Eric Campbell

Eric Campbell

Original Name Alfred Eric
Sale, Metropolitan Borough of Trafford, Greater Manchester, England
Death 20 Dec 1917 (aged 38)
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Cenotaph Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot Section H. This is a cenotaph placed by a British film company in 1995. His ashes were buried in an unrecorded location in the cemetery.
Memorial ID 8986 · View Source
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Actor. He was born in Sale, England and began acting while he was still a young boy. At the end of March of 1901 he married Fanny Gertrude Robotham, by whom he would have one child, Una. Later he began working for Fred Karno's famous vaudeville troupe, and went to New York with one of Karno's current line-ups in July of 1914. Very soon after his arrival he was hired by Charles Frohman, a Broadway producer. Then in late 1915 Charlie Chaplin and his older brother Sydney, who had also been in Karno's troupe, saw their former friend in the George Cohan play 'Pom Pom.' In March of 1916 the two brothers prevailed upon him to go with them to Hollywood, where he began working as the heavy in the short subjects Charlie Chaplin was making for Mutual. Campbell provided a very sharp physical contrast to Chaplin, being very tall and overweight, and to make himself look even more menacing and physically imposing, he wore a big false moustache and beard, darkened eyes, and exaggerated eyebrows. He played Chaplin's foil in such shorts as 'The Immigrant' (1917), 'The Rink' (1916), 'The Cure' (1917), 'The Pawnshop' (1916), 'Easy Street' (1917), and 'The Floorwalker' (1916). After Chaplin filmed his final Mutual comedy in early 1917, he lent Campbell out to star as the heavy in the Mary Pickford movie 'Amarilly of Clothes-Line Alley' while he was constructing his new studio. Campbell was rapidly becoming almost as famous as Chaplin himself, but he was soon to experience a series of tragedies in his personal life. On July 9, 1917, his wife passed away from a heart attack after they had had dinner out, and while their sixteen year old daughter Una was going to buy a mourning dress, she was hit by a car and badly injured. That September, Campbell attended a party and met Pearl Gilman, a vaudeville star with a reputation as a gold-digger. Five days after they met, Campbell became her third husband. Una did not find out about the marriage for several weeks. They were married for less than two months when Gilman sued for divorce. Campbell moved to the Los Angeles Athletic Club, living in the room next door to Chaplin's. That December, on his way back from a Christmas party, Campbell, who was intoxicated, lost control of his car and was involved in a very serious car wreck. He was killed instantly. Because no one came forth to pay for his funeral, his ashes were kept in limbo at the Rosedale Cemetery, then six months later sent to the Handley Mortuary. The Mortuary closed in 1938 and sent Campbell's ashes back to Rosedale. It wasn't until 1952 that an office worker came forth to pay for and arrange a burial, although he neglected to record the exact burial location.

Bio by: Carrie-Anne




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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 4 Apr 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 8986
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Eric Campbell (26 Apr 1879–20 Dec 1917), Find A Grave Memorial no. 8986, citing Angelus Rosedale Cemetery, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .