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|Also Known As:||Bruce Lorne Campbell||Died:|
|Born:||June 22, 1958||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||Royal Oak, Michigan, USA||Profession:||producer, actor, director, screenwriter, production assistant|
Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY
y Hills in John Carpenter's "Escape from L.A." (1997). He was also seen in a small turn as one of Tom Arnold's sailors in the big-screen version of "McHale's Navy" (1997), and turned up in several episodes of "Ellen" (ABC, 1994-98) as Ellen's competitive nemesis at the bookstore where she worked.Television increasingly became the best medium to translate Campbell's particular brand of old-school heroics and self-deprecating humor. He was charming as the new owner of Herbie, a.k.a "The Love Bug" (Disney Channel, 1997) in a TV remake, and had a rare shot at a romantic lead as a 19th-century adventurer in "Gold Rush: A Real Life Alaskan Adventurer" (ABC, 1998). His talents were perhaps served best on "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" (syndicated, 1995-99) and its spin-off, "Xena: Warrior Princess" (syndicated, 1995-2001), both of which were produced by his old Michigan pal, Robert Tapert. In his many guest appearances on the popular fantasy shows, he played Autoclytus, the vain, buffoonish King of Thieves, indulging in a great deal of slapstick, occasionally opposite "Xena" regular Ted Raimi. Campbell returned to series work with "Jack of All Trades" (syndicated, 2000-01), a short-lived period...
y Hills in John Carpenter's "Escape from L.A." (1997). He was also seen in a small turn as one of Tom Arnold's sailors in the big-screen version of "McHale's Navy" (1997), and turned up in several episodes of "Ellen" (ABC, 1994-98) as Ellen's competitive nemesis at the bookstore where she worked.
Television increasingly became the best medium to translate Campbell's particular brand of old-school heroics and self-deprecating humor. He was charming as the new owner of Herbie, a.k.a "The Love Bug" (Disney Channel, 1997) in a TV remake, and had a rare shot at a romantic lead as a 19th-century adventurer in "Gold Rush: A Real Life Alaskan Adventurer" (ABC, 1998). His talents were perhaps served best on "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" (syndicated, 1995-99) and its spin-off, "Xena: Warrior Princess" (syndicated, 1995-2001), both of which were produced by his old Michigan pal, Robert Tapert. In his many guest appearances on the popular fantasy shows, he played Autoclytus, the vain, buffoonish King of Thieves, indulging in a great deal of slapstick, occasionally opposite "Xena" regular Ted Raimi. Campbell returned to series work with "Jack of All Trades" (syndicated, 2000-01), a short-lived period adventure from the "Hercules" and "Xena" producers about a roguish 19th century American spy and his masked alter ego. He also lent his distinctive voice and tongue-in-cheek delivery to numerous animated projects and video games, including a return engagement as Ash in "Evil Dead: Hail to the King" (THQ, 2000).
In the view of many, Campbellâ¿¿s best performance came in "Bubba Ho-Tep" (2001), an offbeat comic horror film in which he played an amnesiac resident at a rest home who may (or may not) be Elvis Presley. Together with an elderly black man (Ossie Davis) who believes himself to be John F. Kennedy, he must fight a soul-stealing mummy preying on the home's helpless patients. Despite the absurd tone of the project, Campbell gave a performance that touched on both the comic elements and the pathos of a man struggling for respect and recognition in an increasingly decrepit body. A cult hit almost immediately upon release, "Bubba Ho-Tep" earned Campbell nearly universal praise and an award from the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. The following year, the actor popped up briefly as a smarmy wrestling ring announcer in Raimi's global smash hit "Spider-Man" (2002) â¿¿ a surprise appearance which never failed to illicit applause from audiences familiar with the longtime relationship between actor and director. That year also saw the release of Campbellâ¿¿s memoir If Chins Could Kill - Confessions of a B-Movie Actor, an insightful, sardonic and self-deprecating look at Campbellâ¿¿s career and the industry as a whole. Another much appreciated cameo came in Raimiâ¿¿s even more successful superhero sequel "Spider-Man 2" (2004), in which Campbell appeared as an insufferable theater usher.
In 2005, Campbell penned his second book, a comic novel â¿¿ later adapted into a six-hour audio play â¿¿ titled Make Love! The Bruce Campbell Way, which took a fictional look at his own attempts to break into A-list features. He also took a turn directing with "The Man with the Screaming Brain" (2005), a long-gestating project about a crass American drug company CEO who becomes the unwilling recipient of a deceased KGB spy's thoughts. A slapstick comedy in the vein of the "Evil Dead" pictures, it played in limited release in theaters and on television on the Syfy Channel. Campbell also contributed to a four-part comic book series based on the film. Meanwhile, he continued to travel between big-budget projects and indie fare, taking on a serious role in the atmospheric but little-seen supernatural feature "The Woods" (2006) and playing a domineering gym coach in Disney's charming superhero comedy "Sky High" (2005). Campbell enjoyed perhaps his greatest mainstream success as boozing ex-spy Sam Axe in the clever espionage-themed dramedy-actioner "Burn Notice" (USA Network, 2007- ) in which he and his Hawaiian shirts routinely stole scenes from co-stars Jeffrey Donovan and Gabrielle Anwar. With the success of "Burn Notice," he scored an ad campaign for Old Spice productions, playing up his onscreen persona in a series of amusing commercials which obliquely referenced his cult origins (a chainsaw on the mantelpiece of a "Playboy after Dark"-style den). He also directed his second feature, "My Name is Bruce" (2007), a comic horror-adventure in which he played a dissolute version of himself as he is recruited by fans to fight a Chinese war god.
Maintaining his ties to Raimi, Campbell made yet another cameo as an over-eager restaurant maÃ®tre dâ¿¿ in "Spider-Man 3" (2007), which marked Tobey Maguireâ¿¿s final turn as the web-slinging hero. In animation, he lent his voice to the role of the food-loving mayor of the island town of Swallow Falls in the hit animated feature "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" (2009) and as suave American spy car Rod "Torque" Redline in the Pixar sequel "Cars 2" (2011). Campbell later reteamed with Raimi behind the scenes to co-produce the remake of "Evil Dead" (2013). Die-hard fans of the franchise remained skeptical when it was revealed that Campbellâ¿¿s character of Ash would not appear in the film, which, while still revolving around the demonic text known as The Necronomicon, would differ from the original shocker in most other respects.
By Bryce Colemanhit, and Campbell found himself hailed as a new horror movie hero.
For the next couple of years, Campbell toiled exclusively in low-budget and independent genre films, but few of them were able to tap his particular brand of humor â¿¿ though there were moments for fans to savor in films like William Lustig's "Maniac Cop" (1988) and the amusing vampire parody "Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat" (1991). Campbell also partnered with Josh Becker, an associate and friend of Raimi's for two pictures: ultra-violent slasher film "Intruder" (1989) and a comic romance of sorts called "Lunatics: A Love Story" (1991). He was also seen briefly near the end of Raimi's under-seen action picture "Darkman" (1990), prior to reuniting with Raimi as Ash once more for the second "Evil Dead" sequel "Army of Darkness" (1993). Another broad comedy with splattery overtones, the film picked up where "Evil Dead 2" left off â¿¿ with Ash sucked into a vortex of time and deposited in a medieval setting, where he is forced to once again fight off demons. This third film upped the slapstick even further, most notably in an impressive bit of early CGI in which Ash splits into a good and bad version of himself. As with the previous "Evil Dead" pictures, while the film failed to set box office records, it nonetheless elicited praise from horror fanatics and appreciation from fans of Campbell and Raimiâ¿¿s growing body of work.
Following "Army of Darkness," Campbell's profile began to rise in the mainstream market. He gave a note-perfect supporting turn as a 1940s-era ace reporter in the Coen Brothers' "Hudsucker Proxy" (1994) and turned up in small roles in Raimi's Western "The Quick and the Dead" (1995) and the campy actioner, "Congo" (1995). Larger and recurring parts soon followed on television series like "Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman" (ABC, 1993-97) and "Homicide: Life on the Street" (NBC, 1993-99), which offered a rare dramatic turn for Campbell as a vengeful firefighter. Campbell's shot at a series of his own came with "The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr." (Fox, 1993-94), a breezy Western about a Harvard-educated bounty hunter (Campbell) who uses his wits to track down villains. The show lasted just a single season, but as with almost everything Campbell touched during this period, it enjoyed a loyal cult following. Working constantly in parts both large and small, he was glimpsed briefly as a soap opera actor in the Coen Brothers' "Fargo" (1996) and gave an amusing turn as the freakishly rebuilt Surgeon General of Beverl
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CAST: (feature film)
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His official Web site is at www.bruce-campbell.com.
"Bruce IS Ash," says producer Bob Tapert. "He's really a comic genius in his own way. Besides a unique acting style, he has incredible body language. Because of his terrific physical condition and coordination, he can handle virtually any type of action. Doing most of his own stunts, he makes sequences work that would be too much for most other actors." --(From "Army of Darkness" Production Notes)
See also Sam Raimi's biography for additional information on their collaborations.
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