For starters, I’m a HUGE Scott Bakula fan. I’m still a little more than peeved that NCIS: New Orleans has been cancelled as I think his character of Special Agent Pride is one of the best, most honorable, and yet flawed characters on TV in some time. And as a boy, I loved watching him as Sam Beckett on the show that made him a star, Quantum Leap.
Another thing about me that I know is morbid, but I can’t help it is when a celebrity dies, I always like to read tributes from those that worked for him/her. These tributes paint a full picture of the person none of us knew. Yesterday came the news that Bakula’s co-star on Quantum Leap, Dean Stockwell had passed. By all accounts he was a really good man, but strangely…there was nothing on Twitter or anywhere from Bakula. It got me to wandering, “Hmmm….did they not get along? Was Stockwell perhaps not the great guy we thought?” The reason turned out to be that proper tribute could not be paid in a format that limited characters. Bakula’s remembrance (taken here from Deadline.com) of his co-star tells a lot about both men
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…