Dean Stockwell was a generous actor and a man of many interests, Scott Bakula remembered as he paid tribute to his “Quantum Leap” co-star.
Stockwell, who died Nov. 7 at the age of 85, began his acting career as a child and logged more than 200 film credits. But one of his most recognizable roles came opposite Bakula on the NBC drama that ran from 1989 to 1993.
Bakula noted that Stockwell stuck with the fantasy genre TV series even after he was nominated for an Oscar for his work in 1988’s “Married to the Mob.” He also cited Stockwell’s care and consideration for his fellow thespians as a sign of his character.
“Having been a famous child actor, he had a soft spot for every young actor who came on our set,” Bakula wrote. “He was very protective of their rights and safety and always checked in with them to make sure that they were ok. His big hearted response to the kids made all of us take notice and be better guardians ourselves.”
Here is Bakula’s full statement:
I met Dean at his audition for “Quantum Leap” in 1988. He had agreed to ‘read’ for the network, I was already cast. We connected immediately and my career and my life were changed that day in Brandon Tartikoff’s office. How lucky were we to get him? A few months later he would be nominated for an Academy Award for his role in “Married to the Mob,” but he was stuck with us. Serendipity? All I know is, he never tried to get out or complain, he loved the role and the show and the rest was history.
He became a dear friend and a mentor and we grew very close over the next five, very intense years. Dean was such a passionate man…about life, his work, his art (he was an amazing artist!), his family, all kinds of causes, people, music, the planet, cigars, golf, and on and on! Having been a famous child actor, he had a soft spot for every young actor who came on our set. He was very protective of their rights and safety and always checked in with them to make sure that they were ok. His big hearted response to the kids made all of us take notice and be better guardians ourselves.
In spite of having a career that came and went several times during his seventy plus years in the business, he was always grateful and delighted to have the chance to keep working. The only time he ever complained was when we called him on the golf course and told him we were ready for him to come to work! He used to announce his presence on the sound stage (if we hadn’t already caught a whiff of cigar smoke trailing in behind him), with a bellowed, “The fun starts now!” Truer words were never spoken.
I loved him dearly and was honored to know him. He made me a better human being.
(Pictured: Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell from “Quantum Leap”)