In 1979, with his Detroit friends, Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert, Bruce raised $350,000 for a low-budget film, “Evil Dead,” in which he starred and co-executive produced. Completed piecemeal over four years, the film first gained notoriety in England where it became the best-selling video of 1983, beating out “The Shining.” After its appearance at Cannes, where Stephen King dubbed it “the most ferociously original horror film of the year,” New Line Cinema stepped forward to release “Evil Dead” in the U.S.
After co-producing “Crimewave,” a cross-genre comedy written by Sam Raimi, Ethan and Joel Coen, Bruce moved to Los Angeles and quickly gained a foothold producing or starring in genre films such as the “Maniac Cop” series, “Lunatics: A Love Story,” “Moontrap,” and “Mindwarp,” a post-apocalyptic “Jeremiah Johnson,” during which he met his wife-to-be, filmmaker Ida Gearon.
Campbell then rejoined his Detroit colleagues to star and co-produce the second and third films in the “Evil Dead” trilogy, completing 12 years of work on the cult favorite. This rough-and-tumble background was a plus as Bruce made his foray into television, first starring in the highly touted Fox series “The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.,” then as a recurring guest-star on the hit show “Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.” With these under his belt, Bruce easily made the transition to director, helming numerous episodes and recurring as the "King of Thieves" in the #1 syndicated “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys,” and its follow-up phenomenon, “Xena: Warrior Princess.”
He has since expanded his range on television, with appearances in Disney's TV movies “Gold Rush,” and their update of “The Love Bug.” He teamed up with Fox again for the hit TV film “Tornado!” and starred in NBC's top-rated “In the Line of Duty: Blaze of Glory.” At the invitation of ABC, Bruce ventured into the world of sitcoms with a recurring role on ABC's Emmy-nominated “Ellen,” participating in one of the three touted "Out" episodes. Following decidedly dramatic turns on the acclaimed series “Homicide,” and “X-Files,” he enjoyed a recurring role on Showtime’s edgy TV industry comedy, “Beggars and Choosers.”
But Campbell didn't abandon his film roots. During that time, he had featured roles in the blockbuster “Congo,” John Carpenter's “Escape from LA,” and the award-winning independent crime drama, “Running Time.” Bruce followed these up with roles in Paramount's romantic comedy, “Serving Sara,” Jim Carrey's “The Majestic,” and Sam Raimi's blockbuster “Spider-Man” series.
After a return to episodic television in the swashbuckling series, “Jack of all Trades,” Campbell took the title role in MGM's cult sleeper “Bubba Ho-Tep.” His directorial debut, “Man with the
Screaming Brain,” recently premiered on the SCI FI Channel, and Dark Horse Comics published the comic adaptation. Campbell’s current films include the fun-filled Disney hit, “Sky High,” MGM's thriller, “The Woods,” and A&E's “Touch the Top of the World,” an inspiring true story about the first blind person to climb Mt. Everest.
Recently, Campbell made the leap into other forms of entertainment, and is enjoying his new role as an author with back-to-back NY Times bestsellers – a memoir entitled “If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor,” and his first novel, “Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way.” In the multi-media industry, Bruce provided voices on cutting-edge video games for Activision, THQ and Nova Logic – and he also enjoyed voicing characters for Disney’s animated TV series, “Tarzan,” and the Warner Bros. feature, “The Ant Bully.”
Bruce continues to share his filmmaking experience, lecturing at universities, which include Northwestern, Carnegie Mellon and Stanford.
He currently resides with his wife, Ida Gearon, in Oregon.