According to Deadline, Stockwell was also known for his eclectic and his rebellious nature, which extended to his fervor for performing. In fact, The New York Times reported that Stockwell’s relationship with Hollywood was so rocky he quit the business three times. Stockwell threw in the towel the first time in his teens, then again in his 30s to enjoy the freewheeling bohemia of the American 1960s. He walked away from entertainment for the last time in the ’80s, to pursue real estate, before finally striking career gold with “Quantum Leap” from 1989 to 1993.
Speaking with Craig Edwards for and interview with Psychotronic Video in 1995, Stockwell summed up his career at the time: “It’s been a long hard road. Some parts of it were pretty bumpy, but the last few years have been pretty smooth. And I can’t wait to see where the road leads from here.”
That road eventually led the multi-faceted creative to spend some of his late-life showcasing his own mixed media artwork in a series of exhibits presented under his full name, Robert Dean Stockwell. Of his collage work, Stockwell told LiveTaos in 2014 that his goal was to “[create] a new world” with each piece, and that viewing his work was the only way to truly “understand that.”
With Stockwell’s passing, the world of stage and screen has lost a true, if often under-appreciated, Hollywood original.