Campbell Scott

Active - 1987 - Present  |   Born - Jul 19, 1961 in New York, New York, United States  |   Genres - Drama, Comedy Drama

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Biography by Hal Erickson

The son of actors George C. Scott and Colleen Dewhurst, Campbell Scott obviously inherited some of his parents' talent, though he bears relatively little physical resemblance to either. Somewhat ironically, Scott, who was born in New York City on July 19, 1961, and studied drama at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, spent much of his youth starring in a number of films linked with the Grim Reaper. Some highlights included the PBS AIDS-related drama Longtime Companion (1990), the Civil War-based TV movie Perfect Tribute (1991) (which climaxes on the bloody grounds of Gettysburg), and Dying Young (1992), which featured Scott as a wealthy leukemia patient. One of the most curious -- and interesting -- film assignments for the handsome, lithe Scott was as the plain and portly humorist Robert Benchley in Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle (1994), a role which earned him an Independent Spirit Award nomination. Scott also turned in a winning performance in Cameron Crowe's Singles (1992), which cast him as one of the eponymous group of friends and acquaintances looking for love in grunge-era Seattle.

Scott's career entered a new phase in 1996 when the actor began serving as a co-producer on various projects. Teaming up with old friend Stanley Tucci, Scott co-produced Greg Mottola's well-received independent comedy The Daytrippers, which starred Tucci -- and then, in concert with his friend, he co-directed, co-produced, and starred in Big Night, a drama about the failing fortunes of an Italian restaurant. Originally screened at the Sundance Festival, where it enjoyed an enthusiastic reception, the film earned widespread acclaim upon its general release and landed on numerous critics' top ten lists for that year.

Scott followed this triumph with a return to acting, starring in David Mamet's The Spanish Prisoner (1997) and in 1998 re-teamed with Tucci to star in the slapstick-on-a-steamer vehicle The Imposters. In 2000, he set sail for rougher seas, portraying the titular alcoholic in the black comedy Lush and the unreliable confidant of a man undergoing a marital crisis in the independent drama Other Voices.

Movie Highlights

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  • Despite being born to acting royalty (his parents are George C. Scott and Colleen Dewhurst), intended to be a teacher when he went to college, where he majored in history.
  • Costarred with his mother on Broadway in Long Day's Journey Into Night and Ah! Wilderness.
  • Nominated twice for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead in Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle (1995) and Rodger Dodger (2003). Also nominated in the Best First Feature category along with high-school friend Stanley Tucci for their codirectorial effort Big Night (1997).
  • Met wife, Kathleen McElfresh, in 2007 when they were appearing in different plays (Scott in The Atheist; McElfresh in Brendan) by the same playwright, Ronan Noone, at the Huntington Theatre in Boston.