John Stockwell Biography

John Stockwell photo

Born: March 15, 1961


Birth Name: John Samuels IV

Date of Birth: March 15, 1961

Hailing from Galveston, Texas, Stockwell discovered theater at a young age, appearing in a number of theatrical roles while still in high school.

Nearly all of his early acting experience was confined to neighborhood "garage theater" productions in Galveston until 1973 when the Stockwell family moved to New York following the transfer of his attorney father.

At 17, he enrolled at Harvard to study visual and environmental studies, while continuing to perform in East Coast productions of The Merry Wives of Windsor, Macbeth, Spring's Awakening and Camino Real. While at university he was also working on the daytime soap, The Guiding Light.

In 1981 he made his feature debut, So Fine, while still in his third year at Harvard.

Although it was a small film, it allowed him to test the waters in the film industry. The next year he landed a role in Losin' It, with Tom Cruise and Shelley Long.

Harvard recognized his participation in the film with a course credit.

Graduating from Harvard with two features to his name, Stockwell jumped into his first major role in the blockbuster horror, Christine. The exposure led him to more starring roles in films like Radioactive Dreams, My Science Project, and Top Gun.

Surprisingly, after his strong performance in Top Gun, he, like his character Bill "Cougar" Cortell, seemed to sink into oblivion.

Major roles in independent films, and minor roles in big budget films caused him to fade out of the minds of viewers. Although he was disappearing in front of the camera, he began to take a larger role behind it.

In 1987, a year after Top Gun, the film Under Cover, his directorial debut and his second stab at writing a screenplay, was released. The film was not well received, and Stockwell decided to continue honing his writing and directing skills in television with a couple of telefilms. By the beginning of the new millennium, he felt it was time to take another stab at the feature film industry by directing crazy/beautiful, and writing Rock Star (both 2001). His next directorial effort, Blue Crush (2002), about girl surfers, did respectably at the box office.

He has a home in Malibu where he lives with his rottweiler, "Kaiser von Stockwell." John is a dedicated wind surfer and an avid reader.

Filmography (director):

Into the Blue(2005)
Blue Crush(2002)
Under Cover (1987)

Filmography (actor):

Breast Men (1997)
Legal Deceit (1997)
The Nurse (1996)
I Shot a Man in Vegas (1996)
Aurora: Operation Intercept (1995)
Born to Ride (1991)
Miliardi (1991)
Dangerously Close (1986)
Radioactive Dreams (1986)
Top Gun(1986)
City Limits (1985)
My Science Project (1985)
Eddie and the Cruisers(1983)
Losin' It (1983)
So Fine (1981)

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