Some sad news is coming out this morning, especially for fans of one of the greatest science-fiction series of all time. Dean Stockwell, best known for his role as Admiral Al Calavicci on Quantum Leap, has died at the age of 85. Deadline was the first to report the news, and they noted the actor died at home peacefully of natural causes.
Stockwell may be best known for his work on a singular show, but that doesn’t overshadow what was incredible career in film, television, and theater. He worked for a solid seven decades in the industry, starting as a child actor and working with such legends as Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra. His first credits were in the mid-1940s, and he continued to work until the mid-2010s. One of his final television roles was a guest spot on NCIS: New Orleans, where he reunited with his former Quantum Leap co-star Scott Bakula (pictured alongside him above).
Dean also had some other notable television roles over the years, including a recurring spot on JAG and also the iconic revival of Battlestar Galactica. His appearance on that show was likely an homage-of-sorts to his status as one of the industry’s greats. That is one of the many wonderful things about science fiction; there is a real effort to try and honor the genre’s overall legacy.
With the immense body of work that Stockwell had over the years, we imagine that people are going to continuously discover some of his credits over the years — he turned in fantastic performances in so many films, and we’re not sure he received proper attention for all of them over the years. Even though he was an Oscar and Emmy-nominated actor throughout his career, he never took home a trophy. From our vantage point, that does still make him an underrated performer who really helped to shape the film and television industry over the years.
Our thoughts go out to Dean Stockwell’s family and loved ones during what has to be a difficult time. Feel free to share some of your memories below. (Photo: NBC.)