Canadian Singer Scott J. Campbell Dies At 33
Canadian actor Scott J. Campbell, who starred on Broadway in the Carole King musical Beautiful and in a touring production of Green Day’s American Idiot, has died at 33.
Friends of Campbell said he took his own life on Feb. 18.
Concerns about Campbell's well-being started being expressed in an online discussion thread last August, where people noted his increasingly bizarre social media posts and behaviour.
In a November 2017 posting on Facebook and Twitter, Campbell apologized “to anyone I've offended or driven away over the past few months” and explained: “Mental health has been a struggle through these difficult times. No excuse for my words and actions truly, but please know that I'm over the hump, and getting healthy again.”
Born James Scott Campell, the last of nine children to teachers Martha and Gerard in Waterloo, Ont., he developed an early interest in the arts. At 19, he enrolled at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ont., where he earned a B.A. in Musical Theatre and landed a job performing on a Disney cruise ship. It was on the ship where he met Christina Pazcoguin, who would become his wife (they later split).
When he got the titular role in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Campbell told his mother he was playing one of the brothers so she would be surprised on opening night.
“I was a pizza delivery guy, a gas station attendant, a household mover, a manual labourer, a personal trainer, a waiter, a telemarketer and a phone salesperson,” Campbell told Broadway Buzz in 2014. “But acting is the [job] that feels the best.”
In 2010 and 2011 he was a swing in the Broadway production of Jersey Boys, where a cast member’s laryngitis allowed him to step into the role of Bob Gaudio for about 40 performances. That same year, he dipped his toes in television with a guest role on the crime drama White Collar.
Then came the role of Tunny in the first touring production of American Idiot, which launched in Toronto in late 2011.
“I went into the musical theatre performance program with the hopes of making it as a professional in this art form and I’ve been fortunate to realize those hopes since I left school,” Campbell told Broadway World in 2011. “I’m pretty much where I would like to be at this point in my life.”
In September 2014, Campbell took over the role of Gerry Goffin — Carole King’s first husband – in the Broadway production of Beautiful. He played the part for two years.
“I can really empathize with some of the struggles he faced in his life,” Campbell said of portraying Goffin, in 2015.
Since ending his run in Beautiful, Campbell seemed to struggle. According to his LinkedIn profile, he was “President + CEO” of OnlyTruth LLC and, as of August 2017, was “developing and running two Start Ups, one an Entertainment Media company, the other an AI Technology company. Both have Global aspirations.”
On various social media platforms, Campbell shared original songs as well as covers of songs by a variety of artists, including Canada’s Gord Downie. He also performed his version of Zayn and Taylor Swift's hit "I Don't Wanna Live Forever."
Fellow Canadian musical actor Aaron Walpole shared on Facebook that Campbell "was a beautifully talented young man with an already astonishing career that would have flourished more so with time."
A funeral is scheduled for March 3 in Waterloo. Campbell's family has asked that donations in his memory be made to the Canadian Mental Health Association.
This article has been updated since it was first published.