Jessica Campbell, Election and Freaks and Geeks actress, dies at 38
Campbell died on Dec. 29, but her death was not known publicly until her cousin Sarah Wessling confirmed the "sudden and unexpected" loss via a GoFundMe fundraiser to benefit the Oklahoma native's 10-year-old son Oliver and to fund her cremation and memorial. Both Judd Apatow and Matthew Broderick are listed as having contributed.
Campbell most famously portrayed Tammy Metzler in the 1999 dark comedy Election, opposite Reese Witherspoon and Broderick, which earned her an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Debut Performance.
A year later, she appeared in two episodes of the cult-favorite TV series Freaks and Geeks (executive produced by Apatow) as tuba player Amy Andrews, the love of interest of Seth Rogen's character Ken Miller. Her final Hollywood gig before her retirement was in the 2003 short Birth of the Vampire where she worked as a camera assistant.
After news of the actress' death, Wessling told TMZ that Campbell, who was working as a naturopathic physician, spent a full day seeing patients before visiting with her mother Heyden Hucke and an aunt in Portland. Campbell had gone to the bathroom where her aunt found her collapsed on the floor. Revival attempts by her aunt and an EMT failed. Wessling explained her cousin complained of congestion issues and predicted a cold was forthcoming. The family doesn't believe COVID-19 was a factor though they're still waiting for results from the Multnomah Medical Examiner.
Witherspoon shared a message of love with Campbell's family after learning of her untimely death. "So heart broken to hear this. Working with Jessica on Election was such a pleasure. I'm sending all my love to Jessica's family and loved ones," she wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.
Campbell is survived by her husband Daniel Papkin.