Dean Stockwell, Quantum Leap and Paris, Texas Actor, Dead at 85

Actor Dean Stockwell poses in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Alan Greth/AP/Shutterstock

Dean Stockwell, a former child actor who starred opposite the likes of Gene Kelly, Gregory Peck, and Frank Sinatra before enjoying a decades-long career in film and television, has died at the age of 85. Deadline confirmed via a representative for the actor that Stockwell died at home in New Mexico of natural causes on Sunday, November 7.

Stockwell began his film-acting career at the age of 9 in movies like the Gene Kelly musical Anchors Aweigh and Elia Kazan’s Gentleman’s Agreement, as well as playing William Powell and Myrna Loy’s son in one of the Thin Man films and starring as the titular green-haired boy in The Boy with Green Hair. As a young adult, he won Best Actor prizes at Cannes for his roles in both the Leopold-Loeb drama Compulsion and Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night. Throughout the 1960s, Stockwell acted consistently in one-off television roles for series like The Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and Bonanza. In the 1970s, he designed the cover artwork for his friend Neil Young’s album American Stars ‘n Bars.

In the 1980s, Stockwell worked with a number of acclaimed directors, playing memorable roles in Wim Wenders’s Paris, Texas, David Lynch’s Dune and Blue Velvet, and Jonathan Demme’s Married to the Mob, the latter of which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Stockwell may be best remembered for starring as Admiral “Al” Calavicci opposite Scott Bakula on Quantum Leap, which earned him four Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor across five seasons. Later in life, he played antagonist John Cavil on Battlestar Galactica. Stockwell is survived by his wife and two children.

Dean Stockwell, Quantum Leap and Dune Actor, Dead at 85