Dean Stockwell, Prolific Actor of Blue Velvet and Quantum Leap, Dies at 85

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Dean Stockwell, Prolific Actor of <i>Blue Velvet</i> and <i>Quantum Leap</i>, Dies at 85

After a career that spanned over 70 years, actor Dean Stockwell has died at age 85. According to his reps, he passed away peacefully in his home due to natural causes.

Stockwell was born on March 5, 1936 in North Hollywood and launched an acting career at just seven years old when he landed a small part in a play called Innocent Voyage by Paul Osborne. From there, young Stockwell landed roles in the melodrama The Valley of Decision and musical Anchors Aweigh.

His stage and screen career continued through his young adulthood. During the ‘60s and ‘70s, he appeared in dozens of TV shows like The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. His career blossomed when he appeared in Wim Wenders’ 1984 critical smash Paris, Texas. That same year, he starred as Doctor Wellington Yueh in David Lynch’s controversial Dune.

From there, his mainstream success snowballed, and he appeared in Blue Velvet, The Rainmaker, The Player and Married to the Mob, for which he earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

One of Stockwell’s most memorable performances was his role in the sci-fi TV show Quantum Leap. He played Admiral Al Calavicci from 1989-1993, earning a whopping four Emmy nominations.

In 2015, Stockwell retired from acting to pursue a career in art. His final roles can be seen in Entertainment and Max Rose. A dedicated actor with an extraordinarily impressive career, Stockwell stole every scene he was in. Big or small, he brought a magnetic quality to all of his roles.

He is survived by his two children, Austin and Sophie.