Dean Stockwell, Star of ‘Quantum Leap,’ Dies at 85

by Michael Freeman

The sci-fi series Quantum Leap is still avidly watched and beloved today. Dean Stockwell and Scott Bakula captivated audiences for nearly 100 episodes. Sadly, Stockwell recently passed away at the age of 85.

Variety reports the renowned actor died Sunday. As a small consolation, he passed away peacefully in his sleep. Stockwell starred in Quantum Leap, but some of his other notable appearances were in Air Force One, Dune, and Blue Velvet.

Stockwell played Admiral ‘Al’ Calavicci in Quantum Leap for five seasons spanning from 1989 to 1993. His zany, womanizing character served as a contrast to Bakula’s Dr. Sam Beckett. Beckett was a scientist who conducted space-time experiments, leading to him involuntarily leaping through time. During these jumps, he’d take the place of other people to correct historical mistakes alongside Al. Al appears as a hologram who conducts research and tries to help Sam make his next jump.

Dean Stockwell’s performance earned him several Primetime Emmy nominations, as well as some for Golden Globes. In fact, he won a Golden Globe in 1990 for “best performance by an actor in a supporting role in a series, miniseries or motion picture made for television.” Additionally, he received a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame on February 29, 1992.

His full name being Robert Dean Stockwell, he was born in March 1936. He began his acting career earlier, being a child actor for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. His first known movie appearance was in 1945, starring in Valley of Decision. Other early movies included Anchors Aweigh and The Green Years. Overall, his acting career spanned an impressive 70 years.

Dean Stockwell’s Partner-in-Crime Scott Bakula Went on to Lead ‘NCIS: New Orleans’

Dean Stockwell’s partner in crime Scott Bakula also went on to have a successful acting career. Starring on NCIS: New Orleans for seven years, the series ended this year and Bakula gave his thoughts about his tenure there.

Playing Special Agent Dwayne Pride, Bakula went all-out for the role, even hiring a dialect coach to make sure he got his accent correct. Speaking to TV Insider, he reflected on the last episode. “The last episode of a seven-year series has all kinds of light shining on it,” he stated. “People gave speeches, bumped elbows. They had their masks on. It was bittersweet: We shot 16 episodes and are proud of the season, but it was goodbye — and from a distance.”

Luckily, the series ended on a bittersweet note. On the show, he worked alongside his real-world wife, Chelsea Field, and they got to renew their vows on the show together. “Seeing Chelsea stand at the end of the garden in her red dress misted me up. It took me right back. [I felt] pure love.”

Bakula stated he didn’t even have to act for the scene, it was all genuine.