Nell Campbell

Laura Elizabeth "Little Nell" Campbell (born 24 May 1953) is an Australian actress, theatre performer, club owner and singer.[1][2] She is best known for her portrayal of Columbia in The Rocky Horror Show and her song "Do the Swim".

Nell Campbell
Nell Campbell May 2015
Nell in May 2015
Laura Elizabeth Campbell

24 May 1953 (age 65)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Actress
  • club owner
  • singer
  • theatre performer
Known forThe Rocky Horror Show (1973)
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
The Musical World of Little Nell (Aquatic Teenage Sex & Squalor) (1975)
Shock Treatment (1981)
RelativesCressida Campbell (sister)

Early life

Campbell was born in Sydney, to Ruth and Ross Campbell, a writer,[2] who referred to her as "Little Nell" (after a character in Charles Dickens' The Old Curiosity Shop) in his family life column in the Sydney Daily Telegraph. She has three siblings: Sally, Patrick, and Cressida. Her older sister, Sally, was a property master, set designer and subsequently a fashion designer, while her younger sister, Cressida Campbell, an artist, and her older brother, Patrick, a solar engineer at the University of New South Wales. She began dancing at the age of 10 to keep healthy following being diagnosed with hepatitis A. She was called Laura E. Campbell until around 17, when she went by the nickname "Sonny" (pronounced to rhyme with "Donny"), short for "Sonata". She attended high school at 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.[3]She also worked as a busker and as a soda jerk in a café, where her tap dancing is often noted as the reason why she was cast as Columbia in the original production of The Rocky Horror Show following an impromptu audition.[4] She reprised the role in The Rocky Horror Picture Show,[5] 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. Her debut single was "Stilettos and Lipstick" backed with "Do the Swim", released in 1975. She also created a disco version of the song "Fever" in 1976 which was again backed with "Do the Swim". The B-side of both of these releases became better known, perhaps helped by a performance on British television in which she accidentally (and repeatedly) exposed her breasts. While edited out of the original broadcast in 1975, the unedited version was shown worldwide on bloopers shows (beginning with the British show It'll be Alright on the Night in 1977).[6] Following this notoriety, another effort was made to promote the recordings made in 1975 and 1976. In 1978, a "triple B-side" titled The Musical World of Little Nell (Aquatic Teenage Sex & Squalor) was released which featured both "Do the Swim" and "Stillettos and Lipstick" along with the track "Dance that Cocktail Latin Way" (also known as "Tropical Isle") which originally appeared as the B-side of her second single from 1976. Following some success with the EP, the other two tracks, singles "Fever" and "See You Round like a Record", were released as a single but that was to be her last release on A&M. A final single, "Beauty Queen" from the film The Alternative Miss World, was released on PRE Records 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 appeared as Sandra LeMon in the British TV series Rock Follies of '77.

In 1986 she opened the nightclub Nell's on W. 14th St in Manhattan with Keith McNally and Lynn Wagenknecht.

In 1995 she opened two restaurants in New York: The Kiosk (uptown) and E&O (downtown). 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 living with her daughter.

The song "Laura" by Bat for Lashes is dedicated to Campbell, who is friends with Natasha Khan.


Singles / EPs

Guest vocals

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

Soundtracks and Cast Recordings



Television roles


  1. ^ "Nell Campbell > Filmography". Allmovie. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 14 February 2010.
  2. ^ a b Spencer, Chris; Zbig Nowara; Paul McHenry (2002) [1987]. "LITTLE NELL". The Who's Who of Australian Rock. Noble Park, Vic.: Five Mile Press. ISBN 1-86503-891-1. Archived from the original on 29 February 2012. 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. ^ "Studio 10 Angela Bishop sits down with Nell Campbell". Event occurs at 0:40.
  4. ^ Maynard. "Rocky Horror Night with Little Nell". Planet Maynard (Podcast). Event occurs at 8:00. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  5. ^ "The Rocky Horror Picture Show". Australian Film Database. Murdoch University. Archived from the original (doc) on 18 September 2009. Retrieved 13 February 2010.
  6. ^ "London Weekend Show, closing credits, 1975 (Little Nell losing her top)".

External links

Cressida Campbell

Cressida Campbell (born 1960) is an Australian artist.

She was born in Sydney in 1960 to Ruth and Ross Campbell, her older sister is actress Nell Campbell. She studied at East Sydney Technical College in 1978 and 1979.

Her husband Peter died in 2011. She lives in the Sydney suburb of Bronte, in her home studio.

Dead on Time (1983 film)

Dead on Time is a 1983 British short film directed by Lyndall Hobbs and written by Richard Curtis and Rowan Atkinson.

Great Expectations (1998 film)

Great Expectations is a 1998 contemporary film adaptation of Charles Dickens’s 1861 novel of the same name, co-written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón and starring Ethan Hawke, Gwyneth Paltrow, Hank Azaria, Robert De Niro, Anne Bancroft and Chris Cooper. It is known for having moved the setting of the original novel from 1812-1827 London to 1990s New York. The film is an abridged modernization of Dickens's 1861 novel, with the hero's name having also been changed from Pip to Finn, and the character Miss Havisham has been renamed Nora Dinsmoor. The film received mixed reviews.

Journey Among Women

Journey Among Women is a 1977 film directed by Tom Cowan.

Jubilee (1978 film)

Jubilee is a 1978 cult film directed by Derek Jarman. It stars Jenny Runacre, Ian Charleson and a host of punk rockers, including Adam Ant and Toyah. The title refers to the Silver Jubilee of Elizabeth II in 1977.

List of LGBT-related films of 1975

This is a list of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender-related films released in 1975. It contains theatrically released films that deal with important gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender characters or issues and may have same-sex romance or relationships as a plot device.

List of LGBT-related films of 1978

This is a list of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender-related films released in 1978. It contains theatrically released films that deal with important gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender characters or issues and may have same-sex romance or relationships as a plot device.

Little Nell

Little Nell may refer to:

Nell Campbell (b. 1953), Australian actress, club owner, and singer

Nell Trent, fictional heroine of Charles Dickens's novel The Old Curiosity Shop

Little Nell, a play by Simon Gray


Nell's (or Nells) was a nightclub located on 246 West 14th Street in downtown Manhattan. It opened in the fall of 1986 in the space of a former electronics store and closed May 30, 2004. Actress-singer Nell Campbell was its namesake and longtime proprietress. Initially, she co-owned the club with Lynn Wagenknecht and Keith McNally. McNally gave up ownership when he and Wagenknecht divorced.The painter Thomas Moller was Nell's original manager. Moller takes credit for attracting New York's art scene to the club. Also a 1985 Interview Magazine included Nell and Christian Lepanto in different articles. Christian L worked as coatcheck and introduced Semour Stein to Tommy Page. The bathrooms were coke dens and it was also the quiet hookup place for Rob Lowe and Melissa Gilbert. Prince also visited as well as Al Franken. It was the last Nightclub Andy Warhol attended with Dione Warwick just before his botched hospital visit in which he died.At its peak of popularity in the late 1980s, with a capacity of only 250, Nell's was known for denying even the famous entry to the club. In the 1990s Nell's matured into a jazz, reggae, and hip-hop showcase.

Nell's came onto the scene when some clubgoers were tiring of the cavernous discothèques (e.g., Studio 54) popular in the 1970s and early 1980s. Decorated as a slightly shabby 19th-century English men's club, Nell's afforded its upscale patrons a place to eat, sit, socialize, and listen to live music. Other exclusive supper clubs like M.K. and Au Bar soon followed. On June 4, 1987, artist Robert Mapplethorpe and actress Susan Sarandon hosted a dinner for AIDS charity amfAR at Nell's.Run-DMC was often known to take over the DJ booth on any given night. In 1995, The Notorious B.I.G. made his video for "Big Poppa" there. It was also there in 1993 that Tupac met a woman who accused him of sexual assaultNell's was also a frequent haunt of fictional character Patrick Bateman, in the book American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis.

In early 2004, actor Mark Wahlberg was planning to buy Nell's.The space later held a private club NA opened by actor Chris Noth and his business partner Noel Ashman [1]. Noel Ashman then teamed up with new partners to open semi-private club NA in 2005. Several other clubs opened and closed in the space before the space split into two to become Stash nightclub, which lies underneath Snap Sports Bar.

Primary Stages

Primary Stages was founded in 1984 by Casey Childs as an Off-Broadway not-for-profit theater company dedicated to inspiring, supporting, and sharing the art of playwriting. Primary Stages operates on the strongly held belief that the future of American theater relies on nurturing playwrights and giving them the artistic support needed to create new work. In 2004, Primary Stages moved from its 99-seat home of 17 years at 354 West 45th Street to the 199-seat theater at 59E59 Theaters. In 2014, the company moved to The Duke on 42nd Street until 2016, when the Cherry Lane Theatre became the home for all Primary Stages productions.

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Sebastiane is a 1976 Latin-language British historical thriller film directed by Derek Jarman and Paul Humfress and written by Jarman, Humfress and James Whaley. It portrays the events of the life of Saint Sebastian, including his iconic martyrdom by arrows. The film, which was aimed at a gay audience, was controversial for the homoeroticism portrayed between the soldiers and for being dialogued entirely in Latin.

Summer of Secrets (film)

Summer of Secrets is a 1976 film directed by Jim Sharman and starring Arthur Dignam, Rufus Collins, and Nell Campbell.

The Last Impresario

The Last Impresario is a 2013 documentary film about prolific British theatre impresario and film producer Michael White. The film was directed by Gracie Otto, and made its world premiere at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2013, where it was positively received by critics.The film features interviews with Michael White and many of his close friends and colleagues, including John Cleese, Naomi Watts, Kate Moss, Rachel Ward, Yoko Ono, Barry Humphries, Wallace Shawn, Andre Gregory, John Waters, Jim Sharman, Peter Richardson (British Director), Nigel Planer, Nell Campbell, Lorne Michaels, Jeremy Thomas, Jean-Jacques Lebel, Brian Thomson, Anna Wintour, and Lyndall Hobbs.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a 1975 musical science-fiction horror-comedy film by 20th Century Fox produced by Lou Adler and Michael White and directed by Jim Sharman. The screenplay was written by Sharman and actor Richard O'Brien, who is also a member of the cast. The film is based on the 1973 musical stage production The Rocky Horror Show, with music, book, and lyrics by O'Brien. The production is a parody tribute to the science fiction and horror B movies of the 1930s through to the early 1960s. Along with O'Brien, the film stars Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, and Barry Bostwick and is narrated by Charles Gray with cast members from the original Royal Court Theatre, Roxy Theatre, and Belasco Theatre productions including Nell Campbell and Patricia Quinn.

The story centres on a young engaged couple whose car breaks down in the rain near a castle where they seek a telephone to call for help. The castle or country home is occupied by strangers in elaborate costumes celebrating an annual convention. They discover the head of the house is Dr. Frank N. Furter, an apparent mad scientist who actually is an alien transvestite who creates a living muscle man in his laboratory. The couple are seduced separately by the mad scientist and eventually released by the servants who take control.

The film was shot in the United Kingdom at Bray Studios and on location at an old country estate named Oakley Court, best known for its earlier use by Hammer Film Productions. A number of props and set pieces were reused from the Hammer horror films. Although the film is both a parody of and tribute to many of kitsch science fiction and horror films, costume designer Sue Blane conducted no research for her designs. Blane stated that costumes from the film have directly affected the development of punk rock fashion trends such as ripped fishnets and dyed hair.Although largely critically panned on initial release, it soon became known as a midnight movie when audiences began participating with the film at the Waverly Theater in New York City in 1976. Audience members returned to the cinemas frequently and talked back to the screen and began dressing as the characters, spawning similar performance groups across the United States. At almost the same time, fans in costume at the King's Court Theater in Pittsburgh began performing alongside the film. This "shadow cast" mimed the actions on screen above and behind them, while lip-synching their character's lines. Still in limited release four decades after its premiere, it is the longest-running theatrical release in film history. It is often shown close to Halloween. Today, the film has a large international cult following. It was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 2005.

The Rocky Horror Show

The Rocky Horror Show is a musical with music, lyrics and book by Richard O'Brien. A humorous tribute to the science fiction and horror B movies of the late 1940s through to the early 1970s, the musical tells the story of a newly engaged couple getting caught in a storm and coming to the home of a mad transvestite scientist, Dr Frank-N-Furter, unveiling his new creation, a sort of Frankenstein-style monster in the form of an artificially made, fully grown, physically perfect muscle man named Rocky Horror, complete "with blond hair and a tan".

The show was produced and directed by Jim Sharman. The original London production of the musical premiered at the Royal Court Theatre (Upstairs) on 19 June 1973 (after two previews on 16 and 18 June 1973). It later moved to several other locations in London and closed on 13 September 1980. The show ran for a total of 2,960 performances and won the 1973 Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Musical. Its 1974 debut in the US in Los Angeles had a successful nine-month run, but its 1975 Broadway debut at the Belasco Theatre lasted only three previews and forty-five showings, despite earning one Tony nomination and three Drama Desk nominations. Various international productions have since spanned across six continents as well as West End and Broadway revivals and eight UK tours. Actor Tim Curry, who originated the role of Dr. Frank-N-Furter in the original London production, became particularly associated with the musical.

The musical was adapted into the 1975 film The Rocky Horror Picture Show, starring O'Brien as Riff Raff, with Curry also reprising his role; the film has the longest-running release in film history. In 2016, it was adapted into the television film The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again. The musical was ranked eighth in a BBC Radio 2 listener poll of the "Nation's Number One Essential Musicals".

Time Warp (song)

"The Time Warp" is a song featured in the 1973 rock musical The Rocky Horror Show and in its 1975 film adaptation The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and a 2016 TV production, as well as a dance performed during the chorus of the song. The song is both an example and a parody of the dance song genre in which much of the content of the song is given over to dance step instructions. The dance is one of the major audience-participation activities during screenings of the film and performances of the show. It has become a popular song beyond the reaches of the film and show, and is often played at dances and weddings.The song is in the key of A major.

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