Quantum Leap actor, Dean Stockwell, dies at 85

Quantum Leap, Dean Stockwell

Sad news to report this morning as Dean Stockwell, best-known by many for playing Admiral Al Calavicci on the sci-fi TV series Quantum Leap, has died. A rep for the family confirmed to “Deadline” that Stockwell died peacefully at home of natural causes. He was 85.

Born in 1936 in North Hollywood, Stockwell began his career as a child star at the age of 7 on Broadway. After his career was launched, Stockwell appeared in films such as Anchors Aweigh with Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly, Kim with Errol Flynn, Gentleman’s Agreement, and The Boy With the Green Hair. Stockwell didn’t leave Broadway completely behind and eventually returned to the stage as a young adult in Compulsion with Roddy McDowall and he would go on to reprise his role in the film version which resulted in the actor winning his first two Best Actor awards at the Cannes Film Festival.

Oddly enough, Stockwell was considering a career change as he got his real estate license and decided to pack up his family to leave Hollywood. A call from Harry Dean Stanton changed all of that when he convinced Stockwell to join him on the set of Wim Wenders’ film, Paris, Texas. A string of memorable film roles followed including Blue Velvet, Dune, The Rainmaker, The Player, Air Force One, and Married to the Mob, which earned him an Academy Award nomination.

Stockwell’s signature role and performance would come in 1989 when he joined the sci-fi series, Quantum Leap, alongside Scott Bakula. Admiral Al Calavicci became an instant fan favorite and it’s a role that earned the actor four Emmy nominations. Other TV credits include JAG, Battlestar Galactica, The Tony Danza Show, and NCIS: New Orleans, which reunited Stockwell with his Quantum Leap co-star, Bakula.

Stockwell retired from acting in 2015 and he took to making art and exhibiting around the U.S. under his full name, Robert Dean Stockwell. Just recently, news broke that there had been some talk of doing a Quantum Leap reboot which was confirmed by Scott Bakula. It’s unclear if Stockwell would’ve been involved since he did retire from acting but I wouldn’t be surprised if a cameo appearance wasn’t at least discussed in some capacity. Sadly, this television reunion can no longer take place.

Dean Stockwell is survived by his wife, Joy Stockwell; and their two children, Austin Stockwell and Sophie Stockwell. Our thoughts are with Stockwell’s family, friends, and fans during this difficult time.

What are some of YOUR favorite Dean Stockwell performances?

Source: Deadline

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