Campbell was born in Guelph, Ontario, Canada on October 3, 1973. Campbell's mother, Marnie (nee Neve) was a yoga instructor and psychologist. Her father Gerry Campbell is an immigrant to Canada from Scotland. He taught high school drama classes. On her mother's side, Campbell is descended from Sephardic Jews who immigrated to the Netherlands and converted to Catholicism; she has stated, "I am a practicing Catholic, but my lineage is Jewish, so if someone asks me if I'm Jewish, I say yes".
Campbell has three brothers, Alex, Christian and Damian. Her parents divorced when she was 2 years old. At age six, Campbell saw the performance of "The Nutcracker" and decided she wanted to take ballet. When she was 9, she moved into the residence of National Ballet School of Canada, training there and appearing in performances such as The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beatuty. After acummulating a lot of dance injuries, Neve moved from dancing to acting at age 15.
She appeared in a 1991 Coca-Cola commercial.
Campbell's first starring role was Daisy in the Canadian youth TV series Catwalk, which she held from 1992 to 1994. She made several appearances in Are You Afraid of the Dark? and Kung Fu: The Legend Continues.
Described as 'TV's most believable teenager', Campbell rose to fame outside Canada after being cast as Julia Salinger in the drama series Party of Five, which she performed from 1994 to 2000. The show won a Golden Globe Award for Best Drama in 1996.
Campbell's first widely released film was 1996's The Craft.
Following the third film in the Scream series, Neve appeared in several films that received a limited theatrical release but were well reveiwed by critics, incuding the 2000 film Panic.
On April 1st, 2010, Kevin Williamson, writer of the Scream films confirmed that Campbell would once again return as Sindey Prescott in Scream 4.
On April 3, 1995, Campbell married Canadian actor Jeff Light. The couple divorced in May 1998. In 2005, Campbell began dating John Light, an English actor whom she met while on the set of Investigating Sex. The couple engaged in December 2005 in Malibu. In 2007, they lived together for 5 years before their divorce on June 30, 2010. In March 2012, Campbell and her partner J.J Feild confirmed that they are expecting their first child together.