Roddy McDowall
Roddy Mcdowall

Roddy McDowall made a guest appearance as Dr. Edward St. John V, a former lead programmer at Project Quantum Leap in the episode "A Leap for Lisa" in Season 4.

Personal Information
Gender: Male
Birth name: Roderick Andrew Anthony Jude McDowall
Born: September 17, 1928
Died October 3, 1998(1998-10-03) (aged 70)
Character information
Appeared on: Quantum Leap
Character played: Edward St John V

Roddy McDowall  appeared on the series as Edward St John V, a former head programmer at Project Quantum Leap who appeared briefly in the episode, "A Leap For Lisa". Roddy, a former child actor and veteran actor of six decades, was also a gifted photographer as well. As an actor, Roddy was perhaps best known for his roles in the Planet of the Apes film series, How Green Was My Valley, My Friend Flicka and Lassie Come Home.

Life and careerEdit

Born in London to Thomas Andrew McDowall (1896-1978) and his wife Winsfriede L. Corcoran (1899-1965), Roddy McDowall had already been in several British films when his family moved to the United States "at the end of 1940" (Roddy McDowall interview on YouTube), to escape the war. [1]. His big break came when he was cast in 1941's How Green Was My Valley[2], an emotional drama directed by John Ford. McDowall was the cast in 1943's My Friend Flicka [3]. He then appeared with the the then-unknown child actor Elizabeth Taylor in 1943's Lassie Come Home. (Watch the original trailer here on Youtube.) It is during this time that he and Taylor became close lifelong friends.

Roddy was cast again with Elizabeth Taylor in 1944's The White Cliffs of Dover. [4]. Roddy lived in the Los Angeles-area with his parents, graduating from University High School in Santa Monica. Roddy had some good films while a child, but as he became older, his career dived into the B-movies where it stalled. He was only appearing in truly awful schlock. It was time for a change.


Roddy died on October 3, 1998, at his home in the Studio City district of Los Angeles of lung cancer. "It was very peaceful," said Dennis Osborne, a screenwriter friend who had cared for the actor in his final months. "It was just as he wanted it. It was exactly the way he planned." Though he was cremated through the Neptune Society Columbarium, his ashes were not distributed in the Pacific Ocean as had been widely reported at the time.

Legacy/posthumous worksEdit

Roddy became an accomplished photographers and published several books of his photographs of famous people. Roddy McDowall died of lung cancer at his home in Studio City, California. He was cremated and his ashes scattered at sea.

Roddy has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6632 Hollywood Blvd, and there is an honorary rose garden "at the Woodland Hills grounds of the Motion Picture & Television Fund" ( with a statue of him in-costume as Caesar from the Planet of the Apes. His sister Virginia, slightly older than he, survived him, but died Dec 2006.


  1. [ here
  2. How Green Was My Valley at County
  3. 35 second Clip of My Friend Flicka at YouTube
  4. The White Cliffs of Dover film trailer on YouTube

External linksEdit

Further readingEdit

  • Virginia McDowall (his sister) on YouTube (last third of this video by the Musgrave Foundation)

Appearances Edit

External linksEdit