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Paul Campbell
The Life of A Jamaican Movie Star

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Paul Campbell (Instagram)Paul Campbell (Instagram)

by Venesha Johnson | By Associate Writer

If you have seen just about any Jamaican action movie or know the names Mad Max and Capone, then you definitely know who Paul Campbell is. He is one of the most popular Jamaican actors of all time. It is always fun and exciting to gather a group of friends or family members to sit and watch any movie in which he has a leading role.

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The 63-year-old star was born on October 21, 1959, in Jamaica. He is a past student of Kingston College and he also attended the Jamaica School of Drama. Many may know him as a screen actor but he has also had major roles in stage plays in Jamaica and on Broadway. In Jamaica some of his major stage plays include:

  • White Witch of Rose Hall
  • Masquerade and Mansong
  • The Mikado
  • Intermission
  • Checkers
  • Flame Heart
  • Foreign Mind

He has also worked on stage plays in the United States and the United Kingdom:

  • Nine Nights
  • Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice"
  • Whiplash
  • Jumbie Jamboree
  • Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus was created by Nikos Kazantzakis and directed by Tony Award winner, Mr Lloyd Richards.

While Paul Campbell has worked on many films and even had a leading role in BBC Tv “Catch a Fire” as Bogle, Country of the One-Eyed God, Entry Denied, Final Verdict, The Lunatic and Out the Gate, his most popular roles on screen, especially in Jamaica, were Dancehall Queen, Third World Cop and Shottas.

Paul Campbell In Dancehall Queen

Dancehall queen was released in 1997 and was an old school Jamaican film that focuses on a single mother by the name of Marcia who has a troublesome teenage daughter and was facing financial difficulties. To help herself Marcia became a mysterious dancehall queen. Paul Campbell played the role of Priest, a terrifying and dangerous man who murdered Marcia’s good friend and was now heavily pursuing Marcia for a relationship.

In this movie, Paul Campbell worked alongside quite a few Jamaican stars like Audrey Reid, Cherine Anderson, Carl Bradshaw and the King of Dancehall Beenie Man. The previous Quen of Dancehall Lady Saw, now Marion Hall was also a part of this major production. Dancehall Queen was and still is one of the most popular old school films in Jamaica.

Paul Campbell In Third World Cop

In Third World Cop, Paul Campbell playing the role of Capone was the star of the show. Capone was a police officer who had recently lost a partner to local criminals. He then goes undercover to his childhood neighbourhood to infiltrate the gangs and criminals.

He starts hanging out with a childhood friend who later on finds out is involved in gun trafficking and other crimes. Even though Capone tries to warn his friend, later on, his cover is blown and to save himself he had to shoot and kill his friend.

Third world Cop went on to be the highest-grossing film from Jamaica.

Paul Campbell In Shottas

This movie was released in 2002 and is still today one of the most popular films that have been created with Jamaicans who grew up in the garrisons and some aspects of their day to day lifestyle as its main inspiration.

In this movie, Paul Campbell played the role of Mad Max, as his name would suggest, he was a crazy Jamaican criminal who was a major player in the Jamaican drug mob. After being deported to Jamaica, he went back to the States to continue his crimes.

He worked alongside fellow Jamaican actors and artistes like Ky-mani Marley (the son of the great Bob Marley), Spraga Benz, and the late Louie Rankin. His role in this movie was so iconic that even outside of the movie, people started to refer to him as Mad Max.

The movie was a huge hit in Jamaica and has become a Jamaican must watch. His lines in the movie Shottas would oftentimes be repeated during general conversations when Jamaicans are trying to bring their points across to each other.

Paul Campbell is also an incredible and highly accomplished artiste who has had his paintings displayed in Jamaica, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Awards and Recognition

Paul Campbell has received numerous awards and recognition, these include:

  • the 25th anniversary of the Media Mix award ceremony where he was awarded the Jamaican Academy Doctor Bird Award for his excellent performance in Television and film.
  • Jamerican Film and Music Festival- he was awarded the best actor award for 2 consecutive years.

After fighting and winning his battle with cancer Paul Campbell released a biopic titled “Paul Campbell: The Life and Times of a Jamaican Movie Star”, which focused on his many battles through life, homelessness, his personal growth and Stardom.

In September 2017, Paul Campbell had a near-death experience when he had a sudden major heart attack at his home in Florida. Luckily he was able to call 911 and was rushed to the hospital. As a result of the heart attack, a stent was placed in his heart. He also decided to quit smoking as according to his doctors, that played a role in why he had the heart attack in the first place.

What Is Paul Campbell Doing Now?

His latest project is an independent film, an endeavour that is being spearheaded by him. The project Good vs Evil is still in its production stages. To fund the project he has created a GoFundMe page to which you can contribute.

Paul Campbell has devoted his life to the arts, especially in Jamaica and through that, has given us many great movies, stage plays and art pieces that celebrate his talent and his love for Jamaica.

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References & Sources For Paul Campbell

  1. Chat-bout.net - Jcan actor, Paul Campbell launches play, http://www.chat-bout.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3247&Itemid=160  
  2. Paul Campbell recovers from a heart attack ... Gives up smoking, continues working, The Jamaica Gleaner,https://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/entertainment/20170924/paul-campbell-recovers-heart-attack-gives-smoking-continues-working 
  3. Paul Campbell - Biography - IMDb, https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0132773/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm
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