Legendary and supremely versatile actor Dean Stockwell, who was four times an Emmy-nominee for his role in the quirky sci-fi series “Quantum Leap,” died on Nov. 7. He was 85.
Stockwell was at home Sunday morning when he died peacefully of natural causes, agent Jay Schwartz told the Los Angeles Times.
Stockwell — who was Oscar-nominated for his kingpin role in the comedy “Married to the Mob” and known for his roles in mystery-thriller “Blue Velvet” and sci-fi television series “Battlestar Galactica” — had an acting career that spanned an impressive seven decades.
You could say he had show business in his DNA. Stockwell’s father, Harry Stockwell, voiced Prince Charming in Walt Disney’s classic “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” and his mother Betty Stockwell was an actress and dancer, according to the L.A. Times.
Stockwell got his own start in Hollywood as a child star working alongside greats like Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly in “Anchors Aweigh.” In his 20s, he starred on Broadway and in films such as “Sons and Lovers.” He was twice awarded “best actor” at the Cannes Film Festival, once in 1959 for “Compulsion” and then again in 1962 for an adaptation of “Long Day’s Journey into Night.”
From 1945 to 2015, he accumulated more than 200 film and television credits as an actor, according to the New York Times. But he did, from time to time, take detours from his acting career to work on the railroads, in real estate, and join the 1960s hippie movement.
His career hit a stride in the 1980s. Stockwell was perhaps best known for his role as Admiral Al Calavicci on “Quantum Leap,” which had a five-season run from 1989-1993. From there, he starred in roles on TV shows like “The Tony Danza Show” and “JAG,” and then “Battlestar Galactica.”
The acting community is paying tribute to him on Twitter, with journalist and filmmaker Bilge Ebiri remembering Stockwell as a talented scene-stealer:
R.I.P. Dean Stockwell, a great actor who never met a scene he couldn’t steal. pic.twitter.com/5kGpWzSLo4
— Bilge Ebiri (@BilgeEbiri) November 9, 2021
And actor Russ Tamblyn remembered him as a “brilliant artist”:
Dean. My oldest friend. A godfather-figure to my daughter, Amber. Brilliant artist. Loving dad. We met on the set of The Boy With Green Hair, stayed close til his last breath.
— Russ Tamblyn (@RussTamblyn) November 9, 2021
Stockwell is survived by his wife, Joy Stockwell, and their two children, Austin Stockwell and Sophie Stockwell, according to NPR.