"Dean Stockwell"

author unknown

Télé Star, May 1996

Translated from French to English, by Marie


His life a child star was far to be heaven.  He found back his balance thanks to his wife, Joy, and children Austin and Sophia.



There is a subject that tends to make Dean Stockwell angry:  that of concerning his children and the possibility to see them becoming actors.  "Never!  Being a child star involves much more disadvantages than advantages".  And he exactly knows what is talking about as he made his first move in front of cameras when he was 7.  Born in Hollywood March 5th, 1936, in a family of actors (his father was the voice of the Prince Charming in the Disney classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs), Dean was virtually raised in MGM studios.  He lived there, worked there and went to the "Little Red Schoolhouse" of the MGM.  "My classmates were Elizabeth Taylor, Margaret O'Brien.  There was also my big brother Guy, 3 years older than me.  He had also been engaged.  I have few friends actually as MGM engaged kids for just one or two semesters, before sending them back home."


And he does not have a good memory of his relationship with Louis B. Mayer, the boss of the MGM ("he had promised a lot things to me that I have waited but never seen"), neither Dean gets very enthusiastic about his relations with adult actors he performed with.  "Either they consider you as a kid, or they fear you steal the show from them.  Only two stars treated me as equals:  Richard Widmark, especially Errol Flynn".  So much so that at 16 Dean slammed the studios' door.  He recovered all the money he made and bummed around the country for five years on the road.  In 1957, he came back in Hollywood and took his career in hand.  As a result:  in 1959, he received a Best Actor honors at the Cannes Film Festival for Compulsion and three years later for Long Day's Journey Into Night".


Hippy with Dennis Hopper, his best friend.


His career was promised to great success when surged the hippie wave culture.  'I embraced the Sixties in fury.  With Dennis my best friend, we did not want to miss this revolution, for anything on earth.  Alas, there also was the other side of the coin:  drugs and all the diseases we passed to each other.  An indescribable chaos.  When we came back to Hollywood, nobody knew us anymore.  Another generation had taken our place.  Of course our period of rebellion was over but so was our career."  In 1982, thanks to his meeting with a young woman called Joy and the birth of his children (a son, Austin, and a daughter, Sophia; 13 and 11 years old ), Dean found his balance. 


He has never lost is position or status in the studios, and, thanks to his role as the invisible accomplice with Scott Bakula in Quantum Leap(or Code), has even become one of the new mythical heroes of the small screen.