Stempel died on April 7, almost a year to a day after fellow Twenty-One competitor Charles Van Doren's death at age 93. "While Mr. Van Doren went on to become the most celebrated (and, later, vilified) contestant of the quiz-show era, on the cover of Time magazine and inundated with fan mail and contract offers, Mr. Stempel might have become a forgotten man," writes Robert D. McFadden in Stempel's New York Times obituary. "Instead, he helped blow the cover off one of the major scandals of the age, telling the news media, prosecutors and congressional investigators that it was all a hoax....The disgraced Mr. Van Doren retreated from public life for decades. Mr. Stempel, in contrast, assisted in the production of Robert Redford’s Oscar-nominated 1994 movie, Quiz Show, which starred Ralph Fiennes as Mr. Van Doren and John Turturro as Mr. Stempel, and in a 1992 documentary for the PBS series American Experience." As Stempel said in the documentary, he was coached how to act and even what to wear, and was given an ill-fitting suit and Marine-type haircut "to make me appear as what you would call today a nerd, a square.” The film's popularity led Stempel to appear on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, which was then taped in the same NBC studio as Twenty-One.