Jessica Campbell death: Reese Witherspoon leads tributes to Election star

Actors appeared together in 1999 comedy

Ellie Harrison
Thursday 14 January 2021 15:22
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Reese Witherspoon and Jessica Campbell in Election
Reese Witherspoon and Jessica Campbell in Election
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Reese Witherspoon and Matthew Broderick have led tributes to Jessica Campbell, their co-star from the 1999 film Election, who has died aged 38.

The former actor – who starred as Tammy Metzler in the comedy – died in Portland unexpectedly on 29 December, her family confirmed to TMZ.

A cause of death is yet to be determined, but her cousin Sarah Wessling told the publication that before her death, Campbell had collapsed at home after spending the day seeing patients at her practice, where she worked as a naturopathic physician.

Witherspoon tweeted: “So heartbroken 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.”

Broderick told The Hollywood Reporter: "When I think of Jessica I remember a shy, incredibly sweet, very pink-cheeked teenager who liked to discuss with me what is best to order at Applebee's."

He added: "Heartbreaking news. My deepest sympathy to her son and the rest of her family."

Election star Chris Klein posted: “I am Shocked and Saddened to receive this news. My thoughts and prayers are with Jessica and her Family. Election was the first one for both of us. I will be forever grateful for the experiences we shared on that journey.”

Campbell also appeared in cult TV show Freaks and Geeks, the executive producer of which Judd Apatow tweeted: “Some of my favourite memories of making Freaks and Geeks are of watching Jessica Campbell and @sethrogen figure their relationship out in improvisations. Jessica was so funny and an amazing, thoughtful actress. What a terrible loss.”

Campbell’s performance in Election earned her a nomination for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Debut Performance.

She also starred as Julie Gold in the 2001 movie The Safety of Objects. Following her role in the 2002 films Junk and Dad’s Day, Campbell quit acting.  

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A GoFundMe page has been set up in order to raise funds to provide for Campbell’s 10-year-old son Oliver.

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