Billy Campbell

Billy Campbell Headshot

Actor

Birth Name: William Oliver Campbell

Birth Date: July 7, 1959

Age: 64 years old

Birth Place: Charlottesville, Virginia

Partners: Jennifer Connelly

Though he engaged audiences in a variety of onscreen roles, actor Billy Campbell won his biggest acclaim on the small screen, particularly as the divorced father Rick Sammler on the drama "Once & Again" (ABC, 1999-2002). Prior to that role, Campbell earned a small degree of notoriety for being only one of two characters killed off in the infamous "Moldavian Massacre" cliffhanger during the season five finale of "Dynasty" (ABC, 1981-1989). He went on to play a rookie cop on the gritty, but short-lived "Crime Story" NBC, 1986-88) before making the jump to features with the titular role in "The Rocketeer" (1991). Following supporting parts in Francis Ford Coppola adaptation of "Bram Stoker's Dracula" (1992) and the Civil War epic "Gettysburg" (1993), Campbell went returned to the stage for a variety of acclaimed roles before appearing on "Once & Again." Once that show left the air, he went back to features to play the heavy in the revenge drama "Enough" (2002) and General George Pickett in "Gods and Generals" (2003). Returning to television in 2004, Campbell appeared on the sci-fi series "The 4400" (USA Network, 2004-07) and the teen-angst drama "The OC" (Fox, 2003-07), before earning more critical adulation for his role on "The Killing" (AMC 2011-13; Netflix, 2014), once again proving the actor's versatility in just about any medium.

Born on July 7, 1959 in Charlottesville, VA, Campbell grew up in the Southern city, attending Western Albemarle High School as a teenager. The youngster also happened to be an heir to the Champion spark plug fortune, which sounded better than the reality, since the small inheritance he received at age 18 was gone almost immediately. Meanwhile, he graduated from high school in 1979, where he had played football and performed in a student production of "The Man Who Came to Dinner." Relocating to Chicago, IL to be near his father, Campbell attended the American Academy of Art with the intention of becoming a comic book artist. But his passion switched to acting after taking classes at the suggestion of a friend. Deciding to pursue the craft seriously, he studied at the Ted Liss Studio for the Performing Arts, as well as at the Players Workshop of Second City in Chicago. After appearing in local regional theater, Campbell left the Windy City and headed to Los Angeles to pursue acting as a professional, while continuing his training at Howard Fine.

Campbell soon made his television debut with guest starring roles in episodes of "Family Ties" (NBC, 1982-89) and "Hotel" (ABC, 1983-88), before landing his first series regular role that same year, playing the gay lover of Steven Carrington (Jack Coleman) on the popular primetime soap "Dynasty" (ABC, 1981-89) during the 1984-85 season. While his character failed to survive the infamous "Moldavian massacre" cliffhanger, Campbell went on to distinguish himself as a stalwart player capable of projecting heroic qualities. For two seasons, he played rookie Chicago detective Joey Indelli on the stylish cop drama "Crime Story" (NBC, 1986-88) and soon made the leap to the big screen in the role of a mysterious man who seemingly survived from prehistoric times in "Call from Space" (1989). Campbell next landed a starring role as reluctant superhero Cliff Secord in Disney's "The Rocketeer" (1991). Cast opposite a young Jennifer Connelly, Campbell began to date the actress offscreen for five years until the pair ended their relationship in 1995. Campbell went on to work with Francis Ford Coppola in the film adaptation of Bram Stoker's "Dracula" (1992) and appeared as Lieutenant Pitzer in the lavish Civil War epic "Gettysburg" (1993).

Returning to stage work, Campbell appeared as Laertes in Stephen Lang's 1993 production of "Hamlet." That same year, he landed a starring role on the short-lived romantic detective series "Moon over Miami" (ABC, 1993) and received critical acclaim for his role as a gay gynecologist in Armistead Maupin's "Tales of the City" (PBS, 1993). Alternating between stage work and the small screen, Campbell went on to star in the Los Angeles production of "Fortinbras," for which he won a 1997 Ovation Award for Best Lead Actor, and reprised his "City" role in "More Tales of the City" (PBS, 1998) and "Further Tales of the City" (PBS, 2001). He next nabbed the lead role of Rick Sammler on the drama "Once & Again" (ABC, 1999-2002), for which he received considerable critical acclaim. Campbell's earnest and touching performance as a divorced father trying to find love earned him a People's Choice Award for Favorite Male Performer in a Television Series, as well as a Golden Globe nomination in 2000. Though the show struggled with ratings, it did manage to find a loyal audience, with Campbell appearing for three seasons, providing him with some much deserved exposure and dependable paycheck.

A diverse actor, Campbell went on to appear as an abusive husband opposite Jennifer Lopez in the thriller "Enough" (2002) and landed a supporting role in another Civil War-era epic, "Gods & Generals" (2003). Returning to series television the following year, Campbell joined the cast of the sci-fi series "The 4400" (USA Network, 2004-07), a drama that centered on the stories of 4,400 people who mysteriously disappeared over a period of 50 years. The following year, Campbell added to his varied résumé by appearing in a multi-episode arc on the popular drama "The OC" (Fox, 2003-07), portraying magazine editor Carter Buckley. Because Campbell decided to spend 13 months circumnavigating the globe on a sailboat in 2005, his character on "The 4400," Jordan Collier, was killed off, though he did manage to return for the show's fourth and final season. Meanwhile, Campbell had a recurring stint on the short-lived "Shark" (CBS, 2006-08) before playing a detective desperately looking for his partner (Michael Rooker) before a meteor crashes into Earth in the aptly-named miniseries "Meteor" (NBC, 2009). Returning to series television, Campbell starred as a politician running for mayor in the acclaimed crime drama, "The Killing" (AMC 2011-13; Netflix, 2014), which explored the murder investigation of a young girl from the perspectives of various people connected to the event.

Credits

Something Undone

Actor
Pastor Cape
Show
2023

Something Undone

Actor
Pastor Cape
Show
2023

Kampen om Narvik - Hitlers første nederlag

Actor
Konsul G. L. O. Gibbs
Movie
2022

Star Trek: ProdigyStream

Actor
Series
2021
94%

A New Generation of Youth: Designing Ramps not Walls

Actor
Movie
2020

The RocketeerStream

Voice
Dave Secord
Series
2019

FBIStream

Guest Star
Detective Jack Lombardo
Series
2018

CardinalStream

Actor
John Cardinal
Series
2017
88%

Warren Miller's Snowonder

Actor
Show
2015

Meteor

Actor
Show
2014

The Day My Nan Died

Director
Show
2014

HelixStream

Actor
Dr. Alan Farragut
Series
2014
81%

It's Always

Director
Show
2014

Lizzie Borden Took an Ax

Actor
Andrew Jennings
Movie
2014

The Scribbler

Actor
Movie
2014

Red Knot

Actor
Captain Emerson
Movie
2014

Helix: Extras

Actor
Show
2013

Full Circle

Actor
Series
2013

Full Circle

Actor
Show
2013

The Social

Guest
Show
2013

Killing Lincoln

Actor
Abraham Lincoln
Show
2013

Killing Lincoln

Actor
Abraham Lincoln
Movie
2013

Copperhead

Actor
Abner Beech
Movie
2013

Red White Black & Blue

Narrator
Movie
2012

Fat Kid Rules the World

Actor
Mr. Billings
Movie
2012

The Disappeared

Actor
Mannie
Movie
2012

Meteor

Actor
Show
2011

The KillingStream

Actor
Series
2011
68%

The Marilyn Denis Show

Guest
Show
2011

The Talk

Guest
Talk
2010

Access Hollywood Live

Guest
Show
2010

The Wheeler Boys

Actor
Ron
Movie
2010

Melrose Place

Guest Star
Show
2009

Meteor

Actor
Show
2009

Revolution

Actor
Tom Hart
Movie
2009

Ghost TownStream

Actor
Richard
Movie
2008
85%

The Circuit

Actor
Movie
2008

Désastres naturels

Actor
Show
2007

SharkStream

Guest Star
Series
2006
52%

etalk

Guest
Show
2006

The Complete Tales of the City

Actor
Show
2006

Deuxième chance

Actor
Show
2005

The 4400

Actor
Jordan Collier
Series
2004
95%

The 4400

Guest Star
Jordan Collier
Series
2004
95%

The O.C.Stream

Guest Star
Series
2003
68%

Gods and Generals

Actor
Maj. Gen. George Pickett
Movie
2003

The Stranger Beside Me

Actor
Ted Bundy
Movie
2003

EnoughStream

Actor
Mitch Hiller
Movie
2002
22%

The Rising Place

Actor
Streete Wilder
Movie
2002

Armistead Maupin's Further Tales of the City

Actor
Dr Jon Fielding
Show
2001

In the Beginning...

Actor
Show
2000

Clerks: The Animated SeriesStream

Executive Producer
Series
2000

Wasteland

Executive Producer
Show
1999

Once and Again

Actor
Rick Sammler
Series
1999

Law & Order: Special Victims UnitStream

Guest Star
Ron Polikoff
Series
1999
78%

The Daily Show With Jon StewartStream

Guest
Talk
1999

Armistead Maupin's More Tales of the City

Actor
Show
1998

Max Q: Emergency Landing

Actor
Clay Jarvis
Movie
1998

Monday After the Miracle

Actor
John Macy
Movie
1998

The View

Guest
Talk
1997

The PracticeStream

Guest Star
Series
1997

Dead Man's Gun

Guest Star
John Slattery
Show
1997

The Second Jungle Book: Mowgli and Baloo

Actor
Harrison
Movie
1997

Lover's Knot

Actor
Steve Hunter
Movie
1996

The Cold Equations

Actor
Lt. John Barton
Movie
1996

The Brylcreem Boys

Actor
Miles Keogh
Movie
1996

Menno's Mind

Actor
Menno
Movie
1996

Under the Hula Moon

Actor
Marvin
Movie
1995

Out There

Actor
Delbert Mosley
Movie
1995

Tales of the CityStream

Actor
Jon Fielding
Miniseries
1993
100%

FrasierStream

Guest Star
Dr. Clint Webber
Series
1993
95%

Moon Over Miami

Actor
Walter Tatum
Show
1993

Kung Fu: The Legend Continues

Guest Star
Series
1993

Bram Stoker's DraculaStream

Actor
Quincey P. Morris
Movie
1992
78%

The RocketeerStream

Actor
Cliff Secord
Movie
1991
67%

Checkered Flag

Actor
Tommy Trehearn
Movie
1990

Star Trek: The Next GenerationStream

Guest Star
Capt. Thadiun Okona
Series
1987
92%

Star Trek: The Next Generation 2.0

Guest Star
Show
1987

CBS Summer Playhouse

Actor
Show
1987

Crime StoryStream

Actor
Det. Joey Indelli
Series
1986

Hotel

Guest Star
Soap
1983

Operacija Ticijan

Actor
Movie
1963

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