Nell Campbell

Nell Campbell
Nell Campbell
Born Laura Elizabeth Campbell
24 May 1953 (1953-05-24) (age 58)
Sydney, Australia

"Little" Nell Campbell (born Laura Elizabeth Campbell; 24 May 1953) is an Australian actress,[1] club owner and singer.[2]



Early life

She was born in Sydney, to Ruth and Ross Campbell, a writer,[2] who called her "Little Nell" (after a character in Charles Dickens' The Old Curiosity Shop) in his family life column in the Sydney Daily Telegraph. Campbell has three siblings, two sisters and a brother. The older sister became a set designer, the younger an artist, and her brother became an engineer. She was called Laura E. Campbell until around 17, when she went by the nickname "Sonny" (pronounced to rhyme with "Donny"). She began dancing at the age of 10, after being diagnosed with Hepatitis A, to keep healthy. She attended high school at the Abbotsleigh School for Girls in Sydney, supporting herself as a waitress.


Campbell decided to use the name "Little Nell" as a stage name after her arrival in Britain in the early 1970s with her family. She sold clothes at Kensington Market; her stall was next to Freddie Mercury's. She also worked as a busker and her tap dancing is often noted as the reason why she was cast as Columbia in the original production of The Rocky Horror Show. She reprised the role in The Rocky Horror Picture Show,[3] released in 1975, and starred as Nurse Ansalong in the 1981 sequel, Shock Treatment.

After The Rocky Horror Picture Show, she signed a recording contract with A&M Records, producing three singles. “Do the Swim” was a moderate hit in 1976, perhaps helped by a live performance on British television in which she accidentally (and repeatedly) exposed her breasts [4]. She also created a disco version of the song "Fever" in 1978. A fifth and last single, "Tropical Isle", was released in 1980.

Campbell has also appeared in several stage productions, including the Off-Broadway play You Should Be So Lucky and the Broadway musical NINE. She co-starred as Sandra LeMon in the British TV series Rock Follies of '77.

From the mid-1980s to 1998, Campbell owned three nightclubs in New York: Kiosk, E&O, and most famously Nell's. Nell's was sold in 1998 to Noel Ashman and his business partner actor Chris Noth , right before she gave birth to daughter Matilda Violet in June 1998 to ex-boyfriend and business partner Eamonn Roche.

Campbell has written several magazine articles, including regular segments called "MamaTalks" and "FirstLook" in the now defunct Talk magazine, starting in the December 1999 issue. She returned to Australia after selling her Boerum Hill house in Brooklyn in December 2005, and is now retired and living with her daughter in the Northern suburbs of Sydney.


Singles / EPs

Guest vocals

  • Tuff Little Surfer Boy (featured as "Roxanne" for the song by Truth & Beauty) (1974)

Soundtracks & Cast Recordings



Television roles


  1. ^ "Nell Campbell > Filmography". Allmovie. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 14 February 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Spencer, Chris; Zbig Nowara, Paul McHenry with notes by Ed Nimmervoll (2002) [1987]. "LITTLE NELL". The Who's Who of Australian Rock. Noble Park, Vic.: Five Mile Press. ISBN 1-86503-891-1. Retrieved 14 February 2010.  Note: [on-line] version established at White Room Electronic Publishing Pty Ltd in 2007 and was expanded from the 2002 edition.
  3. ^ "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" (doc). Australian Film Database. Murdoch University. Retrieved 13 February 2010. 
  4. ^ "London Weekend Show, closing credits, 1975 (Little Nell losing her top)". 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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