Born in Newark, New Jersey, on October 30, 1923, actor William "Bill" Campbell signed his first film contract with Warner Bros. in early 1950. His first film for the studio was the film noir release The Breaking Point (1950; with John Garfield and Patricia Neal), in which Campbell had a supporting role. In 1951, Campbell tried his fortunes at MGM, where he acted in such films as Battle Circus (1953; with Humphrey Bogart and June Allyson) and Code Two (1953; with Ralph Meeker and Elaine Stewart). He eventually moved to Universal-International, around the time of the death of the studio system. His first starring role came in the Columbia film noir release Cell 2455 Death Row (1955; with Kathryn Grant and Vince Edwards). He received good notices in Love Me Tender (1956; with Richard Egan, Debra Paget, and Elvis Presley) and had a few more starring roles in films, such as the intriguing film noir Man in the Vault (1956; with Karen Sharpe, Anita Ekberg, and Berry Kroeger) before sliding back into supporting roles in the later 1950s. In 1958, he starred in the syndicated television series Cannonball, which lasted for one season. Campbell was a natural in film noir thrillers and westerns in the 1950s, and into the 1960s he tackled roles in horror films, including Dementia 13 (1963; with Luana Anders) and Track of the Vampire (1966; with Lori Saunders).

William Campbell

Universal-International promotional photo of William Campbell from 1955

Campbell's first wife was the beautiful and notorious Judith Campbell Exner, one-time mistress of Frank Sinatra, President John F. Kennedy, and mob boss Sam Giancana; the couple married in 1952 and divorced in 1958. Campbell then married actress Barbara Bricker in 1960, but the marriage dissolved in just a few months.

the films of william campbell

Holiday for Sinners (1952)

William Campbell and Gig Young

With Gig Young in the MGM drama Holiday for Sinners

Big Leaguer (1953)

William Campbell

From the MGM drama Big Leaguer

Battle Cry (1955)

William Campbell

From the Warner Bros. war film Battle Cry

Cell 2455 Death Row (1955)

Marian Carr and William Campbell

Bad guy Campbell abuses Marian Carr in the Columbia film noir release Battle Cry

Man Without a Star (1955)

William Campbell, Jeanne Crain, and Kirk DouglasWilliam Campbell

LEFT: With Jeanne Crain and Kirk Douglas in the Universal-International western Man Without a Star. RIGHT: Campbell as Jeff Jimson

Running Wild (1955)

William Campbell and Kathleen CaseJan Merlin and William Campbell

Campbell portrays policeman Ralph Barton in Universal-International's film noir flick Running Wild. LEFT: With Kathleen Case. RIGHT: With Jan Merlin

Love Me Tender (1956)

Elvis Presley and William Campbell

Campbell sings with Elvis Presley in the 20th Century Fox drama Love Me Tender

Man in the Vault (1956)

William Campbell and Karen Sharpe

With Karen Sharpe in the RKO film noir thriller Man in the Vault. This film was produced by John Wayne's Batjac Productions

Eighteen and Anxious (1957)

William Campbell

From Republic's tormented teen drama Eighteen and Anxious

Dementia 13 (1963)

Mary Mitchel and William Campbell

With Mary Mitchel in Francis Ford Coppola's American International horror release Dementia 13

The Secret Invasion (1964)

Henry Silva, Edd Byrnes, Stewart Granger, and William Campbell

From the war drama The Secret Invasion with Henry Silva, Edd Byrnes, and Stewart Granger. This film was directed by Roger Corman

Track of the Vampire (1966)

Lori Saunders and William CampbellLori Saunders and William Campbell

Campbell as vampire Antonio Sordi with girlfriend Lori Saunders in the American International horror flick Track of the Vampire, also known as Blood Bath

Black Gunn (1972)

Jim Brown, Gary Conway, Luciana Paluzzi, Timothy Brown, William Campbell, and Bruce Glover

From the Columbia action flick Black Gunn with Jim Brown, Gary Conway, Luciana Paluzzi, Timothy Brown, and Bruce Glover

later years

Campbell's last role in a theatrically released film came in the blacksploitation crime thriller Black Gunn (1972; with Jim Brown, Martin Landau, and Luciana Paluzzi). Yet he worked steadily in television through the late 1970s on such shows as Police Woman, Medical Center, and The Streets of San Francisco. Campbell then went to work as the director for fund raising at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California, but he occasionally took on television roles through the 1990s. Sadly, William Campbell passed away from natural causes on April 29, 2011, at the age of 87. He is survived by his third wife, Tereza.

william campbell dvds available from


The Return of the Six-Million-Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman (1987) with Lindsay Wagner, Lee Majors, Richard Anderson, Martin Landau, and Gary Lockwood
Mr. and Mrs. Cop (1974) with Anthony Costello, Marianne McAndrew, Max Gail, and Holly Near
Black Gunn (1972) with Jim Brown, Martin Landau, Brenda Sykes, Luciana Paluzzi, Vida Blue, Stephen McNally, Keefe Brasselle, Bernie Casey, Gary Conway, and Bruce Glover
Pretty Maids All in a Row (1971) with Rock Hudson, Angie Dickinson, Telly Savalas, John David Carson, Roddy McDowall, Keenan Wynn, James Doohan, Margaret Markov, Joy Bang, and Brenda Sykes
Track of the Vampire (1966) with Sandra Knight, Lori Saunders, Sid Haig, and Jonathan Haze
Portrait in Terror (1965) with Patrick Magee
Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964) with Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Joseph Cotten, Agnes Moorehead, Cecil Kellaway, Victor Buono, Mary Astor, Wesley Addy, Bruce Dern, and George Kennedy
The Secret Invasion (1964) with Stewart Granger, Mickey Rooney, Edd Byrnes, Henry Silva, and Peter Coe
Dementia 13 (1963) with Luana Anders, Bart Patton, Mary Mitchel, and Patrick Magee
The Young Racers (1963) with Mark Damon, Luana Anders, and Patrick Magee
Night of Evil (1962) with Lisa Gaye
Natchez Trace (1960) with Zachary Scott and Marcia Henderson
Money, Women and Guns (1959) with Jock Mahoney, Kim Hunter, Tim Hovey, Gene Evans, Lon Chaney Jr., Judi Meredith, and Phillip Terry
The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw (1958) with Jayne Mansfield, Kenneth More, Henry Hull, and Bruce Cabot
The Naked and the Dead (1958) with Aldo Ray, Cliff Robertson, Raymond Massey, Lili St. Cyr, Barbara Nichols, Richard Jaeckel, James Best, Joey Bishop, Jerry Paris, L.Q. Jones, Max Showalter, and John Beradino
Eighteen and Anxious (1957) with Martha Scott, Jim Backus, Jackie Coogan, Connie Stevens, and Yvonne Craig
Man in the Vault (1956) with Karen Sharpe, Anita Ekberg, Berry Kroeger, Paul Fix, and Mike Mazurki
Love Me Tender (1956) with Richard Egan, Debra Paget, Elvis Presley, Neville Brand, Bruce Bennett, Russ Conway, Ken Clark, and Barry Coe
Backlash (1956) with Richard Widmark, Donna Reed, John McIntire, Harry Morgan, and Edward Platt
Running Wild (1955) with Mamie Van Doren, Keenan Wynn, Jan Merlin, and John Saxon
Cell 2455 Death Row (1955) with Kathryn Grant, Vince Edwards, Bart Braverman, Buck Kartalian
Man Without a Star (1955) with Kirk Douglas, Jeanne Crain, Claire Trevor, Richard Boone, Jay C. Flippen, Mara Corday, and Sheb Wooley
Battle Cry (1955) with Van Heflin, Aldo Ray, Mona Freeman, Nancy Olson, James Whitmore, Raymond Massey, Tab Hunter, Dorothy Malone, Anne Francis, John Lupton, and L.Q. Jones
The High and the Mighty (1954) with John Wayne, Claire Trevor, Laraine Day, Robert Stack, Jan Sterling, Phil Harris, David Brian, Paul Kelly, and John Howard
Escape from Fort Bravo (1953) with William Holden, Eleanor Parker, John Forsythe, William Demarest, Polly Bergen, Richard Anderson, and John Lupton
Big Leaguer (1953) with Edward G. Robinson, Vera-Ellen, Jeff Richards, and Richard Jaeckel
Code Two (1953) with Ralph Meeker, Elaine Stewart, Sally Forrest, Keenan Wynn, Robert Horton, James Craig, and Jeff Richards
Small Town Girl (1953) with Jane Powell, Farley Granger, Ann Miller, Bobby Van, Billie Burke, Fay Wray, and Nat 'King' Cole
Battle Circus (1953) with Humphrey Bogart, June Allyson, and Keenan Wynn
Holiday for Sinners (1952) with Gig Young, Keenan Wynn, Janice Rule, and Richard Anderson
The People Against O'Hara (1951) with Spencer Tracy, Pat O'Brien, Diana Lynn, John Hodiak, James Arness, Yvette Duguay, Jay C. Flippen, Richard Anderson, and Ann Doran
Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison (1951) with Steve Cochran, David Brian, and Philip Carey
Operation Pacific (1951) with John Wayne, Patricia Neal, Ward Bond, Philip Carey, and Martin Milner
Breakthrough (1950) with David Brian, John Agar, and Frank Lovejoy
The Breaking Point (1950) with John Garfield, Patricia Neal, and Phyllis Thaxter

Cannonball, 1958-1959 syndicated TV series. Campbell portrayed Jerry Austin

Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, episode Chill Ride, originally aired September 30, 1996
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, episode Blood Oath, originally aired March 27, 1994
Hotel, episode Promises, originally aired January 9, 1985
Quincy M.E., episode Quincy's Wedding: Parts 1 and 2, originally aired February 16 and 23, 1983
The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, episode Will the Real Santa...?, originally aired December 18, 1977
Shazam!, episode The Contest, originally aired September 11, 1976
The Streets of San Francisco, episode Underground, originally aired January 29, 1976
Medical Center, episode Aftershock, originally aired March 10, 1975
Police Woman, episode Ice, originally aired February 28, 1975
Marcus Welby, M.D., episode Dark Fury: Part 1, originally aired January 7, 1975
Gunsmoke, episode The Squaw, originally aired January 6, 1975
The Manhunter, episode The Lodester Ambush, originally aired December 4, 1974
The Streets of San Francisco, episode Flags of Terror, originally aired October 31, 1974
Hec Ramsey, episode Scar Tissue, originally aired March 10, 1974
Adam-12, episode North Hollywood Division, originally aired January 22, 1974
Medical Center, episode Choice of Evils, originally aired January 21, 1974
Emergency!, episode Fools, originally aired January 19, 1974
The Streets of San Francisco, episode Chapel of the Damned, originally aired January 17, 1974
Ironside, episode Buddy, Can You Spare a Life?, originally aired November 16, 1972
Emergency!, episode Peace Pipe, originally aired October 14, 1972
Adam-12, episode Ambush, originally aired November 10, 1971
O'Hara, U.S. Treasury, episode Operation: Big Store, originally aired September 17, 1971
Bracken's World, episode The Stunt, originally aired November 7, 1969
It Takes a Thief, episode A Spot of Trouble, originally aired March 5, 1968
Bonanza, episode The Late Ben Cartwright, originally aired March 3, 1968
Star Trek, episode The Trouble with Tribbles, originally aired December 29, 1967
Garrison's Gorillas, episode The Magnificent Forger, originally aired December 19, 1967
Dundee and the Culhane, episode The Widow's Weeds Brief, originally aired November 29, 1967
Combat!, episode Nightmare on the Red Ball Run, originally aired February 28, 1967
Star Trek, episode The Squire of Gothos, originally aired January 12, 1967
The Wild Wild West, episode The Night of the Freebooters, originally aired April 1, 1966
Combat!, episode Soldier of Fortune, originally aired November 23, 1965
Gunsmoke, episode Old Dan, originally aired January 27, 1962
Stagecoach West, episode Never Walk Alone, originally aired April 18, 1961
Mr. Garlund, episode To Double, Double Vamp, originally aired December 23, 1960
Perry Mason, episode The Case of the Ill-Fated Faker, originally aired October 1, 1960
Tales of Wells Fargo, episode Threat of Death, originally aired April 25, 1960
Goodyear Theatre, episode Squeeze Play, originally aired March 14, 1960
Philip Marlowe, episode Murder in the Stars, originally aired February 23, 1960
Perry Mason, episode The Case of the Artful Dodger, originally aired December 12, 1959
The Millionaire, episode Millionaire Tom Hampton, originally aired November 18, 1959
Telephone Time, episode Passport to Life, originally aired January 6, 1957
Lux Video Theatre, episode It Happened on Fifth Avenue, originally aired January 3, 1957
The Millionaire, episode The Nick Cannon Story, originally aired January 2, 1957
West Point, episode Thicker Than Water, originally aired November 2, 1956
Cavalcade of America, episode Man on the Beat, originally aired March 15, 1955
Letter to Loretta, episode The Flood, originally aired January 9, 1955
Four Star Playhouse, episode The Wallet, originally aired October 21, 1954
Letter to Loretta, episode Thanksgiving in Beaver Run, originally aired November 21, 1953
Schlitz Playhouse of Stars, episode Fresh Start, originally aired November 20, 1953
Letter to Loretta, episode Prisoner at One O'Clock, originally aired October 4, 1953
The Bigelow Theatre, episode New Year for Margaret, originally aired May 27, 1951

now playing: william campbell

Watch William Campbell's 1963 horror film Dementia 13

Click to go back to Brian's Drive-In Theater
Click on the logo to go back to Brian's Drive-In Theater

This page premiered July 17, 2009.
Copyright and Disclaimer Information