Scott Bakula is an American actor best known for his starring role as Dr. Sam Beckett, a quantum scientist with six doctoral degrees, in the science fiction television series Quantum Leap, for which he received four Emmy Award nominations and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series.
He also received an Emmy nomination for his role in the television movie Behind the Candelabra. His additional television credits include starring roles in Men of a Certain Age and Star Trek: Enterprise.
He also has a starring role as Dwayne Cassius "King" Pride, a New Orleans native and former Jefferson Parish deputy sheriff who is now an NCIS Supervisory Special Agent attached to the New Orleans field office, in the police procedural television series NCIS: New Orleans.
Bakula was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and graduated from Kirkwood High School in Kirkwood, Missouri in 1973 where he was a good student. During high school, he was active in soccer, tennis, and theatre.
Also during high school, he had the lead roles in Godspell and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at First Presbyterian Church in Kirkwood. He also played Tevye in an Independent Theatre Production of Fiddler on the Roof at Kirkwood High.
Bakula attended college at the University of Kansas, studying law, until his junior year. He was a member of Phi Gamma Delta while attending the University.
Bakula then left to pursue acting, having been cast in the leading role of Godspell. After that show completed its run, he moved to New York and acted in Broadway shows such as Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Fiddler on the Roof.
In 1983, Bakula, having previously appeared as a standby, made his Broadway debut playing Joe DiMaggio in Marilyn: An American Fable. His television debut came in commercials for Canada Dry and for de-caffeinated Folgers coffee.
His performance in the Broadway musical Romance/Romance and subsequent Tony Award nomination helped Bakula win the lead role opposite Dean Stockwell in the critically acclaimed television series Quantum Leap.
In this science fiction series, Bakula played the time traveler Dr. Sam Beckett who was trapped by a malfunction of his time machine to correct things gone wrong in the past.
He has had recurring guest appearances on Law & Order, Desperate Housewives, Chuck and Looking. He also co-starred with Maria Bello in the short-lived television series Mr. & Mrs. Smith (which bore little or no relation to the 2005 motion picture of the same title), and had a recurring role in the sitcom Murphy Brown.
Bakula can be seen in the musical feature Basmati Blues, the feature film Me Him Her and the indie feature Elsa & Fred. Additional feature film credits include The Informant!, Life as a House, American Beauty, Major League: Back to the Minors, Lord of Illusions, My Family, A Passion to Kill, Color of Night, Necessary Roughness, Sibling Rivalry and the animated film Cats Don't Dance.
Born in St. Louis, Bakula moved to New York in 1976 to begin his career on the stage. He starred in Marilyn: An American Fable and Romance/Romance, for which he was nominated for a Tony Award. Additional stage credits include Guys and Dolls, at the Hollywood Bowl, Dancing in the Dark, Quality of Life, No Strings, Shenandoah, Three Guys Naked from the Waist Down and Nite Club Confidential.
Bakula has also starred in several miniseries and television movies, including Papa's Angels and The Bachelor's Baby, on the Network, A Girl Thing, Mean Streak and The Invaders.
Bakula lives in Los Angeles. He was elected to the Screen Actors Guild's Board of Directors in 2008 and currently serves as an alternate to SAG's National Executive Committee.