This page will contain additional articles about William Campbell, as they become available.

William Campbell

William Shears Campbell is a fictional Paul McCartney look-alike whose purported existence arose from the fevered efforts of conspiracy theorists to find significance in album photos and hidden musical messages during the Paul is Dead hoax in the late 1960s.

According to this urban legend, a William Campbell won a "Paul look-alike" contest in 1966 and was induced to impersonate Paul after Paul died. In fact such contests were held, but no William Campbell ever won one.

In October 1969, Russ Gibbs, program coordinator for radio station WKNR-FM in Detroit, began a baseless rumor that Paul McCartney had been killed and replaced by a look-alike. Beatles fans scoured the Beatles' albums for hidden "clues" confirming this, and, demonstrating the human capacity to find meaning where no meaning exists, located dozens of "confirming" nuggets of information. These morsels were concocted together into one more-or-less cohesive tale: that the real Paul, killed by a banana lorry, had been replaced by an actor named either William Campbell or Billy Shears, who had undergone plastic surgery in order to effect a perfect likeness, and who had previously won a Paul McCartney look-alike contest. The letters "OPD," appearing on a costume in a photograph on the Sgt Pepper album were interpreted variously as standing for "Officially Pronounced Dead" and an indication that Billy Campbell had worked in the Ontario Police Department.

The badge on Paul's arm in the Sgt Pepper's album is that of the Ontario Provincial Police. The badge does not contain the lettering "OPD" but rather "OPP". Most Canadians would recognize this at first glance.

Also on Sgt. Pepper, "Billy Shears" is the name of the lead singer for the fictional Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band that the Beatles were originally planning to "play" on the album. Though this concept was largely discarded, the end of the title track includes a lyric referring to the "one and only Billy Shears," played by Ringo Starr, who sings the lead vocal on the next song, "With A Little Help From My Friends."


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Though this concept was largely discarded, the end of the title track includes a lyric referring to the "one and only Billy Shears," played by Ringo Starr, who sings the lead vocal on the next song, "With A Little Help From My Friends.". Coltrane lives near Glasgow, is married and has two children, and collects vintage cars. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band that the Beatles were originally planning to "play" on the album. His roles went from strength to strength in the 1990s with the TV series Cracker (1993-1996) and a BAFTA award as the stepping stone to parts in bigger films such as the James Bond films Goldeneye (1995) and The World Is Not Enough (1999), as well as giant Rubeus Hagrid in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004). Pepper, "Billy Shears" is the name of the lead singer for the fictional Sgt. He also played a would-be private detective obsessed with Humphrey Bogart in the TV play The Bogie Man. Also on Sgt. He co-starred with Eric Idle in Nuns on the Run (1990), and played the Pope in The Pope Must Die (1991).

Most Canadians would recognize this at first glance. On television he also appeared in Tutti Frutti (1987), as Samuel Johnson in Blackadder (1987) (a role he later reprised in the more serious Boswell and Johnson's Tour of the Western Islands (1993)), and in a number of stand-up and sketch comedy shows. The badge does not contain the lettering "OPD" but rather "OPP". He soon moved into films, obtaining small roles in a number of movies such as Death Watch (1980), Scrubbers (1983), Absolute Beginners (1986) and Mona Lisa (1986). The badge on Paul's arm in the Sgt Pepper's album is that of the Ontario Provincial Police. His comic skills brought him roles in the television series The Comic Strip Presents (1982) and he was one of the stars of Laugh? I Nearly Paid My Licence Fee (1984). The letters "OPD," appearing on a costume in a photograph on the Sgt Pepper album were interpreted variously as standing for "Officially Pronounced Dead" and an indication that Billy Campbell had worked in the Ontario Police Department. He moved into acting in his early twenties, taking the stage name Coltrane (in tribute to jazz saxophonist John Coltrane) and working in theatre and stand-up comedy.

Beatles fans scoured the Beatles' albums for hidden "clues" confirming this, and, demonstrating the human capacity to find meaning where no meaning exists, located dozens of "confirming" nuggets of information. These morsels were concocted together into one more-or-less cohesive tale: that the real Paul, killed by a banana lorry, had been replaced by an actor named either William Campbell or Billy Shears, who had undergone plastic surgery in order to effect a perfect likeness, and who had previously won a Paul McCartney look-alike contest. He was born in Rutherglen, Glasgow and educated (sporadically) at Glenalmond school in Perthshire, Glasgow School of Art, and the Moray House College Of Education in Edinburgh. In October 1969, Russ Gibbs, program coordinator for radio station WKNR-FM in Detroit, began a baseless rumor that Paul McCartney had been killed and replaced by a look-alike. Robbie Coltrane (birth name Robert MacMillan, some sources say Anthony MacMillan) (born March 30, 1950) is a Scottish actor. In fact such contests were held, but no William Campbell ever won one. According to this urban legend, a William Campbell won a "Paul look-alike" contest in 1966 and was induced to impersonate Paul after Paul died.

William Shears Campbell is a fictional Paul McCartney look-alike whose purported existence arose from the fevered efforts of conspiracy theorists to find significance in album photos and hidden musical messages during the Paul is Dead hoax in the late 1960s.

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