Dean Stockwell

1936 Artist

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Artist and actor Dean Stockwell grew up in North Hollywood, California. Stockwell was born into a family of performers with careers in Hollywood and New York City. At a very early age Stockwell auditioned on Broadway and was cast in THE INNOCENT VOYAGE (1943) with his younger brother Guy Stockwell. MGM soon signed a contract with Stockwell and he became an instant child star and appeared in two-dozen Hollywood features.

After completing high school in Los Angeles, Stockwell briefly turned away from Hollywood and attended UC Berkeley for a short period of time. After dropping out, he spent many years adrift working odd jobs at bakeries and on railroads. He was angered by current political circumstance and deeply opposed the military draft. However, Stockwell returned to Hollywood in his early twenties and starred in a LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT (1962), co-starring Katherine Hepburn.

Though he would always have a career in Hollywood, Stockwell became immersed in Los Angeles' Topanga Canyon and experimental art scenes, befriended Neil Young and Dennis Hopper, and became romantically involved with Toni Basil.

In 1975 Stockwell provided voice-over narration for Thom Andersen's experimental documentary EADWEARD MUYBRIDGE, ZOOPRAXOGRAPHER, an exploration of the origins of cinematic motion. Two years later he created the album art for Neil Young's AMERICAN STARS N' BARS.

Stockwell continued to work steadily in the film industry over the following decades and appeared in Wim Wenders' PARIS, TEXAS (1984) and David Lynch's BLUE VELVET (1986) with longtime friend Dennis Hopper.

Stockwell also continued to make art, working mainly with paper collage, and has been exhibiting his pieces in galleries since 2003 in cities such as Santa Monica, New York, Dallas, and Taos.

[Contributor: Ellie Parker]