Quantum Leap: Donald P. Bellisario Offers Dean Stockwell Tribute

Family, friends, and fans across Hollywood continue to mourn the loss of actor Dean Stockwell at the age of 85, best known for his role as Admiral Al Calavicci on the NBC sci-fi hit series Quantum Leap. Among them is creator Donald P. Bellisario, who ended up casting him in later CBS shows JAG and First Monday. As Stockwell's Quantum Leap co-star Scott Bakula posted his tribute in Deadline Hollywood so did Bellisario.

Quantum Leap: Donald P. Bellisario Offers Dean Stockwell Tribute
NBC Universal

Quantum Leap Creator Donald P. Bellisario's Statement

Dean and I were both in our mid-fifties when I hired him to play the smart-mouthed hologram Al Calavicci on Quantum Leap. He had just been nominated for an Oscar for his role in Married to the Mob when our series premiered. His friends in the business were all puzzled by why, at the height of his feature career, he chose to do television. Once we started filming, I once asked him the same question. He said "Work is work and I have a family to support." And work he did. Along with Scott Bakula, Dean set the work ethic for the rest of the actors on the show.

Television films long hours, much longer than most of the feature films Dean had worked in. Yet he never complained…and if a star like Dean doesn't complain, who can?

Dean brought a sense of fun to the set that lifted everyone's spirits. He was constantly asked about the features he starred in and always took time to answer with stories like the one he told me:

As a child actor he did a film with Errol Flynn. He recalled how they first met. He was walking toward a sound stage hand-in-hand with his mother and his teacher when Errol Flynn approached them. He said Errol ignored his mother, ignored his teacher, and stuck his hand out saying "Hi kid. Had your first f*ck, yet?" Dean said from that moment on, he knew he was in for a great time.

Dean was never that uncouth, but he always gave us a great time.

I shall miss him.

Quantum Leap Creator Donald P. Bellisario Answers Series' Questions
Image courtesy of Ars Technica

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About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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