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Billy Campbell Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (14) | Personal Quotes (28)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 7 July 1959Charlottesville, Virginia, USA
Birth NameWilliam Oliver Campbell
Height 6' 3½" (1.92 m)

Mini Bio (1)

American actor Billy Campbell was born on July 7, 1959 in Charlottesville, Virginia. He came to prominence playing Luke Fuller on Dynasty (1981), the gay lover of character Steven Carrington, on what was then the top-rated TV show in America. He followed this up playing Detective Joey Indelli on Crime Story (1986). He lost out on the role of William Riker in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) to Jonathan Frakes, but won the title role in the sci-fi movie The Rocketeer (1991). In 1993, he was cast in the lead of the detective series Moon Over Miami (1993), but it was soon canceled. He then played Dr. Jon Fielding, another gay character, on the controversial miniseries Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City (1993) and its sequels, but arguably is best known for his role as Rick Sammler on Once and Again (1999). Subsequently, he had recurring role on The O.C. (2003) before playing Jordan Collier on the sci-fi series The 4400 (2004). He also appeared in the 2009 revival of Melrose Place (2009).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood

Trade Mark (1)

Towering height and slender frame

Trivia (14)

Parents divorced when he was two years old. He shuttled between his mother in Virginia and his father in Chicago.
He has six half-siblings including David Campbell and John Campbell.
Heir to the Champion spark plug fortune
He was the second choice for the role of Commander William Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), but Jonathan Frakes won the part. However, he guest-starred as Captain Thadiun Okona in the episode Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Outrageous Okona (1988), on 10 December 1988.
Chosen by People magazine as one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world
Rick Sammler, Campbell's character on Once and Again (1999), was ranked #36 in TV Guide's list of the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time" [20 June 2004 issue].
In early 2005, he took 13 months off from acting to circumnavigate the globe on a sailing trawler. He joined the crew of The Picton Castle which set sail from Nova Scotia to deliver charitable donations of school essentials, clothing and supplies throughout the South Pacific. The creators of 'the 4400' coped with his planned absence by having his character Jordan Collier assassinated.
The character, Billy Campbell, on Melrose Place (1992) was named after him.
Attended Fork Union Military Academy.
Appeared in a high school production of "The Man Who Came to Dinner" and played Petruchio once in an outdoor production of "The Taming of the Shrew" at the Southern California Renaissance Faire.
Has volunteered as an actor with the Young Storytellers Program.
Is a rugby enthusiast, having played rugby with the Chicago Lions RFC and the Santa Monica Rugby Club.
Second cousin of Burn Notice (2007) actor Bruce Campbell.
He and Stephen Lang appeared together in Gettysburg (1993) as Lt. Pitzer and Gen. Picket, respectively, and were both all set to play those same characters in the prequel, Gods and Generals (2003). However, a suitable actor could not be found to play lead character Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, so Lang was given that role and Campbell stepped into the role of Picket.

Personal Quotes (28)

I would make a horrible politician, because I wouldn't enjoy my work.
I think it would be lovely to see some features on a disc of 'The Rocketeer,' with some reminiscing. I think that would be dynamite.
I don't have any complex plans for playing a character. I think all I try to do is not make too many bad guy faces and not ever try to seem too good. I just try to put it in the middle somewhere.
The first trip I remember taking was on the train from Virginia up to New York City, watching the summertime countryside rolling past the window. They used white linen tablecloths in the dining car in those days, and real silver. I love trains to this day. Maybe that was the beginning of my fixation with leisurely modes of travel.
Aside from what it teaches you, there is simply the indescribable degree of peace that can be achieved on a sailing vessel at sea. I guess a combination of hard work and the seemingly infinite expanse of the sea - the profound solitude - that does it for me.
When I first came to Hollywood, I used to dream of doing films and escaping television.
To me, the AMC brand is great storytelling - they call it slow-burn storytelling.
The South Downs of England reminded me a bit of my Old Virginia homeland.
The only thing better than going to Pitcairn in the first place, is going again.
I'm not a big fan of CGI. I'm not a fan at all, unless they use it in a way that doesn't call attention to itself.
I almost always do things that I like, in some form or fashion. Every once in awhile that means that I don't think the script is any good and I don't have any trust in the people, but the film is shooting in Sri Lanka, or somewhere like that, so I'm going.
A great deal of my battle, as an actor, is to whittle away the things that make me self-conscious and try to trick myself into not being self-conscious. So, it's always a challenge, whether I'm lying in a hospital bed or flying around with a rocket pack on my back, or what have you. On the best of days, it's a challenge for me.
On land, you can walk away from people, from unpleasant situations. But when you're on a ship for 14 months with 49 other people, if you don't resolve your issues it literally could mean - and this would be an extreme circumstance - the sinking of the ship. You learn a lot about other people. You learn a lot about yourself.
If you were to ask my agent, they would confirm this: I'm drawn to locations. What really drew me to 'The 4400,' aside from the fact that it was sci-fi, was the fact that it was shot in the city of my dreams: Vancouver.
I can't say that I haven't done some bad acting in my time. I have. Usually that involves what we actors call 'indicating,' when you twirl your mustache.
I would love to see a sequel to 'The Rocketeer.' I'd love to see that! I don't know that I would be in it. I may be a little long in the tooth to play 'The Rocketeer.' But I would love to be a part of that in some form or fashion.
I tend to get comfortable with the dialogue and find out who the person is in the script and try to hit that. People are sort of independent of their occupations and their pastimes. You don't play a politician or a fireman or a cowboy - you just play a person.
I shampoo only once a week or so, with tree tea oil shampoo. And when I slap moisturizer on my face - just some stuff I bought in the grocery store - I pile it through my hair.
I sailed a bit as a child, but it wasn't until I was around 40, when I was halfway through Patrick O'Brian's 'Master and Commander' novels, that I had the sudden epiphany that I had to go sail on a square-rig ship.
I grew up 60 minutes way from Richmond, in Charlottesville, Virginia and, as a child, I was obsessed with the Civil War. I used to do re-enactments and all that stuff.
The feeling of being at sea has put me in touch with who I am to a greater degree than if I had been on land all these years. So, in a roundabout way, I imagine it does inform my acting.
Some of the best auditions I've ever had have been when my agent called and said, 'They want you 20 minutes ago, in an office in Century City, to see you for something.' I'm not sitting there thinking for a week and a half, before I'm supposed to go in front of a network president to do something. That just gives you time to be nervous.
Oh, I'm nerdy about science fiction and fantasy and graphic novels and reading, and I'm nerdy about board games. My favorite board game is a board game I'm working on right now. It's a game of Napoleonic era naval warfare, and it's going to be fun.
Most sailing ships take what they call trainees, who pay to be part of the crew. The Picton Castle takes people who are absolutely raw recruits. But you can't just ride along. You're learning to steer the ship, navigation; you're pulling lines, keeping a lookout; in the galley you're cooking.
I've done some things that have been quite interesting, but as grateful as I am for having been on 'Dynasty,' it was just so cheesy. That's half the reason it was so much fun for people to watch, but it's not so fun to have to say those lines.
There have been times when I've been asked to do things and I've thought, 'This is great! This is a great script. But, I do not believe myself in this role.' I pretend I'm the producer and I think, 'If I was making this movie, would I cast myself in this part,' and if that doesn't feel right to me, then I don't even go audition for it.
The kind of people that love 'The Rocketeer' are the kind of people that love good storytelling and innocence and a better world, so to speak, so they're almost always nice people to bump into.
Vancouver is one of my favorite places on earth. It's gray and rainy there a lot of the time, but for some reason, even though it's gray and rainy, I feel like it's a sunny day.

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