Dean Stockwell dies

Versatile actor had a 70 year career

by Jennie Kermode

Dean Stockwell in Long Day's Journey Into Night
Dean Stockwell in Long Day's Journey Into Night

Dean Stockwell, who was Oscar-nominated for his work in Married To The Mob, died on Tuesday 7 November, his family revealed today. In a career which lasted for 70 years, the actor won two Best Actor awards at Cannes (for Compulsion and Long Day's Journey Into Night) and played Doctor Yueh in David Lynch's version of Dune before going on to roles in Blue Velvet and Paris, Texas, but he was probably most widely loved for his appearances as Al in long-running TV series Quantum Leap.

It was Compulsion, based on the Leopold and Loeb murder case, which revived Stockwell's career after he struggled to transition from the brief stardom he enjoyed as a teenager (in which he won a special Golden Globe for his work in Gentleman's Agreement). He played a huge variety of roles over the course of his career but was particularly fond of science fiction, appearing in Star Trek. Stargate and the reboot of Battlestar Galactica, as well as providing the voice of Duke Nukem in Captain Planet. He also specialised in crime dramas, with a regular role in Police Story, and he made an impression in Dr Kildare and Wagon Train, along with a episode of Columbo. On the big screen he gave notable performances in Air Force One, Beverly Hills Cop II, The Rainmaker and The Player. He starred in two different versions of HP Lovecraft's The Dunwich Horror, 38 years apart, featured in the remake of The Manchurian Candidate, and was last seen in Rick Alverson's Entertainment.

Alongside his film work, Stockwell was a keen sculptor, painter and creator of collage art, exhibiting his work in New York, Dallas and Santa Monica. Politically, he supported the Democratic Party, and he was a keen advocate on environmental issues.

Stockwell retired in 2015 after suffering a stroke. Aged 85 at the time of his death, he reportedly passed away at home from natural causes. He is survived by his two children.

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