The “Quantum Leap” star was 85 years old
NEW YORK (AP) – Dean Stockwell, one of Hollywood’s leading child actors who again achieved midlife success, on the sci-fi series “Quantum Leap” and memorable films like “Blue Velvet (Blue Velvet) ”by David Lynch,“ Paris, Texas ”by Wim Wenders and“ Married to the Mob ”by Jonathan Demme, passed away. He was 85 years old.
Stockwell died of natural causes last Sunday at his home, said Jay Schwartz, a spokesman for his family.
Stockwell was nominated for an Oscar for his comedic mobster character in “Married to the Mob” and was nominated for an Emmy Award four times for “Quantum Leap.” But in a career that spanned seven decades, he was an actor of supreme character whose time on camera didn’t have to be extensive to be fascinating, like when he lip-synched Roy Orbison to a catastrophic party scene in “Blue Velvet.” a desperate agent in Robert Altman’s “The Player,” and Howard Hughes in Francis Ford Coppola’s “Tucker: The Man and His Dream.”
But her own relationship with acting, which began on Broadway at age 7, was complicated. In a traveling career he left show business several times, including at age 16 and again in the 1980s, when he moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, to sell real estate.
“Dean spent his entire life going back and forth from fame to anonymity,” his family said in a statement. “So when I had a job, I was grateful. He never took the business for granted. He was a rebel, talented and always a breath of fresh air. “
Stockwell, dark-haired, was a Hollywood veteran when he reached his teens. At the age of 20 he acted on Broadway as a young murderer in the play “Compulsion (Compulsion)” and prestigious films such as “Sons and Lovers (Sons and lovers).” He was awarded Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival twice, in 1959 for the film adaptation of “Compulsion,” and in 1962 for Sidney Lumet’s adaptation of “Long Day’s Journey Into Night.” by Eugene O’Neill. While his career had some tough times, it peaked in the 1980s.
“My way of working remains the same as at the beginning: totally intuitive and instinctive,” he told the “New York Times” in 1987. “But as you live your life, you compile so many millions of experiences and bits of information that you become in a richer container as a person. You rely on more experience ”.
His Oscar-nominated role as flamboyant gangster Tony “The Tiger” Russo in the 1988 hit “Married to the Mob” led to his most notable television role the following year, on the NBC sci-fi series “Quantum Leap.” . Both roles had strong comedy elements.
“It’s the first time someone has offered me a series and the first time I wanted to do one,” he said in 1989. “If people hadn’t seen me on ‘Married To the Mob’ they wouldn’t have realized that I could do comedy. ”.
Joining Stockwell in “Quantum Leap” was Scott Bakula as a scientist who assumed different identities at different times after a time travel experiment went awry. Like his colleague, “The Observer,” Stockwell assists, but is only seen in a holographic computer image. The series ran from 1989 to 1993.
He continued to play characters large and small, in film and television, until the 21st century, including a recurring role in another science fiction series, “Battlestar Galactica (Galactica, fighting star).”
He dabbled in acting at an early age. His father, Harry Stockwell, played the role of Prince Charming in Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and appeared in several Broadway musicals.
At age 7, Dean made his show business debut in the 1943 Broadway show “The Innocent Voyage,” the story of orphaned children tangled with pirates. His older brother, Guy, was also in the cast.
An MGM producer was impressed with him and convinced the studio to hire him. His first major role was as Kathryn Grayson’s nephew in the 1945 musical “Anchors Away,” starring Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra.
In subsequent years, he appeared in such films as the Oscar-winning anti-Semitism drama “Gentlemen’s Agreement,” starring Gregory Peck, as well as “Song of the Thin Man.” , the latest installment in the William Powell-Myrna Loy mystery series, featuring Stockwell as her son.
He had lead roles in the 1948 antiwar film “The Boy With Green Hair,” about a war orphan whose hair changes color, and in “Kim,” the 1950 version of Rudyard’s tale. Kipling starring Errol Flynn. Films from his youth also included “Down to the Sea in Ships,” starring Lionel Barrymore; “The Secret Garden,” with Margaret O’Brien; and “Stars in My Crown” with Joel McCrea.
“I was very lucky to have a loving and understanding mother,” he told The Associated Press in 1989. Even so, he emphasized, it was not always easy, and at age 16 he left the business.
“I never really wanted to be an actor,” he said. “Acting was very difficult for me from the beginning. He worked long hours, six days a week. It wasn’t fun. ” It was not the only time he retired. But, he said, “I was coming back because I had no other training.”
Returning to his career after five years, Stockwell returned to New York, where he starred on Broadway with Roddy McDowall in “Compulsion,” a 1957 drama based on the notorious Leopold-Loeb murder case in which two college students killed a 14-year-old boy for the simple thrill of doing it. The film version starred Orson Welles.
Stockwell had two other big film roles in the early 1960s: the struggling son in DH Lawrence’s Oscar-nominated “Sons and Lovers,” and the sensitive younger brother in “Long Day’s Journey Into Night. ”With Ralph Richardson and Katharine Hepburn.
He also tried his hand as a theater director, hosting a well-received program of plays by Beckett and Ionesco in Los Angeles in 1961.
In 1960 he married Millie Perkins, known for her starring role in the 1959 film “The Diary of Anne Frank.” The marriage ended in divorce after just two years.
In the mid-1960s, he left Hollywood for the hippie enclave of Topanga Canyon. Encouraged by Dennis Hopper, he wrote a script that was never produced but that inspired Neil Young’s 1970 album “After the Gold Rush.” Stockwell, a longtime friend of Young’s, later co-directed and starred with Young’s 1982 “Human Highway.” He also designed the cover for Young’s 1977 album “American Stars’ N Bars.”
In 1981 he married Joy Marchenko, a textile expert. When his career reached a dormant period, he decided to bring his family to New Mexico. As soon as he left Hollywood, the filmmakers started calling again.
He was cast in the role of Harry Dean Stanton’s drifting brother in Wim Wenders’ acclaimed 1984 film “Paris, Texas,” and that same year as the evil Dr. Yueh in Lynch’s “Dune.”
He called his success from the 1980s onwards his “third career.” As for the Oscar nomination, he told the AP in 1989 that it was “something I’ve dreamed of for years … It’s one of the best feelings I’ve ever had.”
Like his longtime friend Hopper, a prominent photographer and actor, Stockwell was active in the visual arts. He made collages of photos and sculptures made of dice. He often used his full name, Robert Dean Stockwell, on these projects.
Take a look
Guy Stockwell, Dean’s brother, also became a prolific film and television actor, and even appeared as a guest on “Quantum Leap (Time Travelers).” He died in 2002 at the age of 68.
Dean Stockwell is survived by his wife, Joy – whom he married in 1981 – and their two children, Austin and Sophie Stockwell.
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Actor Dean Stockwell dies – El Diario de Yucatán