Actor Scott Bakula posted to Instagram a heartfelt tribute to his Quantum Leap co-star Dean Stockwell, who died Saturday at age 85. ABC News’ Los Angeles affiliate KABC-TV reported the Oscar nominee’s death was from natural causes. 

Bakula, who in Quantum Leap played an accidental time-traveler whose only contact was Stockwell’s Admiral Al Calavicci, a hologram advisor, remembered the actor fondly.

He explained Stockwell read for the adventure show after Bakula was already cast. “We connected immediately and my career and my life were changed that day,” he recalled. 

Bakula said his co-star became a “dear friend and mentor” over five “very intense years” on the series; a man whose passions included, “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!”

Bakula noted his former co-star was a former child actor himself, and as such had a “soft spot” for the young performers who appeared on Leap, a series that earned Stockwell a Golden Globe.

“He was very protective of their rights and safety and always checked in with them to make sure that they were ok,” Scott noted, adding, “His big hearted response to the kids made all of us take notice and be better guardians ourselves.” 

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

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