Quantum Leap’s Dean Stockwell dead at 85: who was the Blue Velvet star, what did he appear in - how did he die

Stockwell was born into a family of entertainers and grew up between Hollywood and New York City

Actor Dean Stockwell, known for his roles in Quantum Leap and David Lynch’s original adaptation of sci-fi epic Dune, has died at the age of 87, his representative has said.

The American, who enjoyed a prolific career stretching over 70 years, passed away peacefully in his sleep, the representative told TMZ.

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Here is everything you need to know about him.

Who was Dean Stockwell?

Stockwell was born into a family of entertainers in 1936, and grew up between the North Hollywood section of Los Angeles and New York City.

When Stockwell's father was appearing on Broadway in Oklahoma!, he heard about a play that was looking for child actors.

Stockwell's mother took their two sons down to audition, and both boys were successful; though Stockwell's part was small and the play only had a short run, it led to a contract with MGM.

From there, the studio cast him in small roles, before eventually giving Stockwell a bigger part in Anchors Aweigh alongside Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly in 1945.

A key role in 1946’s The Green Years really brought Stockwell to the public’s attention, and the film was a huge hit.

As a young actor, Stockwell appeared in films for both MGM and 20th Century Fox, before taking a number of years away from the profession to study.

What films and TV shows did he appear in?

Stockwell returned as an adult actor in 1956, going on to play a lead role in the screen adaptation of Broadway play Compulsion and in 1962.

He played Edmund Tyrone in the film version of Long Day's Journey into Night, for which he won a Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival.

He appeared in supporting roles in such films as 1984’s Dune, To Live and Die in L.A., Blue Velvet, and Beverly Hills Cop II.

He received critical acclaim for his performance in Married to the Mob in 1988, for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Stockwell’s most prominent television roles included Rear Admiral Albert "Al" Calavicci in Quantum Leap - which earned him multiple Emmy nominations and the 1990 Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor - and Brother Cavil in the revival of Battlestar Galactica between 2004 and 2009.

How did he die?

Stockwell died early Sunday (7 November) morning at his home, peacefully and of natural causes according to a representative.

He is survived by his wife, Joy Stockwell, and their two children, Austin and Sophie.

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