981, Campbell starred in the cult classic, ‘The Evil Dead’, which was written, directed and edited by Sam Raimi. Rob Tapert was the producer of the movie and Campbell also did the camera work on the movie apart from acting in it.
The movie was not initially a great success but its endorsement by the renowned horror-fiction writer, Stephen King, initiated its popularity. Within 4 years, the movie became super in the UK, subsequently getting more offers for distribution in the US.
After ‘The Evil Dead’, Campbell did some movies with moderate commercial success like: ‘Cleveland Smith: Bounty Hunter’, ‘Going Back’, ‘Crimewave’, ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill…Except’, etc. The Sequel to ‘The Evil Dead’, ‘Evil Dead II’ came out in 1987.
His role in the ‘Evil Dead’ series of ‘Ashley J. “Ash” Williams became a symbolic character of the later 80s and the early 90s. it is said that the ‘horror comedy’ genre was born with this series. His character ‘Ash Williams’ was featured in Marvel comics, owing to its popularity.
From 1988 to 1991 Campbell did movies like: ‘Maniac Cop’, ‘Intruder’, ‘Moontrap’, ‘The Dead Next Door’, ‘Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat’, ‘Maniac Cop 2’, ‘Darkman’, ‘Lunatics: A Love Story’, ‘Waxwork II: Lost in Time’, ‘Mindwrap’, etc.
In 1992, Campbell did another sequel to the ‘Evil Dead’ called ‘Army of Darkness’ and played his iconic role of ‘Ash Williams’ in the movie. ‘Evil Dead’ series is not only the project in which Campbell collaborated with Sam Raimi. He also worked along with Raimi in his superhero action movie ‘Darkman’ in 1990 and ‘The Quick and the Dead’ in 1995.
He made cameos in many of Raimi’s other projects like the ‘Spider-Man’ series in 2001, 2004 and 2007.
Campbell has been experimenting with his acting career since the beginning. He has worked in unconventional movies like ‘Bubba Ho-tep’, ‘My Name is Bruce’, ‘Sky High’, etc. He has also contributed to animated movies like: ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs’, ‘Cars 2’.
Campbell has been a part of major movies like: ‘The Majestic’, which also starred Jim Carrey, ‘The Hudsucker Proxy’, in which he had a supporting role, ‘Congo’, ‘Escape From L.A.’, ‘Escape From New York’, etc.
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Apart from the movies, Campbell had a noticeable career on the American television. He starred in ‘The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.’, a science fiction that only ran for a season. Then from 2000-2001 he did ‘Jack of All Trades’.
Other shows that he did are: ‘Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman’, ‘Ellen’, ‘Hercules: The Legendary Journeys’, ‘Xena: Warrior Princess’, ‘The Love Bug’. He his guest roles in famous shows like: ‘Homicide: Life on the Street’, ‘The X-Files’, ‘Charmed’ and ‘American Gothic’.
In 2007, Campbell became the part of television series called ‘Burn Notice’ on USA Network. He plays the role of ‘Sam Axe’ who is a Casanova, ex-navy official, working as a private detective. His was a supporting role in the series.
In 2011, because of the popularity of his role of ‘Same Axe’ on the series ‘Burn Notice’, a movie called ‘Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe’ was released, which was like the prequel to the series, portraying his character’s Navy days.
Campbell has given voiceovers in movies like: ‘Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs’, ‘Cars 2’ and ‘Ant Bully’.
He gave voiceover to video games like: ‘Evil Dead: Hail to the King’, ‘Evil Dead: A Fistful of Boomstick’, ‘Evil Dead: Regeneration’, ‘Tachyon: The Fringe’, ‘Broken Helix’, ‘Megas XLR’, ‘Hellboy: The Science of Evil’, etc.
His autobiography came out in 2002, titled ‘If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor’. It was a New York Times Best Seller.
His second book is a fiction called ‘Make Love! The Bruce Campbell Way’. It came out in 2005.
Campbell has an official website where he writes about politics and Hollywood.
He was considered for the famous role of Agent Doggett in ‘The X-Files’.
He is one of the few who auditioned for the role of ‘Bruce Wayne’ in Batman Forever.
He is a religious man, an ordained minister and has married couples.