Actor Dean Stockwell, known for his work in the cult classic TV show Quantum Leap, passed away at the age of 85 on November 7. A representative for his family told the media that he died in his sleep of natural causes.
Stockwell had an incredible career in Hollywood that spanned a whopping seven decades and included Oscar, Golden Globe, and Emmy nominations. Born in Hollywood in 1936 and first getting his start on Broadway at the age of seven, the actor went on to star in a number of films with industry titans at a young age, including Anchors Aweigh with Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly and Kim with Errol Flynn. The exposure led to a number of other successful stints both on the stage and the silver screen.
But while he was achieving greatness in his career, his experiences working for so long soon weighed on him. “I started at a very early age in this business and I’m sure most of you have read stories about people who have started as children and ended up in very difficult lives and bad consequences,” Stockwell once explained. “It’s not the easiest life in the world, but then no life is easy.” After over 40 years in Hollywood, Stockwell was on the verge of quitting the business altogether and becoming a real estate agent when he got a call to star in the 1984 film Paris, Texas. His renewed vigor for acting soon led him to star in the 1988 comedy Married to the Mob, which got him nominated for an Oscar.
Eventually, Stockwell landed the role he’d become most known for when he played Admiral Al Calavicci in the off-beat sci-fi television program Quantum Leap from 1989 to 1993. In his later career, he also had roles in Battlestar Galactica, JAG, The Tony Danza Show, and NCIS: New Orleans. Stockwell officially retired from the industry in 2015. However, he kept busy in the last few years of his life, taking up work as an artist and showing his pieces in exhibits all over the U.S.
Dean Stockwell is survived by his wife Joy and his two children, Austin and Sophie Stockwell. We send our condolences to his family, friends, and loved ones.