American actor Dean Stockwell, who starred in and TV series Quantum Leap and several David Lynch movies, died on Sunday at the age of 85.

The Oscar and Emmy-nominated star had a number of acclaimed roles in film and TV but the father of two was probably best known for playing Admiral Al Calavicci in cult 90s sci fi series Quantum Leap in which he starred opposite Scott Bakula for five seasons between 1989 and 1993.

Stockwell in Quantum Leap

A representative for Stockwell told TMZ that the actor died peacefully in his sleep of natural causes.

His also starred in Wim Wenders' 1984 movie Paris, Texas, Lynch's 1984 version of sci-fi epic Dune and Blue Velvet, Beverly Hills Cop II and several projects with Francis Ford Coppola.

During his seven-decade screen career, Stockwell was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in 1988's Married to the Mob and won he the Best Actor prize at the Cannes Film Festival for 1962's Long Day’s Journey Into Night.

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He also appeared in the reboot of Battlestar Galactica between 2004 and 2009.

He was born in March 1936 and he began his career as a child actor and made his first known film appearance in Valley of Decision in 1945. He played the lead role in The Boy With the Green Hair in 1948 and was a regular on TV shows such as Dr. Kildare and Wagon Trail.

Stockwell is survived by his wife, Joy Stockwell, and their two children, Austin and Sophie.

Tributes have been paid to Stockwell on social media.

Actress Jane Badler, star of sci fi series V wrote: "Loved working with Dean Stockwell on The Snowy River Series. He played a con artist who pretended to be blind. I was his partner in crime .. He was s joy to work with ! R.I.P Mr Rockwell."