Dean Stockwell dead at 85

Dean Stockwell, rare among child stars to achieve lifelong success as an actor, died Sunday at 85.

Stockwell was on the verge of a career change as he got a real estate license and packed up the family to leave Hollywood when he received a phone call from Harry Dean Stanton, who convinced him to join him on the set of Wim Wenders' film, Paris, Texas. That led to a string of memorable film roles in Blue Velvet, Dune, Married to the Mob (which earned Stockwell an Academy Award nomination), The Rainmaker and The Player.

Quantum Leap and Battlestar Galactica (2003) were among the TV hits he starred in. For me his greatest moment was also his weirdest: lip-synching to Roy Orbison in his menacing turn as a gay gangster in David Lynch's Blue Velvet. So fucking suave.