Bruce Campbell facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Campbell at the 2014 Phoenix Comicon
Bruce Lorne Campbell
June 22, 1958
|Education||Western Michigan University|
Bruce Lorne Campbell (born June 22, 1958) is an American actor and director. He is known for portraying Ash Williams in Sam Raimi's Evil Dead franchise, beginning with the 1978 short film Within the Woods. He 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).
In television, Campbell had lead roles in The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. (1993–1994) and Jack of All Trades (2000), and a recurring role as Autolycus, King of Thieves, in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess (1995–1999). He played Sam Axe on the USA Network series Burn Notice (2007–2013) and reprised his role as Ash Williams on the Starz series Ash vs. Evil Dead (2015–2018).
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. He can also be seen as the role of the father in The Escort (2015).
Campbell was born in Royal Oak, Michigan, to Joanne Louise (née Pickens), a homemaker, and Charles Newton Campbell, who worked in advertising for 35 years in roles ranging from traveling billboard inspector to company vice-president, later teaching at nine colleges as an adjunct professor, and was also an actor and director in local theater.
Campbell has an older brother, Don, and an older half-brother, Michael Rendine. He is of Scottish and English descent.
Campbell began acting as a teenager and soon began making short Super 8 movies with friends. After he met 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. While starring in the lead role, Campbell also 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 United States, spawning two sequels: Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness.
Campbell 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 them, 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 Names of the Dead). Campbell also played as Coach Bummer in the movie “Sky High”.
He has appeared in many of Raimi's films outside of the Evil Dead series, notably having cameo appearances 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. In March 2022, Campbell was announced to have a cameo in Raimi's Marvel Cinematic Universe film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
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 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.
Campbell produced the remake of The Evil Dead, along with Raimi and Rob Tapert. Campbell appeared with the expectation he would reprise that role in Army of Darkness 2. He later worked as an executive producer for the 2023 film, Evil Dead Rise.
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 ("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, 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 undercover, his character frequently used the alias Chuck Finley, which Bruce later revealed was the name of one of his father's old co-workers. 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. More recently Campbell reprised 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 second and third seasons, before being cancelled.
In January 2019, Travel Channel announced a reboot of the Ripley's Believe It or Not! reality series, with Bruce Campbell serving as host and executive producer. The 10-episode season debuted on June 9, 2019.
Campbell is featured as a voice actor in several video game titles. He provides the voice of Ash in the four games based on the Evil Dead film series: Evil Dead: Hail to the King, Evil Dead: A Fistful of Boomstick, Evil Dead: Regeneration and Evil Dead: The Game. He also provided voice talent in other titles such as Pitfall 3D: Beyond the Jungle, Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3, The Amazing Spider-Man, and Dead by Daylight.
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.
He has a voice in the online MOBA game, Tome: Immortal Arena in 2014. 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 in June 2001. The autobiography was a successful New York Times Best Seller. 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 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.
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. Hail to the Chin was released in August 2017, and accompanied by a book tour across the United States and Europe.
Campbell maintained a blog on his official website, where he posted mainly about politics and the film industry. The blog has since been discontinued.
Bruce Campbell Horror Film Festival
Since 2014, the Bruce Campbell Horror Film Festival, narrated and organized by Campbell, was held in the Muvico Theater in Rosemont, Illinois. The first festival had its original run from August 21 to 25, 2014, presented by Wizard World, as part of the Chicago Comicon. The second festival ran from August 20 to 23, 2015, with guests Tom Holland and Eli Roth. The third festival took place over four days in August 2016. Guests of the event were Sam Raimi, Robert Tapert and Doug Benson.
Campbell's first wife was Christine Deveau, whom he married in 1983. They had two children, and divorced 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. He is also an ordained pastor and has performed marriage ceremonies.
The comedy metal band Psychostick released a song titled 'Bruce Campbell' on their album IV: Revenge of the Vengeance that pays a comedic tribute to his past roles.
|Denotes works that have not yet been released|
|1977||It's Murder!||Cop on Bicycle||Sam Raimi|
|1978||Within the Woods||Bruce||Sam Raimi||Short film; also executive producer|
|Shemp Eats the Moon||Shemp Malone||John Cameron||Short film; also producer|
|1979||Attack of the Helping Hand||The Hamburger Helper Helping Hand / The Pillsbury Doughboy||Scott Spiegel||Uncredited roles
Short film; also cinematographer
|1980||The Blind Waiter||The Blind Waiter||Josh Becker and Scott Spiegel||Uncredited role
|1981||The Evil Dead||Ash Williams||Sam Raimi||Also executive producer|
|1982||Cleveland Smith: Bounty Hunter||Cleveland Smith||Josh Becker||Short film|
|Blood Simple investor trailer||Julian Marty||Joel and Ethan Coen||Short film|
|1983||Going Back||Brice Chapman||Ron Teachworth|
|1985||Crimewave||Renaldo 'The Heel'||Sam Raimi||Also co-producer|
|Thou Shalt Not Kill... Except||Video newscaster||Josh Becker||Uncredited cameo
Also story writer
|1987||Evil Dead II||Ash Williams||Sam Raimi||Also co-producer|
|1988||Maniac Cop||Jack Forrest||William Lustig|
|1989||Intruder||Officer Howard||Scott Spiegel|
|Moontrap||Ray Tanner||Robert Dyke|
|Easy Wheels||N/A||David O'Malley||Producer|
|The Dead Next Door||N/A||J.R. Bookwalter||Voices|
|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||Also producer|
|1992||Eddie Presley||Asylum Attendant||Jeff Burr||Cameo|
|Waxwork II: Lost in Time||John Loftmore||Anthony Hickox|
|The Nutt House||N/A||Adam Rifkin||Writer|
|Army of Darkness||Ash Williams||Sam Raimi||Also co-producer|
|1994||The Hudsucker Proxy||Smitty||Joel and Ethan Coen|
|1995||Congo||Charles Travis||Frank Marshall|
|The Quick and the Dead||Wedding Shemp||Sam Raimi||Deleted scene|
|The Demolitionist||Raffle Winner||Robert Kurtzman||Uncredited cameo|
|1996||Fargo||Soap opera actor on TV||Joel and Ethan Coen||Uncredited cameo|
|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||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 Robinson||Voice
|The Majestic||Roland the Intrepid Explorer||Frank Darabont||Cameo|
|2002||Spider-Man||Ring Announcer||Sam Raimi||Cameo|
|Hatred of a Minute||N/A||Michael Kallio||Producer|
|Bubba Ho-Tep||Elvis Presley||Don Coscarelli|
|Serving Sara||Gordon Moore||Reginald Hudlin|
|Fanalysis||Himself||Himself||Documentary; also producer|
|2003||Intolerable Cruelty||Soap opera actor on TV||Joel and Ethan Coen||Uncredited cameo|
|2004||The Ladykillers||Humane Society Worker||Joel and Ethan Coen||Uncredited cameo|
|Comic Book: The Movie||Himself||Mark Hamill||Direct-to-DVD|
|A Community Speaks||Himself||Himself & Ida Gearon||Documentary; also producer and editor|
|Spider-Man 2||Snooty Usher||Sam Raimi||Cameo|
|2005||Man with the Screaming Brain||William Cole||Himself||Also writer and producer|
|Sky High||Tommy Boomowski / Coach Boomer / Sonic Boom||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 and Dave Willis||Voice|
|Spider-Man 3||Maître d'||Sam Raimi||Cameo|
|My Name Is Bruce||Faux Bruce Campbell||Himself||Also producer|
|2009||Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs||Mayor Shelbourne||Phil Lord and Chris Miller||Voice|
|White on Rice||Muramoto||Dave Boyle||Voice|
|2011||Cars 2||Rod "Torque" Redline||John Lasseter and Brad Lewis||Voice|
|2012||The Color of Time||Goody||Various|
|2013||Oz the Great and Powerful||Winkie Guard||Sam Raimi||Cameo|
|Evil Dead||Ash Williams||Fede Álvarez||Uncredited cameo; also producer|
|2015||The Escort||Charles Cooper||Will Slocombe|
|2021||Black Friday!||Jonathan||Casey Tebo||Also producer|
|18½||President Richard Nixon||Dan Mirvish||Voice|
|2022||Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness||Pizza Poppa guy||Sam Raimi||Cameo|
|2023||Evil Dead Rise||N/A||Lee Cronin||Executive producer|
|TBA||Highly Functional||Chili Youngfield||Marc Forby||Post-production|
|1983||Generations||Alan Stuart||Soap opera|
|1987||Knots Landing||Joel Benson||Episode: "Say Uncle"|
|1993–1994||The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.||Brisco County, Jr.||27 episodes|
|1995||Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman||Bill Church Jr.||3 episodes|
|American Gothic||Lt. Drey||Episode: "Meet the Beetles"|
|1995–1999||Hercules: The Legendary Journeys||Autolycus||10 episodes; also directed 7 episodes|
|1996||Homicide: Life on the Street||Jake Rodzinsky||Episodes: "Justice Parts 1 & 2"|
|Tornado!||Jake Thorne||Television film|
|Assault on Dome 4||Alex Windham||Television film|
|1996–1997||Ellen||Ed Billik||7 episodes|
|1996–1999||Xena: Warrior Princess||Autolycus||8 episodes; also directed 2 episodes|
|1997||Weird Science||Gene the Genie||Episode: "I Dream of Gene"|
|The Love Bug||Hank Cooper||Television film|
|Goldrush: A Real Life Alaskan Adventure||Pierce Thomas 'PT' Madison|
|1998||Timecop||Agent Tommy Maddox||Episode: "The Future, Jack, the Future"|
|1998–1999||Hercules: The Legendary Journeys||Rob Tapert||2 episodes|
|1999||The X-Files||Wayne Weinsider||Episode: "Terms of Endearment"|
|2000||Jack of All Trades||Jack Stiles / Daring Dragoon||22 episodes; also co-executive producer|
|2001||Beggars and Choosers||Jack||2 episodes|
|The Legend of Tarzan||Max Liebling (voice)||Episode: "Tarzan and One Punch Mullargan"|
|2002||Charmed||FBI Agent Woody Jackman||Episode: "Witch Way Now?"|
|Terminal Invasion||Jack||Television film|
|2003||Duck Dodgers||Pork Piggler (voice)||Episode: "K-9 Kaddy/Pig of Action"|
|My Life as a Teenage Robot||Himcules (voice)||Episode: "Daydream Believer/This Time with Feeling"|
|2004||Megas XLR||Magnanimous (voice)||2 episodes|
|2005||Alien Apocalypse||Dr. Ivan Hood||Television film|
|2006||Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!||Captain Shuggazoom (voice)||2 episodes|
|Touch the Top of the World||Ed Weihenmayer||Television film|
|Robot Chicken||Himself / Red Power Ranger / Car Chase Reporter (voices)||Episode: "Dragon Nuts"|
|2006–2009||The Replacements||Phil Mygrave / Gordo Glideright (voices)||6 episodes|
|2007||El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera||The Industrialist (voice)||Episode: "Burrito's Little Helper/Crouching Tigre, Hidden Dragon"|
|2007–2013||Burn Notice||Sam Axe||111 episodes|
|2011||Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe||Sam Axe||Television film; also executive producer|
|2013||1600 Penn||Doug Gilchrist||Episode: "Skip the Tour"|
|2014||Psych||Dr. Ashford N. Simpson||Episode: "A Nightmare on State Street"|
|The Librarians||Santa Claus||Episode: "And Santas Midnight Run"|
|2015||Fargo||Ronald Reagan||2 episodes|
|Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja||The Creep (voice)||Episode; "Ball's Well That Friend's Well"|
|2015–2018||Ash vs Evil Dead||Ash Williams||30 episodes; also executive producer|
|2018–2020||Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure||King Edmund (voice)||7 episodes|
|2018||Lodge 49||Gary Green||3 episodes|
|2019||Ripley's Believe It or Not!||Himself (host)||10 episodes; also executive producer|
|2020–2021||The Last Kids on Earth||Chef (voice)||11 episodes|
|2021||Adopted||John Voss||Unaired pilot|
|A.P. Bio||John Griffin||Episode: "Tons of Rue"|
|Archer||McGinley (voice)||Episode: "Dingo, Baby, et Cetera"|
|One December Night||Steve Bedford||Television film|
|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|
|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|
|2006||The Ant Bully||Fugax||N/A|
|2007||Spider-Man 3||Tutorial Narrator||N/A|
|2011||Army of Darkness: Defense||Ash Williams||Game Closed|
|Cars 2||Rod "Torque" Redline||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|
|2019||Dead by Daylight||Ash Williams||Ash VS Evil Dead DLC|
|2022||Evil Dead: The Game||Ash Williams||Also producer|
|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||Best Actor||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|
|2017||Fangoria Chainsaw Award||Best TV Actor||Won|
|Saturn Awards||Best Actor on a Television Series||Nominated|
|Mary the Jewess|