Scott Bakula

Scott Stewart Bakula (/ˈbækjʊlə/; born October 9, 1954)[1] is an American actor, singer and director. His primary lead roles were in two science-fiction television series: as Sam Beckett on Quantum Leap, and as Captain Jonathan Archer on Star Trek: Enterprise. For Quantum Leap he received four Emmy Award nominations and a Golden Globe Award.

Scott Bakula
Scott Stewart Bakula

(1954-10-09) October 9, 1954
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, U.S.
OccupationActor, singer, director
Years active1977–present

Bakula starred on the comedy-drama series Men of a Certain Age, and guest-starred in seasons two and three of NBC's Chuck as the title character's father Stephen J. Bartowski. From 2014 to 2015, he played entrepreneur Lynn in the only two seasons of the HBO show Looking. In 2014, he began playing Special Agent Dwayne Cassius "King" Pride on NCIS: New Orleans.

Early life

Bakula was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of Sally (née Zumwinkel) and J. Stewart Bakula, a lawyer.[1][2][3] He has a younger brother and a younger sister.[4] His surname comes from partial Czech ancestry, translating literally to 'stick' (spelled bakuľa).[2][5][6] He attended Jefferson College,[7][8] followed by the University of Kansas for a time, but left, saying:

...because I was offered a tour of Godspell, a national tour that was from St. Louis. I thought that sounded great, and I went to my parents and I said "I want to do this tour", and they said, "Go ahead, maybe it will get it out of your system. And you come back to school in a year or two, you come back." The tour was gonna start in August and the tour never started and school did, and then the tour fell apart, and there I was sitting at home. So I was left holding the bag, basically, and then had to decide where to go from there. And I applied, was applying to other schools. I was gonna go to a Mormon theatrical kind of school, and the more I looked at it the more I spent time examining the school side of it. I just realized what I really needed to do was just pick up, pack up and go to New York.[4]


Bakula moved to New York City in 1976, where he made his Broadway debut playing baseball legend Joe DiMaggio in Marilyn: An American Fable, and appeared in the well-received Off-Broadway production Three Guys Naked from the Waist Down; he would later appear in its Pasadena Playhouse production.[9] The success of Three Guys Off-Broadway brought him attention, and when his next show, the musical Nightclub Confidential, which co-starred his wife Krista Neumann, moved to Los Angeles, he moved there at the urging of his California agent, Maggie Henderson, and his New York agent, Jerry Hogan. As Bakula recalled in 2000:

I call [Henderson] up and said I got a show, I'm gonna be out there, I'm coming out in January. So it'll work out because it's time for pilot season and I'll be doing something so people can come and see me. ... And then I coincidentally had done a Disney Sunday Night ABC movie that was gonna come out some time in the winter. It was the time to go. Came out here on New Year's Day, 1986. The show I did turned out to be a big hit out here. It got me a lot of attention out here and I jumped onto the TV sitcom Designing Women in the beginning and was able to do that pilot ... and things kind of took off.[10]

He was cast in two short-lived series: Gung Ho and Eisenhower & Lutz. During a Hollywood writers' strike, he returned to New York to star in Romance/Romance,[10] and then afterward landed the lead role opposite co-star Dean Stockwell in the science fiction television series Quantum Leap (1989–1993). Bakula played time traveler Dr. Sam Beckett, who was trapped by a malfunction of his time machine to correct things gone wrong in the past.[11] His performance in the show earned him a Golden Globe Award (along with three nominations) and four Emmy Award nominations for Best Actor, as well as five consecutive Viewers for Quality Television Awards for Best Actor in a Quality Drama Series.[12]

In 1995, Bakula appeared on the cover of Playgirl. He voiced Danny Cat in the animated film Cats Don't Dance (1997), singing in one number with Natalie Cole. He played the aging veteran pitcher Gus Cantrell in Major League: Back to the Minors (1998), the final movie in the Major League trilogy. He also played Jim Olmeyer, the same-sex partner of Sam Robards' Jim Berkley, in the film American Beauty (1999).

Bakula played Jonathan Archer, the captain of Earth's first long-range interstellar ship, on Star Trek: Enterprise from 2001 to 2005. In 2006, he reprised the role of Archer for the Star Trek: Legacy PC and Xbox 360 video games as a voice-over.

Bakula starred in the musical Shenandoah, a play which also provided his first professional theatrical role in 1976, at Ford's Theatre, in 2006. Bakula is heard singing "Pig Island" on Sandra Boynton's children's CD Philadelphia Chickens, which is labeled as being "For all ages except 43." Scott Bakula said that he might be starring as Sam in a Quantum Leap film as stated in TV Guide Magazine along with Dean Stockwell. At Comic Con 2010, he announced that a script was being worked on and that while he would be in the movie, he would not have the main role.[13]

Bakula performed various songs from his career for a one-night-only performance entitled An Evening with Scott Bakula at Sidney Harman Hall on January 18, 2008, as a benefit for the restoration of the historic Ford's Theater.[14] Bakula had three appearances in 2008. He appeared as Atty. Jack Ross in an episode of Boston Legal, "Glow in the Dark", which aired on February 12, 2008 on the ABC network.[15] From March 4 – April 20, he starred as Tony Hunter in the world premiere of Dancing in the Dark at The Old Globe in San Diego, California. Dancing in the Dark is based on the movie The Band Wagon (1953), which starred Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse.[16] Bakula appeared as the character Chris Fulbright in the five-episode run of the Tracey Ullman sketch comedy series State of the Union on Showtime.

Bakula appeared in the dark comedy film The Informant! (2009) as Brian Shepard, an FBI agent working with the title character Mark Whitacre, (played by Matt Damon).[17] In April 2009, he began a recurring role on the television series Chuck as Stephen J. Bartowski, the eponymous character's long-lost father. From July 31 to August 2, 2009, he starred as Nathan Detroit in three performances of Guys and Dolls at the Hollywood Bowl. Beginning in December 2009, Bakula began appearing as Terry, one of the three lead characters, along with Ray Romano (Joe) and Andre Braugher (Owen), in TNT's hour-long comedy/drama Men of a Certain Age.

In 2011, Bakula performed a voice cameo in the film Source Code as a slight nod to his character on Quantum Leap, with his catchphrase of "Oh, boy."[18] and appeared in the feature-length documentary The Captains, which was written and directed by William Shatner, Bakula is interviewed by the original Star Trek captain about his life and career leading up to his performances as Captain Jonathan Archer in Star Trek: Enterprise. In the movie, Shatner interviews Bakula at his ranch in California where the pair ride horses and discuss the pitfalls that come with a career in television.[19]

In September 2011, Bakula starred in Terrible Advice by Saul Rubinek at the Menier Chocolate Factory.[20][21] In April to May 2012, he guest starred in the last five episodes of Desperate Housewives as Bree Van de Kamp's criminal defense lawyer and third husband. In April 2013, he made a guest appearance on Two and a Half Men as a car dealer. In August 2013, it was announced Bakula would have a recurring role in the first season of HBO's new series, Looking.[22] He also appeared in the film Geography Club (2013).

In February 2014, Bakula was cast as the lead in a backdoor pilot for the current NCIS spin-off series, NCIS: New Orleans, which began as a two-part episode of its parent series in the spring season of 2014.[23] The third season of NCIS: New Orleans premiered on September 20, 2016.

In 2016 Bakula appeared as a guest judge on the HGTV show Brothers Take New Orleans with Property Brothers hosts Jonathan and Drew Scott.[24]

He made a cameo appearance on the season 12 opener of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia as himself.

Personal life

Bakula married Krista Neumann in 1981 and had two children, Chelsy and Cody. They divorced in 1995.[1] He married actress Chelsea Field in 2009 and they have two children, Wil Botfield and Owen Barrett.[1]

Bakula says he was "...hardly ever home for four and a half seasons" of Quantum Leap, so he chose to prioritize his family life on later projects. His Star Trek: Enterprise contract required that filming be completed by 6 PM every Wednesday so he could have dinner with his family. During filming of NCIS: New Orleans, he returns home to Los Angeles every weekend to spend time with his wife.[25]



Year Title Role Notes
1990 Sibling Rivalry Harry Turner
1991 Necessary Roughness Paul Blake
1994 Color of Night Bob Moore
A Passion to Kill Dr. David Lawson
1995 Lord of Illusions Harry D'Amour
My Family David Ronconi
1997 Cats Don't Dance Danny Voice
1998 Major League: Back to the Minors Gus Cantrell
1999 American Beauty Jim Olmeyer
2000 Above Suspicion James Stockton
2000 Luminarias Joseph
2001 Life as a House Officer Kurt Walker
2002 Role of a lifetime Bobby Cellini / Buck Steele
2009 The Informant! FBI Special Agent Brian Shepard
2011 Source Code Colter's Father Voice
The Captains Himself
2013 Geography Club Carl Land
Enter the Dangerous Mind Kevin
2014 Elsa & Fred Raymond Hayes
2016 Me Him Her Mr. Ehrlick
2016 Summertime Paul's Father
2017 Basmati Blues Eric


Year Title Role Notes
1986 My Sister Sam Peter Strickland Episode: "Teacher's Pet"
The Disney Sunday Movie Jeffrey Wilder Episode: "I-Man"
1986–87 Gung Ho Hunt Stevenson 9 episodes
1986–88 Designing Women Ted Shively 5 episodes
1987 CBS Summer Playhouse Dr. Paul Sanderson Episode: "Infiltrator"
The Last Fling Drew Television film
Matlock Jeb Palmer 2 episodes
1988 Eisenhower and Lutz Barnett M. "Bud" Lutz, Jr. 13 episodes
1989–93 Quantum Leap Dr. Sam Beckett Main role; also directed 3 episodes
1992 In the Shadow of a Killer Det. David Mitchell Television film
1993 Mercy Mission: the Rescue of Flight 771 Jay Parkins Television film
1993 For Goodness Sake Henry Short
1993–96 Murphy Brown Peter Hunt 13 episodes
1994 Nowhere to Hide Kevin Nicholas Television film
1994 Men, Movies & Carol Himself
1994 Dream On Aaron Hendrick, Kidnapper #1 2 episodes
1995 The Invaders Nolan Wood Miniseries
1995 Prowler Jack Harcher Television film
1996 The Bachelor's Baby Jake Henry Television film
1996–97 Mr. & Mrs. Smith Mr. Smith 13 episodes
1998 Adventures from the Book of Virtues Elbegast the Robber Knight
1999 Mean Streak Det. Lou Mattoni Television film
NetForce Alex Michaels Television film
2000 Father Can't Cope Wes Harrison Television film
In the Name of the People John Burke Television film
Papa's Angels Grins Jenkins Television film
The Trial of Old Drum George Graham Vest Television film
2001 A Girl Thing Paul Morgan
Late Boomers Teddy Barnett Television film
What Girls Learn Nick Television film
2001–05 Star Trek: Enterprise Captain Jonathan Archer Main role
2003 The Ticket Dunniger Short
2006–10 The New Adventures of Old Christine "Papa Jeff" Hunter 4 episodes
2007 American Body Shop Maury Episode: "Juicy Lou's"
Blue Smoke John Minger Television film
2008 Boston Legal Jack Ross Episode: "Glow in the Dark"
State of the Union Chris Fulbright 4 episodes
2009 Guys and Dolls at the Hollywood Bowl Nathan Detroit Video
2009–10 Chuck Stephen J. Bartowski 7 episodes
2009–11 Men of a Certain Age Terry Elliott Main role
2012 Desperate Housewives Trip Weston 5 episodes
Family Guy Himself Episode: "Burning Down the Bayit"
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Kent Webster Episode: "Vanity's Bonfire"
Table for Three Robert Morton Television film
2013 Behind the Candelabra Bob Black Television film
NFL Training Video: How Not to Murder People Referee Short
Two and a Half Men Jerry Episode: "Bazinga! That's From a TV Show"
Untitled Bounty Hunter Project Pete Television film
2014 Caper Pete Blue
2014–15 Looking Lynn 8 episodes
2014–17 NCIS Dwayne Pride 4 episodes
2014–present NCIS: New Orleans Dwayne Pride Lead role, Producer
2016 Brothers Take New Orleans Himself Episode: "Welcome to the Big City"
2017 Cash Cab Himself Celebrity Edition
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Scott Bakula Episode: "The Gang Turns Black"
2019 The Simpsons Himself Episode: "Bobby: It's Cold Outside"

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
1990 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Quantum Leap Nominated
Viewers for Quality Television Best Actor in a Quality Drama Series Quantum Leap Won
1991 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Television Series Drama Quantum Leap Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Quantum Leap Nominated
Viewers for Quality Television Best Actor in a Quality Drama Series Quantum Leap Won
1992 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Television Series Drama Quantum Leap Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Quantum Leap Nominated
Viewers for Quality Television Best Actor in a Quality Drama Series Quantum Leap Won
1993 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Television Series Drama Quantum Leap Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Quantum Leap Nominated
Viewers for Quality Television Best Actor in a Quality Drama Series Quantum Leap Won
1994 Viewers for Quality Television Best Specialty Player Murphy Brown Won
2002 Saturn Awards Best Actor on Television Star Trek: Enterprise Nominated
2003 Saturn Awards Best Actor on Television Star Trek: Enterprise Nominated
2004 Saturn Awards Best Actor on Television Star Trek: Enterprise Nominated
2013 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie Behind the Candelabra Nominated
2015 People's Choice Awards Favorite Actor in a New TV Series NCIS: New Orleans Nominated


  1. "Scott Bakula Biography (1954?-)". Retrieved November 16, 2012.
  2. "Actor Scott Bakula takes the city by storm to launch his new movie". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. April 17, 1998.
  3. "Zumwinkel, Edwin F". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. November 4, 2008.
  4. "Complete, Unexpurgated Transcript of the Scott Bakula Interview from the SCI FI Program Sciographpy: Quantum Leap". Quantum Leap official site (Sci Fi Channel). August 13, 2000. Archived from the original on July 14, 2006.
  5. "Scott Bakula wants you to know how to pronounce his name". Page Six. 2014-09-17. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  6. "Ancestry of Scott Bakula (1954–)". Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  7. "Scott Bakula". TV Guide.
  8. "Back Home With Scott Bakula". Webster-Kirkwood Times Online. June 21, 2002.
  9. "Scott Bakula Biography". Archival Universal Television official biography via Quantum Leap official site (Sci Fi Channel). Archived from the original on July 12, 2006.
  10. "Complete, Unexpurgated Transcript", p. 3
  11. O'Connor, John J. (November 22, 1989). "Review/Television; An Actor's 'Quantum Leap' Through Times and Roles". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-08-12.
  12. IMDb
  13. "Scott Bakula says Quantum Leap movie is in the works".
  14. "'An Evening with Scott Bakula' at Ford's Theatre Jan.18". 2007-12-05. Retrieved 2012-11-17.
  15. "Daily News Releases". Archived from the original on May 31, 2008. Retrieved 2012-11-17.
  16. "Dancing in the Dark" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-11-17.
  17. "The Informant opening". Archived from the original on 2008-05-28. Retrieved 2008-04-10.
  18. Meredith Woerner (2011-04-04). "Duncan Jones tells us what really happened at the end of Source Code". io9. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
  19. "Exclusive Clips from William Shatner's 'The Captains'".
  20. , Broadway World announces Scott Bakula joins Terrible Advice Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  21. , Guardian Review of Scott Bakula's West End debut in Terrible Advice retrieved May 30, 2018.
  22. Nellie Andreeva (2013-08-23). "Scott Bakula Joins HBO's Michael Lannan Dramedy Series, Now Titled 'Looking'". Retrieved 2014-03-09.
  23. "'NCIS' scoop: Scott Bakula to star in new spinoff". Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  24. "Jonathan and Drew Scott Take on a New Orleans Design Challenge".
  25. "NCIS: New Orleans' Scott Bakula on Why He Puts His Family First". 24 November 2015.
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