The family of Jessica Campbell, who appeared in Alexander Payne’s Election and cult TV show Freaks and Geeks, confirmed to TMZ on Wednesday that the 38-year-old actress—who’d begun practicing naturopathic medicine—passed away in Portland on December 29. Her sister says she collapsed at home after complaining of congestion; the Multnomah County Medical Examiner has yet to declare a cause of death.
Campbell was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and first appeared in a little-seen 1992 made-for-TV film called In the Best Interest of the Children alongside Sarah Jessica Parker. Her next role, in 1999’s Election, is probably her best-known: she played Tammy Metzler, a young lesbian who runs for student body president out of spite for her all-American brother. The role earned Campbell an Independent Spirit Award nomination for best debut performance.
She then appeared in Judd Apatow’s cult TV series Freaks and Geeks as Amy Andrews, love interest to a young Seth Rogen.
Campbell’s former collaborators, including Apatow and Campbell’s Election costar Reese Witherspoon, took to Twitter on Wednesday to express their condolences:
Some of my favorite 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. https://t.co/R9Y5RTKNat— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) January 13, 2021
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. https://t.co/xEt6bOwWqE— Reese Witherspoon (@ReeseW) January 13, 2021
Campbell’s family launched a GoFundMe on January 4 to help cover memorial and medical expenses, as well as to provide support for Campbell's 10-year-0ld son, Oliver.