Veteran actor Dean Stockwell, best known for playing Admiral ‘Al’ Calavicci opposite Scott Bakula’s Dr. Sam Beckett in NBC’s sci-fi dramedy Quantum Leap, died Sunday of natural causes. He was 85.
Airing from March 1989 to May 1993, Quantum Leap starred Bakula as Dr. Sam Beckett, a physicist who in testing out a time travel theory “leapt” into the body of an Air Force pilot 50 years in the past. In trying to return home, Sam realized he could only randomly leap into other people, in other times. Stockwell played Sam’s womanizing, cigar-smoking hologram of a BFF/companion.
The role of Admiral ‘Al’ Calavicci earned Stockwell four Emmy Award nominations for Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, as well as one Golden Globe award.
He later recurred as Brother Cavil in Syfy’s reboot of Battlestar Galactica (2004–2009). Additional TV credits included JAG and 1998’s short-lived Tony Danza Show.
Born in North Hollywood in 1936, Stockwell was on Broadway by the time he was age 7, and his career as a child star began. As a child actor of the 1940s, his credits included the films Song of the Thin Man, The Boy with Green Hair, Kim and Gentleman’s Agreement (for which he won a Golden Globe).
His later big-screen credits included David Lynch’s Dune (1984) and Blue Velvet (1986), as well as To Live and Die in L.A. (1985), Beverly Hills Cop II (1987), The Player (1992) and Air Force One (1997). Stockwell scored an Oscar nomination for his supporting performance in the 1988 comedy Married to the Mob.
Stockwell is survived by his wife, Joy, and their two children, Austin and Sophie.