Agent Jay Schwartz told The Associated Press Stockwell died of natural causes at home Sunday.
Stockwell started his acting as a child actor with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios. His first major movie role came in 1945 when he starred alongside Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly in the Oscar-winning musical “Anchors Aweigh.” From that point on, he continued to star in movie roles throughout the ‘40s and ‘50s
Toward the 1960s Stockwell began to land appearances in several NBC TV series including “Wagon Train,” “The Dick Powell Theater” and “Dr. Kildare.”
In the mid-60s, Stockwell dropped out of Hollywood and became a regular presence at the hippie enclave of Topanga Canyon. After the encouragement of Dennis Hopper, Stockwell wrote a screenplay that never got produced but inspired Neil Young’s 1970 album “After the Gold Rush,” which took its name from Stockwell’s script. Stockwell, longtime friends with Young, later co-directed and starred with Young on 1982′s “Human Highway.” Stockwell also designed the cover of Young’s 1977 album “American Stars ’N Bars.”
The Emmy-nominated actor returned to the screen as his career oscillated from TV to movie roles before landing his major TV role in “Quantum Leap” which lasted for five seasons. The science-fiction series first landed on the small screen in 1989 as it followed physicist Sam Beckett, played by Scott Bakula, as he time traveled with Stockwell’s sidekick character to fix historical mistakes.
“Quantum Leap” won six primetime Emmy awards before the show came to an end in 1993. Stockwell was nominated several times for outstanding supporting actor for his role in “Quantum” and was also nominated for an Oscar for his comic mafia kingpin character in “Married to the Mob.”
In the 2000s Stockwell continued his career in the sci-fi genre by joining the cast of “Battlestar Galactica” as antagonist John Cavil.
In 2014 he joined his “Quantum Leap” co-star Bakula once more on the set of “NCIS: New Orleans” before taking on his last movie in the 2015 film “Entertainment.”
Many members of the Hollywood community sent their condolences to the actor whose career spanned for nearly 70 years.
“Too Close for Comfort” actress Lydia Cornell remembered him as an “amazing actor.”
“Rest in Peace Dean Stockwell. What an amazing actor. He always had a mischevious (sic) glint of humor in his eyes. I was honored to work with him in the pilot for ‘Quantum Leap’ at @NBCUniversal along with Scott Bakula,” she wrote.
”Battlestar Galactica” star Edward Olmos wrote: “A true giant of a human being has passed. I was so fortunate to have worked with him on Miami Vice and Battlestar. I will cherish the years we spent together. He was a gift to all who truly knew him.”
Stockwell is survived by his wife, Joy, and their two children, Austin Stockwell and Sophie Stockwell.
Contributing: The Associated Press