RIP Dean Stockwell, Quantum Leap’s Beloved Al

RIP Dean Stockwell, Quantum Leap’s Beloved Al

Dean Stockwell, Scott Bakula’s stalwart co-star in Quantum Leap and an actor with over 70 years of work across film, television, and stage to his name, has passed away at the age of 85.

Deadline reports that Stockwell died of natural causes on November 7, at home with family. The actor, who began his career at the age of seven and nearly left acting behind before a string of memorable movie roles in the ‘80s and ‘90s — including Lynch’s adaptation of Dune, in which Stockwell played Dr. Wellington Yueh, the physician for House Atreides and its eventual betrayer to House Harkonnen — kept him in the world of acting. But off the big screen, Stockwell will be forever remembered to genre fans for his role in the 1989 NBC series Quantum Leap, for which he received multiple Emmy nods and a Golden Globe.

Alongside Scott Bakula, Stockwell appeared in every episode of the time-hopping sci-fi series as Rear Admiral Al Calavicci — or rather, a holographic Al utilising a special computer named Ziggy — guiding Bakula’s hero Sam Beckett as he leaped through time righting attempts to change history. Years later he’d embody a much more sinister sci-fi icon in the 2004 Battlestar Galactica reboot from Ronald D. Moore, where he played John Cavil. Cavil first appears in the show’s second season as a priestly religious counselor in the series before being revealed as Number One, the human face of one of the multiple Cylon infiltration models that integrated himself as a sleeper agent in the surviving remnants of humanity. Stockwell finally retired from acting altogether in 2015, taking up touring exhibitions of his artwork under his full name, Robert Dean Stockwell.

Stockwell is survived by his wife and two children — our thoughts go out to his family at this unfortunate time.

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