Nell Campbell is an Australian actress, club owner, and singer. Billed as "Little Nell", she originated the role of Columbia (A Groupie) in the original London Cast production of The Rocky Horror Show. She reprised her role in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and appears as Nurse Ansalong in Shock Treatment.
Born Laura Elizabeth Campbell (May 24, 1953), she got the nickname "Little Nell" (based on the Dickens character from The Old Curiosity Shop) from her father, who called her that in a column he wrote for the Sydney Daily Telegraph about his family. Nell began dancing at age 10 as a way to keep healthy after being diagnosed with Hepatitis A, and later also took up swimming. The story about her being part of the Australian Olympic swim team, competing in the Olympics in Munich, Germany in 1972, appear to be apocryphal.
In the early ‘70s, Ms Campbell migrated to the UK, where she worked selling clothing at a booth at bohemian co-op called Kensington Market, and by age 17, began working as a soda jerk and a tap-dancing busker (street performer) under her pseudonym of Little Nell. Nell was spotted busking by Jim Sharman outside of his production of Jesus Christ Superstar, who later had Richard O'Brien create a part for her in The Rocky Horror Show]] as Columbia was not part of the original treatment. Nell became part of the original cast at The Royal Court Theater Upstairs in 1973, creating the character's signature look her own unique hair-do and shaved eyebrows. When the play moved to the US, Nell took a part in the film Barry McKenzie Holds His Own, which starred fellow Australian, Barry Humphries as "Aunt Edna Everage" before she reprised the role of Columbia in The Rocky Horror Picture Show in 1975.
Post Rocky, several more roles came her way, along with brief recording career for A&M Records in the UK. In 1975, Nell performed “Do The Swim” during the end credits on "The London Weekend Show," a British TV show. The bathing suit she borrowed for the spot accidentally fell down several times, though edited out for broadcast - . Later, when Rocky Horror was becoming more wide-spread, the clip was rerun in the UK and in the US (in 1977 and 1978, respectively) as apart of a couple of television bloopers shows. As a result, "Do The Swim" was reissued as the A-Side to the 3-song EP, The Musical World of Little Nell (Aquatic Teenage Sex & Squalor.) One more single followed, a disco cover of "Fever" backed with "See You Round Like A Record, which Nell co-wrote with Richard Hartley and Brian Thomson. Both heavily imported to the US with picture sleeves, sold via various Rocky Horror publications. Alternate versions with generic packaging were also release on the US in 7" and 12" form.
In 1984, Nell opened up the nightclub, Nell's, on West 14th St in Manhattan with Keith McNally and Lynn Wagenknecht. In 1995, she opened two restaurants, also in New York, which she sold three years after to her partners after giving birth to her first child, Matilda Violet, in June 1998. In 2005, she and her daughter moved back to Australia, though she has visited the US for several collectors shows and conventions since.
2010: Rake (TV Series) - Flick Moyers
2000: Intern - Lady #4
2000: Joe Gould's Secret - Tamar (Hostess)
1998: Great Expectations - Erica Thrall
1993: Tracey Takes on New York (TV Movie)
1984: The Killing Fields - Beth
1984: Stanley: Every Home Should Have One - Amy Benton
1983: Dead on Time (Short) - Female Teller
1983: Bergerac (TV Series) - Mrs Moberley
1982: Pink Floyd The Wall - Groupie
1981: Shock Treatment - Nurse Ansalong
1981: Funny Man (TV Series) – Fiona
1980: The Alternative Miss World- sings opening and closing number, "I Want to Be a Beauty Queen"
1980: Armchair Thriller (TV Series) -Zoe Summers
1979: Shoestring (TV Series) - Joanna Lomas
1979: Hazell (TV Series) - Pamela
1978: Jubilee - Crabs (as Little Nell)
1977: Rock Follies of '77 (TV Series) - Sandra
1977: Journey Among Women - Meg
1976: Summer of Secrets - Kym
1976: Sebastiane - Emperor's guest (uncredited)
1975: Lisztomania - Olga Janina
1975: The Rocky Horror Picture Show - Columbia - A Groupie (as Little Nell)
1975: Alfie Darling - Party Guest
1974: Barry McKenzie Holds His Own - Nerida Brealey
2003: NINE, as Lina Darling on Broadway at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre
1994: You Should Be So Lucky as Polly, Primary Stages off-Broadway (premiere production)
1985: Women Behind Bars at the Footbridge Theatre at Sydney University
1978: Stoop (one woman show) in London
1977: Censored Scenes From King Kong at the Open Space Theatre, London
1977: A Streetcar Named Desire at the Oxford Playhouse
1975: And They Used to Star in Movies as Minnie Mouse at the Soho Theatre
1973: The Rocky Horror Show as Columbia at The Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, London
1981: Shock Treatment Soundtrack LP
1980: “Beauty Queen"/"Beauty Queen Slow Version" 7” Single (Pre Records) Theme from the Alternative Miss World
1978: "Fever"/"Fever Single Edit" – 12” Single (A&M Disco, US)
1978: "Fever"/"See You Round like a Record" Yellow Vinyl, reissued later in Black Vinyl (A&M, UK)
1978: The Musical World of Little Nell (Aquatic Teenage Sex & Squalor) Red Vinyl EP reissued later in Black Vinyl (A&M, UK)
Side 1: "Do the Swim" Side 2: "Stilettos and Lipstick" /"Dance that Cocktail Latin Way (Tropical Isle)"
1976: "See You Round like a Record" / "Dance that Cocktail Latin Way"
1976: "Fever"/"Do The Swim" - 7” Single (A&M, UK)
1975: "Stilettos and Lipstick"/"Do The Swim" - 7” Single (A&M, UK)
1975: The Rocky Horror Picture Show Soundtrack
1973: The Rocky Horror Show Original London Cast Soundtrack
- 1978 The First Official Rocky Horror Show Convention (Calderone Concert Hall, Hempstead, Long Island, NY) - February 20
- 1979 ROCKYCON I - (New York City, NY) - October 28
- 1985 10th Anniversary Convention (Beacon Theatre, NYC)
- 1990 15th Anniversary Convention ("The Master's Affair" at 20th Century Fox Studios, Los Angeles, CA) - October 20
- 1998 NYC '98
- 2000 25th Anniversary Convention (Las Vegas, NV)
- 2000 East Coast 2000 (Allentown, PA)
- 2008 The Atlantic City '08 Convention (Atlantic City, NJ)
- 2011 The AC 4.7.11 Convention (Atlantic City, NJ)
- 2015 RHPS40 (NYC)