Bruce Campbell: Our top 5 favorite unconventional roles

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Bruce Campbell – 5 Unconventional Roles – Courtesy of Angry Child Productions, Small Dog Picture Company, 20th Century Fox

Bruce Campbell is best known for being Ash Williams, Sam Axe or Brisco County, Jr. Even though Ash vs Evil Dead will end its three-season run this weekend, the actor has an entire filmography to explore. At 1428 Elm, we have suggestions on what to watch until his next big project arrives on the big or small screen.

If I had all the money in the world, I’d still make movies. But I’d want them to pay me in donuts.” – Bruce Campbell

A Working Actor

Bruce Campbell has been acting since he was a teenager appearing in Super 8 movies with his pals Sam Raimi, Scott Spiegel, Rob Tapert and Josh Becker. From there he started performing in plays in high school and then he took the stage just like his Dad did in community theater.

In 1979, he started making his first “real” film which turned out to become the cult hit known as Evil Dead. For almost forty years, he has been entertaining various generations of fans with his portrayals.

On Sunday, his latest endeavor, Ash vs Evil Dead will end its three-season run on STARZ. While we will be sad to see him retire the character of Ash Williams, there are plenty of Campbell works to be discovered by fans.

At 1428 Elm, we have decided to highlight some of his more unconventional efforts that showcase his range as an actor. This list is a mix of film and television appearances. Readers will quickly notice that the choices are not the usual suspects.

The List

Here are the contenders in order of 1 through 5:

Homicide: Life on the Street

Bruce Campbell – Homicide 1 – Courtesy of Baltimore Pictures and NBC

In 1996, Bruce appeared on one of my favorite tv shows on NBC, Homicide: Life on the Streets. Filmed in Baltimore, Maryland, the series was about the detectives that investigated violent crimes. Campbell guest starred in a two-part episode entitled, ‘Justice.’

Based on a book by David Simon who went on to create the acclaimed HBO series, ‘The Wire,’ Homicide was a gritty, real life look at Charm City without glamorizing it. The way that Bruce became involved is interesting.

According to Daily Grindhouse, he didn’t audition. Executive producer, Tom Fontana called him up one day and asked him, “What story do you want to tell?” So, Campbell pitched his idea about “a family member of a cop that is killed and the guy who does it gets off but then the cop and his partner go take the suspect out and they don’t get off.”

Fontana liked Bruce’s concept so much that writer David Rupel based his teleplay on his exact story. Bruce plays Detective Jake Rodzinski. This character is a total departure from the easy going, fun loving roles that the actor usually takes on.

Rodzinski is wound a little bit too tight. Grieving and revenge driven, he will stop at nothing to find his father’s killer. Campbell is so convincing in this part that you can feel his inner turmoil every time you look in his eyes.

Gone are the glib one liners and in their place is angry dialogue. It is a rare sight to see Bruce on edge and desperate but he pulls it off well. This is one of his best performances and a must see for his fans.