Scott Bakula Pays Tribute to ‘Quantum Leap’ Co-Star Dean Stockwell

'Quantum Leap,' Dean Stockwell, Scott Bakula
Mario Casilli/TV Guide/© NBC/Courtesy Everett Collection

Scott Bakula has spoken of his love for Quantum Leap and Battlestar Galactica actor Dean Stockwell who passed away on Sunday, November 7, at the age of 85.

The two co-starred on the hit series Quantum Leap from 1989 to 1993, in which Stockwell played hologram Admiral Al Calavicci, best friend to Bakula’s time and space-jumping Dr. Sam Beckett.

Referring to him as a “dear friend and mentor,” Bakula recalled his first meeting with Stockwell at an audition for the show in 1988.

“He had agreed to ‘read’ for the network, I was already cast,” recalls the’ NCIS: New Orleans’ star in a statement to Deadline. “We connected immediately and my career and my life were changed that day. 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 added.

Over the “next five, very intense years” working together, the two grew very close, with Bakula recalling his kindness and passion for life. “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!”

He added how Stockwell always looked out for the well-being of child actors on set, having been one himself growing up. “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.

Bakula also recalled the actor’s enjoyment of his 70-plus year career, and how he always announced his presence on the sound stage with a “the fun starts now” and a trail of cigar smoke.

“I loved him dearly,” said Bakula. “And was honored to know him. He made me a better human being.”