Watch: ‘Election’ actress Jessica Campbell dead at 38
Campbell, who played Tammy Metzler in the 1999 film about three high school students running for student body president, died “suddenly and unexpectedly” at home on Dec. 29, according to her professional website. After success in Hollywood — also appearing in TV’s Freaks and Geeks and the 2001 film The Safety of Objects — she became a naturopathic physician and had a practice in Vancouver, Wash.
A GoFundMe in her name was established for her 10-year-old son, Oliver, as well as to cover the unexpected cremation, memorial and probate expenses. Campbell was described as “a true adventurer in every sense of the word,” packing “a staggering amount of experiences into her tragically short lifetime... Traveling the world, acting, becoming a doctor, being mom to the coolest kid ever; these bucket list items wove the quotidian fabric of her reality. Her passion for life and the people in it was astounding.”
Her cousin Sarah Wessling, who set up the online fundraiser, told TMZ the family is awaiting autopsy results from the Multnomah County Medical Examiner. Campbell had a normal day seeing patients. While visiting with her mother and aunt later, she collapsed on the bathroom floor. They said Campbell had congestion, thinking she was coming down with a cold, but the family didn’t suspect COVID.
Witherspoon, whose character Tracy Flick went up against Tammy Metzler in the Election election, wrote that she is “so heartbroken” to hear the news. “Working with Jessica on Election was such a pleasure. I’m sending all my love to Jessica’s family and loved ones.”
So heart broken to hear this. Working with Jessica on Election was such a pleasure. I’m sending all my love to Jessica‘s family and loved ones. https://t.co/xEt6bOwWqE
— Reese Witherspoon (@ReeseW) January 13, 2021
Chris Klein, who played Campbell’s brother and opponent in the film, wrote he was “shocked and saddened to receive the news.” He said Election “was the first” big film “for both of us. I will be forever grateful fo the experiences we shared on that journey.”
I am Shocked and Saddened to receive this news. My thoughts and prayers are with Jessica and her Family.
“Election” was the first one for both of us. I will be forever grateful for the experiences we shared on that journey. https://t.co/Nb9xIr7BPO
— Chris Klein (@iamchrisklein) January 13, 2021
Broderick, who played civics teacher Jim McAllister, told The Hollywood Reporter, "When I think of Jessica I remember a shy, incredibly sweet, very pink-cheeked teenager who liked to discuss with me what is best to order at Applebee’s. She was very dear and an extremely good actor. Heartbreaking news. My deepest sympathy to her son and the rest of her family."
Apatow shared on Twitter that some of his “favorite memories of making Freaks and Geeks are of watching Jessica Campbell and @sethrogen figure their relationship out in improvisations,” as she played tuba player Amy Andrews, a love of interest of Rogen's Ken Miller for two episodes in 2000. “Jessica was so funny and an amazing, thoughtful actress. What a terrible loss.” (Rogen reshared Apatow’s post.)
Some of my favorite memories of making Freaks and Geeks are of watching Jessica Campbell and @sethrogen figure their relationship out in improvisations. Jessica was so funny and an amazing, thoughtful actress. What a terrible loss. https://t.co/R9Y5RTKNat
— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) January 13, 2021
Campbell’s professional website details how she long considered a career in traditional medicine, but after “some soul searching she realized that holistic medicine was what truly spoke to her.” And “due to a strong family history of cancer, she knew that she wanted to focus on integrative cancer care.”
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