William J. Campbell was born on October 30, 1923, Newark, New Jersey. Campbell received his acting training at the American Theater Wing. In 1952 he married Judith Immoor, as Ms. Exner was then known, who was 18 at the time; they divorced in 1958. She took up with Frank Sinatra, through whom she met President Kennedy and the Chicago mob boss Sam Giancana, who also became her lover. Campbell's film career began in 1950, with a small part in the John Garfield film, “The Breaking Point”. After several years of similar supporting performances in a number of films, including as a co-pilot in William Wellman's “The High and the Mighty” (1954), he won his first starring role in “Cell 2455 Death Row” (1955), based on the memoir by the convict Caryl Chessman. His film credits include “Man Without a Star,” (1955) directed by King Vidor, “Love Me Tender,” (1956), Elvis Presley’s first picture, “Dementia 13” (1963), directed by Francis Ford Coppola; and “Hush ... Hush, Sweet Charlotte” (1964) directed by Robert Aldrich and starring Bette Davis and Olivia de Havilland.
In 1959 Campbell made his only appearance in a Euro-western as Keno in “The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw”, with Kenneth More and Jayne Mansfield.
Campbell was a constant presence on 1950s and 1960s TV obtaining cult status for his guest starring roles on Star Trek, appearing first as the mischievous super-being Trelane, in an episode of the original series called "The Squire of Gothos" (1967). Campbell also appeared twice as the Klingon Captain Koloth. He reprised the role on the series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode entitled "Blood Oath", some thirty years later. Campbell appeared at several Trek conventions in the 1980s and 1990s and many Star Trek fans consider Campbell's portrayal of the Trelane character as the first introduction of the "Q culture" to the series.
In later years, Mr. Campbell worked as the chief fund-raiser for the Motion Picture & Television Fund. Campbell died at the Motion Picture Home in Woodland Hills, California on April 28, 2011.
Today we remember William Campbell on what would have been his 90th birthday.