Christian Campbell is best known for his roles as Gabriel in the film “Trick,” Greg Ivey in the HBO series “Big Love,” Peter Webster in the controversial NBC series “Book of Daniel” and Jimmy Harper in the Emmy® award-winning musical movie “Reefer Madness.” He is also known to daytime audiences for his role as Bobby Warner in “All My Children.”
Actor, singer, producer and director, Campbell was born in Toronto, to parents from Glasgow and Amsterdam. Raised by a family of performers, he was working professionally on stage by age 16 when he joined the cast of the Canadian television series “Degrassi High.” His maternal grandparents were actors back in Amsterdam; his father, an acting teacher, director, writer; his mother an actress and psychologist; his siblings, actors Neve Campbell and Alex Campbell, round out the family tradition. Another brother, Damian McDonald, runs a printing and publishing company.
Campbell majored in theatre at Claude Watson School For The Arts in Toronto, followed by a year of acting study at Ryerson University before landing his first leading role in the feature film “City Boy,” the entry-point of his full time acting career. Soon thereafter, in the early 90’s, he moved to Europe for two years living and working in France and Germany. A stint at the Nu¨rnberg Schauspielhaus in a staged production of A Clockwork Orange initiated his start in European theatre, after which he toured in the Commedia dell’Arte plays of Lope de Vega under the direction of Friedhelm Ptok, performing on stages throughout Western and Eastern Europe.
Campbell moved to Los Angeles in 1995 when cast in his first series regular role for Aaron Spelling’s “Malibu Shores.” Soon after arriving in Los Angeles, he helped to establish the theater company Blue Sphere Alliance, serving as producing director. The theatre company quickly gained renown during the West Coast premiere of W. Colin McKay's Nagasaki Dust, with Campbell in the lead role receiving warm accolades from the Los Angeles press and theatre world. The troupe swelled to 50 members by the end of 1997 and the company followed up with world premieres (Home Sweet Hell and Kabbalah: Scary Jewish Stories), children's shows (My Bed is a Boat), one-acts, revivals (Lovers and Other Strangers and the first American revival of Tennessee Williams' Something Cloudy, Something Clear), solo shows and theme programs (The Vietnam Chronicles, including A Piece of My Heart and Tracers).
During this time he directed several shows for Blue Sphere and produced his first film, “Hairshirt,” with sister Neve Campbell in 1998. The film went on to open at the Toronto Film Festival where it found distribution with Lionsgate Entertainment.
In 1998 Campbell received newfound attention for his breakout role as Gabriel in the gay theme film “Trick.” The film became an instant classic with audiences, receiving accolades from the Sundance Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, Outfest and Satellite Awards as well as being honored by MOMA as one of 10 classic New York City films.
It was also during this time that Campbell created the role of Jimmy Harper in the Los Angeles stage musical Reefer Madness directed by Andy Fickman. The play became an instant hit in the Los Angeles theater world, running for over a year and earning Campbell Ovation and Drama Circle awards. The musical was moved to New York for its off Broadway debut in 2001 and then to the small screen as “Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical,” which also won him a Satellite Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture. The now “cult musical” movie debuted at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival before premiering on Showtime. It earned three Emmy® nominations, - winning writers Dan Studney and Kevin Murphy Outstanding Music & Lyrics for “Mary Jane/Mary Lane” performed by Campbell and co-star Kristen Bell.
In 2000, cast as a series regular in Darren Starr’s much touted but short-lived FOX television series, “The $treet,” he returned to New York City. Building on the momentum of his Los Angeles theater company’s success, Campbell created the New York extension of his Los Angeles theater company and produced its first production, the off-Broadway debut of Steven Dietz’s Trust.
Since 2000 Christian has called New York City his home. Theater credits include the lead role of David in Jeremy Schonfeld’s Drift with its world premiere at the New York Musical Theater Festival. Campbell’s performance earned him the festival’s Best Actor Award. He went on to play the role of Pip in Great Expectations sharing the stage with Kathleen Chalfant at the Lucille Lortel for director Will Pomerantz. To further critical acclaim, Campbell portrayed the tragically-fated writer of Rent, Jonathan Larson, in the national tour of the rock musical tick… tick… BOOM! directed by Scott Schwartz, reprising the role again in London at The Menier Theatre and in Singapore for producer and friend Chin Han.
In 2010 Christian joined the cast of HBO’s “Big Love” in the role of Greg Ivey. He continued to work with “Big Love” co-creator Will Sheffer, who wrote and directed him into his new play The Green Book which premiered at the 59E59 Shorts Festival in 2011.
Other notable TV credits include series regular roles in creator Jack Kenny’s controversial “The Book Of Daniel” for NBC, ABC’s “All My Children,” BBC’s “The Verdict,” CBS’s “Allies” and the title character for the animated WB series “Max Steel.” He has guest starred on “Supernatural,” “Warehouse 13,” “CSI: Miami,” “NCIS,” “CSI: NY,” “Ghost Whisperer,” “Jeremiah,” “Seventh Heaven” and played leading roles in the television movies “Time Of Death,” “Banshee,” “You Belong to Me,” “Picture Perfect,” “Cruel Justice,” “I’ve Been Waiting For You,” “Born To Run,” and “Seduced By Madness” for NBC.
A huge fan of the indie film world, Campbell’s credits include Sundance favorite “Pretty Dead Girl,” “Piano Man’s Daughter,” “One Night,” “Next Time,” “Thank You Good Night,” “Ibid,” “Betrayed” and the Kevin Spacey film “Casino Jack,” in which he played Christian Coalitionist Ralph Reed. Recent films, currently in post production, are “An Unkindness Of Ravens” directed by Russell Friedenberg and “Malorie’s Final Score” for director Stephan Littger.
Campbell lives in New York City with his wife, actress America Olivo. They split their time between New York City, Toronto and the family’s Nello Olivo Wine Vineyard in Northern California. They are very proud to be part of a family that makes excellent “award winning” wine. A published photographer, he has been capturing his life in the theatre and his travels to far flung places for 20 years.