Washington State Magazine

Spring 2004


Spring 2004

[+]
In This Issue...

Features

Mount St. Helens: The perfect laboratory :: It is impossible to accept the immensity of Mount St. Helens and the effect of its catastrophic 1980 eruption unless you are able to stand beneath the enormous crater on the pumice plain and listen to John Bishop talk about lupines.

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Gallery: Mount St. Helens :: Photographs of John Bishop's research and the volcano. By Robert Hubner}

Lonely, Beautiful, and Threatened—Willapa Bay :: Willapa Bay is the largest estuary between San Francisco and Puget Sound. It boasts one of the least-spoiled environments and the healthiest salmon runs south of Canada. It produces one in every four oysters farmed in the United States and is a favorite stop for tens of thousands of migratory birds. And it's in trouble.

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Gallery: Willapa Bay :: Photographs by Bill Wagner}

Extreme Diversity—in Soap Lake :: Soap Lake is surrounded by dark shores, sheer rock walls, a primeval landscape. Its waters have long been thought by some to cure certain maladies. It is also home to strange, hardy organisms that live nowhere else.

Keith Lincoln, Barn Builder :: Over 25 years at Washington State University, alumni director Keith Lincoln built many things, including friendships and a place where alums can go to sit in the shade.

Panoramas

Departments

:: SEASONS/SPORTS: Golfer Kim Welch

:: SEASONS/SPORTS: Basketball's Marcus Moore

Tracking

Cover: Ecologist John Bishop has followed the reestablishment of life on Mount St. Helens's pumice plain. Read the story here. Photograph by Robert Hubner.

Tracking
Larkin Campbell, left, was a stand-in for William H. Macy in the 1999 movie <em>Mystery Men.</em>

[+]

Larkin Campbell, left, was a stand-in for William H. Macy in the 1999 movie Mystery Men.

Happy in Hollywood, actor Larkin Campbell loves what he's doing

by | © Washington State University

It's a dark drama, set in a desert. The lead character, Zack, runs into some bad guys, and he's in real trouble. The name of the movie, an independent production, is short and catchy: Nowhere.

But the actor playing Zack, Larkin Campbell, hopes the movie goes somewhere. He not only played the lead, he also produced the flick.

"We've sent it out, but it hasn't been accepted in any of the festivals yet," he says. "We'll have to wait and see."

Among other projects he's working on is Squatch, an adventure film about two guys chasing the mythical Bigfoot.

Last year he was a co-star on the NBC comedy Scrubs, and had a part in the drama, American Dreams (NBC). He's appeared in early episodes last fall of Joan of Arcadia (CBS) and Las Vegas (NBC), both one-hour dramas. The latter stars James Caan in a behind-the-scenes security operation in the gambling capital.

The road leading to Hollywood and the world of make-believe may have been paved by Campbell's acting in plays as long as he can remember. His experience as a communications major at Washington State University helped groom him for the task ahead: breaking into the professional acting scene.

The record indicates that hard work, as well as talent, have guided Campbell on his quest for stardom.

In 1967, he moved with his family from Eugene, Oregon, to Estes Park, Colorado. There he began acting in little plays in grade school. One of his most memorable roles in high school was that of Trapper John in M*A*S*H. He took theater classes and auditioned for every play that came along. Supporting vocal roles in Oklahoma and Li'l Abner added to his repertoire.

While pursuing his degree at WSU ('91 Comm.), he was a broadcaster and late-night disk jockey at KUGR, a college radio station. He starred as a military general in Arthur Kopit's play, End of the World, and acted in several Little Theater productions in Moscow, Idaho.

"I loved all my broadcasting classes," he says.

He credits Professor Glenn Johnson, his broadcasting teacher, and Brent Nice, his acting teacher, for "getting me going." Johnson remembers his former student as a talented writer, and encouraged him to pursue that avenue in addition to acting and producing.

Campbell graduated after completing a four-month internship on television's popular Entertainment Tonight show. Offered a job at ET, he stayed two years and was promoted to production assistant. Later he met his wife, Maria, during a year he worked at the Supermarket Sweep show. They now have year-old twin sons.

Campbell worked for Roseanne Arnold of the TV show Roseanne, taking care of personal errands, her children, and home. He was fired when the star and her husband, Tom Arnold, divorced.

"It was bad at the time, but it turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to me," Campbell says in retrospect. He had time off to refocus, and even came back to Washington for a short time. He decided to concentrate more on acting.

"The only way I knew I wouldn't have a chance was if I didn't try," he says. "The longer you are at it, the more people you meet. It's still a 'who you know' business."

Satisfied with his progress, he doesn't get caught up with wondering where he stands with others his age--36--in the business.

His goal, he says, "has always been to have this [acting] be the only thing I need to do, so I can take care of my family and not drive everyone crazy."

He's been successful enough that he hasn't had to do anything outside the industry, where his wife also works.

"Without her support and encouragement," he says, "I would be pumping gas outside of Las Vegas."

For the past seven years he's been a production assistant for other movies and for television shows, as well as a stand-in for several super stars, including Mel Gibson during the shooting of Lethal Weapon IV. Campbell also played in a handful of LA stage productions.

"I enjoyed my time at WSU. I'm proud to say I went there," he says. "I love what I'm doing now. I've been so lucky."

Categories: Alumni, Performing arts | Tags: Film, Acting

Comments are temporarily unavailable while we perform some maintenance to reduce spam messages. If you have comments about this article, please send them to us by email: wsm@wsu.edu