Bruce Campbell

For other people named Bruce Campbell, see Bruce Campbell (disambiguation).
Bruce Campbell

Bruce Campbell at the 2014 Phoenix Comicon
Born Bruce Lorne Campbell
(1958-06-22) June 22, 1958
Royal Oak, Michigan, U.S.
Education Western Michigan University
Alma mater Western Michigan University
Occupation Actor, author, producer, writer, director
Years active 1972present
  • Christine Deveau (m. 1983–89)
  • Ida Gearon (m. 1991)
Children 2

Bruce Lorne Campbell (born June 22, 1958) is an American actor, voice artist, director, writer, producer, comedian and author of Scottish descent.[1] A cult film actor, Campbell is best known for portraying Ash Williams in Sam Raimi's Evil Dead franchise, from the 1978 short film Within the Woods to the currently ongoing TV series Ash vs Evil Dead. He also has starred in many low-budget cult films such as Crimewave (1985), Maniac Cop (1988), Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat (1989), and Bubba Ho-Tep (2002). He has since made small appearances in successful films and TV series such as Darkman (1990), The X-Files (1998), Ellen (1996–97), Charmed (2002), Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy (2002–07), Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009), and Cars 2 (2011).

Campbell started his directing career with Fanalysis (2002) and A Community Speaks (2004), and then with the horror comedy feature films Man with the Screaming Brain (2005) and My Name Is Bruce (2007), the latter being a spoof of his career. In television, Campbell also is known for his lead roles in both The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. (1993–94) and Jack of all Trades (2000), his starring role of Autolycus (the King of Thieves) in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess (1995–99), as Sam Axe on the USA Network series Burn Notice (2007–13), and notably for reprising his role as Ash Williams on the Starz series Ash vs. Evil Dead. [2]

Personal life

Campbell was born in Royal Oak, Michigan,[3] 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.[4]

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 also an ordained minister and has officiated weddings for couples.[5]


Early years

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

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

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 last 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 having cameos in the director's Spider-Man film series. 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. Along with Bubba Ho-Tep, he played a supporting role in starred in Maniac Cop and Maniac Cop 2, and spoofed his career in the self-directed My Name is Bruce.

Other mainstream films for Campbell include supporting or featured roles in the Coen Brothers film The Hudsucker Proxy, the Michael Crichton adaptation Congo, the film version of McHale's Navy, Escape From L.A. ( the sequel to John Carpenter's Escape From New York), the Jim Carrey drama The Majestic and the 2005 Disney film Sky High.

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

In January 2010, he stated in an interview that his new film project is called Bruce vs. Frankenstein.[6] The film is directed and produced by his friend Mike Richardson.[7]

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, with the expectation he would reprise that role in Army of Darkness 2.[8] In a later interview with TV personality Erin Ashley 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

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 Morgan Edge from the Superman comics on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.

From 1996 to 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, whom Bruce later revealed was the name of one of his father's old co-workers.[9] 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.

In 2014, Campbell played Santa Claus in an episode of The Librarians. Campbell played Ronald Reagan in season 2 of the FX original series Fargo. Most recently Campbell is reprising his role as Ashley "Ash" Williams in Ash vs Evil Dead, a series based upon the Evil Dead franchise that launched his career. Ash vs Evil Dead began airing on Starz on October 31, 2015, and was renewed by the cable channel for a second season.[10]

Voice acting

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 January 28, 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.[11]

He has a voice in the online MOBA game, Tome: Immortal Arena in 2014.[12] Campbell also provided voice-over and motion capture for Sgt. Lennox in the Exo Zombies mode of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.


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.[13] The autobiography was a successful New York Times Best Seller.[14] 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.

In late 2016, Campbell announced that he would be releasing a third book, Hail to the Chin: Further Confessions of a B Movie Actor, which will detail his life from where If Chins Could Kill left off. According to his official website, Hail to the Chin will be released in August of 2017.[15]

Campbell maintained a blog on his official website, where he posted mainly about politics and the film industry.[16] The blog has since been discontinued.

Bruce Campbell Horror Film Festival

Since 2014, the Bruce Campbell Horror Film Festival, narrated and organized by Campbell, has been held in the Muvico Theater in Rosemont, Illinois. The first festival had his original run from August 21 to 25, 2014 presented by Wizard World, as part of the Chicago Comiccon.[17] The second festival ran from August 20 to 23, 2015, with the guests Tom Holland and Eli Roth.[18]



Year Film Role Director Notes
1977 It's Murder! Cop on Bicycle Sam Raimi Sam Raimi's first directorial work
1978 Within the Woods Bruce Short film
1979 Attack of the Helping Hand The Hamburger Helper Helping Hand and The Pillsbury Doughboy Scott Spiegel Short film
Uncredited roles
also cinematographer
1981 The Evil Dead Ash Williams Sam Raimi Also co-executive producer
1982 Cleveland Smith: Bounty Hunter Cleveland Smith Josh Becker Short film
Blood Simple investor trailer Julian Marty Joel and Ethan Coen Trailer
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 Alan Stuart Joel and Ethan Coen
Escape from L.A. Surgeon General of Beverly Hills John Carpenter
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
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
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 Man with the Screaming Brain William Cole Himself
Alien Apocalypse Dr. Ivan Hood Josh Becker
Sky High Coach Boomer Mike Mitchell
2006 The Woods Joe Fasulo Lucky McKee
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 Faux Bruce Campbell Himself Also director
2009 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Mayor Shelbourne Phil Lord and Chris Miller Voice
White on Rice Muramoto Dave Boyle
2011 Cars 2 Rod "Torque" Redline John Lasseter, Brad Lewis
2012 Tar Goody Various
2013 Oz the Great and Powerful Winkie Guard Sam Raimi Cameo
Evil Dead Ash Williams Fede Alvarez Cameo
2015 The Escort Charles Cooper Will Slocombe
Dark Ascension Man in Hawaiian Shirt Gene Fallaize Post production
2017 MallBrats[19] TBA Kevin Smith pre-production

TV series

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 (1993–94)
1995 Hercules: The Legendary Journeys Autolycus 1995–99
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 1.06 "Meet the Beetles"
1996 Ellen Ed Billik 7 episodes (1996–97)
Xena: Warrior Princess Autolycus 1996–99
Homicide: Life on the Street Jake Rodzinsky 4.13, 4.14 "Justice Parts 1 & 2"
Tornado! Jake Thorne Television film
Assault on Dome 4 Alex Windham Television film
1997 Weird Science Gene the Genie 5.11 "I Dream of Gene"
The Love Bug Hank Cooper Television film
Goldrush: A Real Life Alaskan Adventure Pierce Thomas 'PT' Madison
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 Woody Jackman 4.21 "Witch Way Now?"
Terminal Invasion Jack Television film
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"
2005 Alien Apocalypse Dr. Ivan Hood Television film
2006 Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! Captain Shuggazoom 4.49 "Golden Age"
The Replacements Phil Mygrave 5 episodes (2006–09)
Touch the Top of the World Ed Weihenmayer Television film
2007-2013 Burn Notice Sam Axe Main Character (2007–13)
El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera The Industiralist Episode: Burrito's Little Helper/Crouching Tigre, Hidden Dragon
2011 Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe Sam Axe Television film
2013 1600 Penn Doug 1.6 "Skip the Tour"
2014 Psych Dr. Ashford N. Simpson 8.09 "A Nightmare on State Street"
The Librarians Santa Claus 1.4 "And Santas Midnight Run"
2015–present Ash vs Evil Dead Ash Williams Main [20]
2015 Fargo Ronald Reagan[21] 2.05 "The Gift of the Magi"; 2.08 "Loplop" (voice) (uncredited)
Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja The Creep


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


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


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

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
1997 Broken Helix Jake Burton N/A
1998 Pitfall 3D: Beyond the Jungle Pitfall Harry Jr N/A
2000 Tachyon: The Fringe Protagonist N/A
Evil Dead: Hail to the King Ash Williams N/A
2002 Spider-Man Tutorial Narrator N/A
2003 Evil Dead: A Fistful of Boomstick Ash Williams N/A
2004 Spider-Man 2 Tutorial Narrator N/A
2005 Evil Dead: Regeneration Ash Williams N/A
2007 Spider-Man 3 Tutorial Narrator N/A
2012 The Amazing Spider-Man The Extreme Reporter N/A
2014 TOME: Immortal Arena Tutorial Narrator Game Closed
2015 Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Lennox Exo Zombies DLC


Year Award Category Film Result
1993 Fangoria Chainsaw Award Best Actor Army of Darkness Won
2003 DVD Exclusive Award Best Audio Commentary (Limited Edition) The Evil Dead Nominated
The Comedy Festival Film Discovery Jury Award for Best Actor Bubba Ho-Tep Won
2004 Chlotrudis Award Best Actor Nominated
Fangoria Chainsaw Award Won
2005 Fantasporto Film Festival International Fantasy Film Award for Best Actor Won
2007 Ashland Independent Film Festival Rogue Award Won
2010 Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Burn Notice Nominated
2016 Fangoria Chainsaw Award Best Actor on Television Ash vs Evil Dead Won
Saturn Awards Best Actor on Television Won

See also


  1. Millar, John (July 1, 2012). "Evil Dead star Bruce Campbell is so proud to be a Highlander". Daily Record. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  2. Rhodes, Joe (September 12, 2008). "Bruce Campbell's Prime-Time Moment". The New York Times. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  3. Wise, Damon (February 14, 2009). "The Mighty Bruce". The Guardian. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  4. Bruce Campbell biography, Yahoo! Movies
  5. Dobbs, Sarah (April 8, 2013). "Bruce Campbell interview: Evil Dead, being ordained, making bombs". Den of Geek. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  6. "Bruce Campbell Vs. Frankenstein! Gimme Some Stitches, Baby!".
  7. "Listen up, screwheads! Bruce Campbell has a message for ya'!".
  8. Joe Comicbook. "Bruce Campbell Confirms He Will Do Army Of Darkness Sequel".
  9. "Get Burnt DVD commentary feature for episode 3: Fight or Flight".
  10. Patten, Dominic (October 28, 2015). "'Ash Vs Evil Dead' Renewed For Season 2 By Starz Ahead Of Halloween Debut". Deadline. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
  11. "Poker Night 2 (Video Game 2013)". IMDb. Retrieved 2015-11-22.
  12. "KIXEYE - TOME: Immortal Arena".
  13. "Google Books".
  14. "The New York Times". The New York Times.
  16. "Bruce Campbell Blog".
  17. "The Awesome Fest Presents: Bruce Campbell's Horror Film Festival @ Chicago Comic Con 2014".
  18. "Second Annual Bruce Campbell Horror Film Festival Scares Up Surprises at Wizard World Chicago".
  19. Smith, Kevin (October 10, 2015). "228: October 10, 2015 (starts @05:45)". Hollywood Babble-On. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  20. "Bruce Campbell's Ash returns to fight 'Evil Dead'". USA TODAY. October 29, 2015.
  21. Ausiello, Michael (March 24, 2015). "Fargo Elects Bruce Campbell to Play Ronald Reagan in Season 2". TVLine. Retrieved March 25, 2015.

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