Scott Bakula
Scott Stewart Bakula

(1954-10-09) October 9, 1954 (age 69)
  • Actor
Years active1977–present
  • Krista Neumann
    (m. 1981; div. 1995)
  • (m. 2009)

Scott Stewart Bakula (/ˈbækjʊlə/; born October 9, 1954)[1] is an American actor. He is known for his roles in two science-fiction television series: as Sam Beckett on Quantum Leap – for which he received four Emmy Award nominations and a Golden Globe Award – and as Captain Jonathan Archer on Star Trek: Enterprise. From 2014 to 2021, he portrayed Special Agent Dwayne Cassius "King" Pride on NCIS: New Orleans.

A Tony Award-nominee for his work on Broadway, Bakula starred in the comedy-drama series Men of a Certain Age and guest-starred in the second and third seasons of NBC's Chuck as the title character's father, Stephen J. Bartowski. From 2014 to 2015, he played entrepreneur Lynn on the HBO show Looking.

Early life

Bakula was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of Sally (née Zumwinkel) and Joseph Stewart Bakula (1928–2014), a lawyer.[2][3][4][5] He has a younger brother and a younger sister.[6] The family surname comes from Czech and Slovak ancestry, translating literally to "stick" (spelled bakuľa).[citation needed] 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.[6]


Bakula moved to New York City in 1976. He made his professional debut in the 1977 national tour of the musical Shenandoah.[9] He made his Broadway debut in 1982 as an understudy in the short-lived musical Is There Life After High School?[10] The following year, he appeared as baseball legend Joe DiMaggio in Marilyn: An American Fable, which only ran 17 performances.[11] He received a shared Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Ensemble Acting for his performance in the 1985 Off-Broadway production of Three Guys Naked from the Waist Down;[12] he would later appear in its Pasadena Playhouse production.[13] 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.[14]

He was cast in two short-lived series: Gung Ho and Eisenhower & Lutz. During a Hollywood writers' strike in 1988, he returned to New York to star in Romance/Romance on Broadway,[14] which ran from May 1, 1988, to January 15, 1989.[15] For his performance as Alfred Von Wilmers and Sam, he was nominated for the 1988 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical.[16] Afterward, he 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.[17] 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.[18]

From 1993 to 1995, he played Peter Hunt, a reporter and occasional love interest on the sitcom Murphy Brown. In 1995, Bakula appeared on the cover of Playgirl. He played the titular Mr. Smith in the sole season of Mr. & Mrs. Smith in 1996. He voiced Danny Cat in the animated film Cats Don't Dance (1997). 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, captain of Earth's first Warp 5 interstellar starship, 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.[19]

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.[20] 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.[21] 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).[22] 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 at the Saturn Awards, 2012

Bakula appeared in the dark comedy film The Informant! (2009) as Brian Shepard, an FBI agent.[23] 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 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."[24] 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 they discuss the pitfalls that come with a career in television.[25]

In September 2011, Bakula starred in Terrible Advice by Saul Rubinek at the Menier Chocolate Factory.[26][27] 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 sleazy car dealer, Jerry. In August 2013, it was announced Bakula would have a recurring role in the first season of HBO's new series Looking.[28] He also appeared in the film Geography Club (2013).

In February 2014, Bakula was cast as the lead in a backdoor pilot for the NCIS spin-off series, NCIS: New Orleans, which began as a two-part episode of its parent series in the spring season of 2014.[29]

In 2016 Bakula appeared as a guest judge on the HGTV show Brothers Take New Orleans with Property Brothers hosts Jonathan and Drew Scott.[30]

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

In October 2023, it was announced Bakula would return to the New York stage in the world premiere of The Connector, featuring music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown and book by Jonathan Marc Sherman, and directed by Daisy Prince. The show will begin previews January 12, 2024, at MCC Theater, opening February 6.

Personal life

Bakula married Krista Neumann in 1981. They had two children before divorcing in 1995. He married actress Chelsea Field in 2009 after a 15-year relationship. Bakula and Field share two children.[31]

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 p.m. every Wednesday so he could have dinner with his family. During filming of NCIS: New Orleans, he returned home to Los Angeles every weekend to spend time with his wife.[32]



Year Title Role Notes
1990 Sibling Rivalry Harry Turner
1991 Necessary Roughness Paul Blake
1993 Mercy Mission: the Rescue of Flight 771 Jay Parkins
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
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
Behind the Candelabra Bob Black
2014 Elsa & Fred Raymond Hayes
2016 Me Him Her Mr. Ehrlick
Summertime Paul's Father
2017 Basmati Blues Eric
2023 Divinity Sterling Pierce


Year Title Role Notes
1986 My Sister Sam Peter Strickland Episode: "Teacher's Pet"
The Disney Sunday Movie Jeffrey Wilder Episode: "I-Man"
1986–1987 Gung Ho Hunt Stevenson 9 episodes
1986–1988 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
1989–1993 Quantum Leap 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
For Goodness Sake Henry Short
1993–1996 Murphy Brown Peter Hunt 13 episodes
1994 Nowhere to Hide Kevin Nicholas Television film
Men, Movies & Carol Himself
Dream On Aaron Hendrick, Kidnapper #1 2 episodes
1995 The Invaders Nolan Wood Miniseries
Prowler Jack Harcher Television film
1996 The Bachelor's Baby Jake Henry Television film
1996–1997 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
2001–2005 Star Trek: Enterprise Jonathan Archer Main role
2003 The Ticket Dunniger Short
2006–2010 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
2009–2010 Chuck Stephen J. Bartowski 7 episodes
2009–2011 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
2014–2015 Looking Lynn 8 episodes
2014–2017 NCIS Dwayne Pride Special guest
2014–2021 NCIS: New Orleans Dwayne Pride Main 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 Himself Episode: "The Gang Turns Black"
2019 The Simpsons Himself (voice) Episode: "Bobby, It's Cold Outside"
2021 What We Do in the Shadows Himself Episode: "The Siren"
2022 Unbroken Ash Holleran Television film


Year Title Role Notes
1977-78 Shenandoah Ensemble National Tour
1979 Magic to Do Performer
1980 The Baker's Wife Dominique Playhouse in the Park (Cincinnati) production
1981 I Love My Wife Performer Playhouse in the Park (Cincinnati) production
Ta-Dah! Performer Off-Broadway
1982 Is There Life After High School? Understudy Original Broadway production
1983 Marilyn Joe DiMaggio Original Broadway production
1985 3 Guys Naked from the Waist Down[33] Performer Off-Broadway
1987, 1988 Romance/Romance Alfred Von Wilmers, Sam Original Off-Broadway and Broadway productions
2007 No Strings David Jordon
2009 Guys and Dolls Nathan Detroit Hollywood Bowl
2011 Terrible Advice Jake Menier Chocolate Factory, London
2024 The Connector MCC Theater (Off-Broadway)

Awards and nominations

Association Year Category Nominated Work Results Ref
American Television Awards 1993 Best Actor in a Dramatic Series Quantum Leap Nominated
Awards Circuit Community Awards 1999 Best Cast Ensemble American Beauty Nominated
Golden Globes 1991 Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series — Drama Quantum Leap Nominated [34]
1992 Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series — Drama Quantum Leap Won
1993 Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series — Drama Quantum Leap Nominated
Online Film & Television Association 2009 Best Guest Actor in a Comedy Series Chuck Nominated [35]
2013 Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture or Miniseries Behind the Candelabra Nominated [36]
People's Choice Awards 2015 Favorite Actor in a New Television Series NCIS: New Orleans Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards 1990 Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Quantum Leap Nominated [37]
1991 Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Quantum Leap Nominated
1992 Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Quantum Leap Nominated
1993 Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Quantum Leap Nominated
2013 Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie Behind the Candelabra Nominated
Saturn Awards 2002 Best Actor in a Television Series Star Trek: Enterprise Nominated
2003 Best Actor in a Television Series Star Trek: Enterprise Nominated
2004 Best Actor in a Television Series Star Trek: Enterprise Nominated
ShoWest Convention Awards 2015 Ensemble Award Geography Club Nominated
Tony Awards 1988 Best Actor in a Musical Romance/Romance Nominated
Viewers for Quality Television Awards 1990 Best Actor in a Quality Drama Series Quantum Leap Won
1991 Best Actor in a Quality Drama Series Quantum Leap Won
1992 Best Actor in a Quality Drama Series Quantum Leap Won
1993 Best Actor in a Quality Drama Series Quantum Leap Won
1994 Special Player Murphy Brown Won
1995 Special Player Murphy Brown Nominated


  1. ^ "UPI Almanac for Thursday, October 9, 2014". United Press International. October 9, 2014. Retrieved November 2, 2021. Scott Bakula ... born in 1954 (age 60)
  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. ^ Holleman, Joe (June 5, 2014). "J. Stewart Bakula, Scott Bakula's father, died Monday". Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  5. ^ Bakula (1946). "Missouri, World War II Draft Registration Cards,1940–1945". FamilySearch.
  6. ^ a b "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.
  7. ^ "Scott Bakula". TV Guide.
  8. ^ "Back Home With Scott Bakula". Webster-Kirkwood Times Online. June 21, 2002.
  9. ^ "Scott Bakula – Broadway Cast & Staff". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved October 6, 2023.
  10. ^ "Is there life after high school? – Broadway Musical – Original". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved October 6, 2023.
  11. ^ "Marilyn – Broadway Musical – Original". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved October 6, 2023.
  12. ^ "Scott Bakula – Broadway Cast & Staff". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved October 6, 2023.
  13. ^ "Scott Bakula Biography". Archival Universal Television official biography via Quantum Leap official site (Sci Fi Channel). Archived from the original on July 12, 2006.
  14. ^ a b "Complete, Unexpurgated Transcript", p. 3
  15. ^ "Romance / Romance – Broadway Musical – Original". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved October 6, 2023.
  16. ^ "Scott Bakula – Broadway Cast & Staff". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved October 6, 2023.
  17. ^ O'Connor, John J. (November 22, 1989). "Review/Television; An Actor's 'Quantum Leap' Through Times and Roles". The New York Times. Retrieved August 12, 2010.
  18. ^ IMDb
  19. ^ "Scott Bakula says Quantum Leap movie is in the works".
  20. ^ "'An Evening with Scott Bakula' at Ford's Theatre Jan.18". December 5, 2007. Retrieved November 17, 2012.
  21. ^ "Daily News Releases". Archived from the original on May 31, 2008. Retrieved November 17, 2012.
  22. ^ "Dancing in the Dark" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on February 10, 2012. Retrieved November 17, 2012.
  23. ^ "The Informant opening". Archived from the original on May 28, 2008. Retrieved April 10, 2008.
  24. ^ Meredith Woerner (April 4, 2011). "Duncan Jones tells us what really happened at the end of Source Code". io9. Retrieved August 4, 2011.
  25. ^ "Exclusive Clips from William Shatner's 'The Captains'".
  26. ^ [1], Broadway World announces Scott Bakula joins Terrible Advice Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  27. ^ [2], Guardian Review of Scott Bakula's West End debut in Terrible Advice retrieved May 30, 2018.
  28. ^ Nellie Andreeva (August 23, 2013). "Scott Bakula Joins HBO's Michael Lannan Dramedy Series, Now Titled 'Looking'". Retrieved March 9, 2014.
  29. ^ "'NCIS' scoop: Scott Bakula to star in new spinoff". Retrieved December 17, 2014.
  30. ^ "Jonathan and Drew Scott Take on a New Orleans Design Challenge".
  31. ^ Stein, Megan (December 17, 2019). "NCIS: New Orleans Star Scott Bakula Is Actually Married to an Actress From the Show". Country Living. Retrieved June 3, 2021.
  32. ^ "NCIS: New Orleans' Scott Bakula on Why He Puts His Family First". November 24, 2015.
  33. ^ "3 Guys Naked from the Waist Down Original Off-Broadway Musical Cast 1985 | Off-Broadway World".
  34. ^ "Scott Bakula". Retrieved June 30, 2021.
  35. ^ "13th Annual TV Awards (2008-09) - Online Film & Television Association". Retrieved June 30, 2021.
  36. ^ "17th Annual TV Awards (2012-13) - Online Film & Television Association". Retrieved June 30, 2021.
  37. ^ "Scott Bakula". Television Academy. Retrieved June 30, 2021.