'Quantum Leap' Actor Dean Stockwell, Dead at 85

Dean Stockwell Image (Credit: @DEADLINE)

An acting career that spanned 70 years, and a storied life that enriched it, has now come to an end. Dean Stockwell, best known for his role as Admiral Al Calavicci in the sci-fi TV drama Quantum Leap, died of natural causes. He was 85 years old.


From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Dean Stockwell, the veteran actor whose film credits include “Married to the Mob,” “Blue Velvet” and “Paris, Texas,” has died. He was 85. According to media reports, the actor died peacefully in his sleep on Nov. 7.

Stockwell was perhaps best-known for co-starring in the TV series “Quantum Leap” opposite Scott Bakula, earning five Emmy nominations for his role as Admiral Al Calavicci in the sci-fi series and a Golden Globe win for best supporting actor. Sci-fans will also remember him for his role as Brother Cavil in the 2004 TV series revival of “Battlestar Galactica.”

Born in 1936 in West Hollywood, Stockwell’s career spanned more than seven decades. Early film credits include “Anchors Aweigh” opposite Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly. He also starred in the controversial anti-war 1948 film “The Boy With Green Hair.” Other film roles include “To Live and Die in L.A.,” “The Rainmaker,” “The Player” and the 1984 version of “Dune.”


Robert Dean Stockwell was born on March 5, 1936 in North Hollywood, California (according to Deadline).

At seven years old, Stockwell launched his career as a child actor on Broadway, and in films like Anchors Aweigh with Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly. Stockwell went on to star alongside Errol Flynn in Kim, and Gregory Peck in Gentleman’s Agreement, for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award. Stockwell had the starring role in the 1948 fantasy film, The Boy with the Green Hair.

According to NBC News, Stockwell left Hollywood for a time, then returned, fluidly moving into adult roles.

In his 20s, he starred on Broadway as a young killer in the play “Compulsion” and in prestigious films such as “Sons and Lovers.” He was awarded best actor at the Cannes Film Festival twice, in 1959 for the big-screen version of “Compulsion” and in 1962 for Sidney Lumet’s adaptation of Eugene O’Neill’s “Long Day’s Journey Into Night.” While his career had some lean times, he reached his full stride in the 1980s.

It was two cult films and a popular sci-fi series that turned him into an American icon: Director David Lynch’s 1986 film noir Blue Velvet, and Director Jonathan Demme’s 1988 comedy Married to the Mob, for which Stockwell nabbed an Academy Award nomination, made him an audience favorite. From 1989 to 1993, Stockwell starred alongside Scott Bakula in Quantum Leap. Stockwell won three Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe for his work on the show, and it remains in the lexicon of iconic sci-fi series.



After suffering a stroke in 2015, Stockwell retired from acting and turned his energies to a career as an artist. He exhibited and sold his work until his death.

Stockwell is survived by his wife, Joy, and two children.


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