Best known for portraying time traveler Dr. Sam Beckett in the popular sci-fi series Quantum Leap, Scott Bakula is also a noted Broadway actor and occasional movie star, though it is in the last venue that he has had the least amount of success. The son of a musician, Bakula is said to have started his own rock band when he was in the fourth grade. He also sang with the St. Louis Symphony before attending the University of Kansas. Bakula launched his acting career as a teen in regional theater and as a stage actor specializes in musical comedy. He made his Broadway debut in 1983 in Marilyn: An American Fable. He started showing up regularly on television as a guest star on such series as My Sister Sam and Designing Women during the 1980s. In 1986, Bakula starred in an unsuccessful television series, Gung Ho! Two years later he headlined another unsuccessful one, Eisenhower and Lutz. In 1988, Bakula was nominated for a Tony for his work in Romance, Romance. The following year, he was cast in Quantum Leap and has since gained a cult following; in 1992, he won a Golden Globe and was nominated four more times. Bakula was also nominated for a quartet of Emmys. Bakula made his feature-film debut starring opposite Kirstie Alley in Sibling Rivalry (1990). Other notable film appearances include L.A. Story (1991) and My Family/Mi Familia (1995). In 1993, Bakula had a recurring role on the CBS sitcom Murphy Brown as a love interest of Candice Bergen. He has also appeared in a number of television movies and in 1996, he had a stint in another short-lived series, Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
Though he worked steadily in movies, television turned out to be his next great success when, in 2001, he took the part of Capt. Jonathan Archer on Star Trek: Enterprise, a program that lasted four seasons.
In 2009 Bakula would star alongside Ray Romano and Andre Braugher in the well-respected comedy/drama series Men of a Certain Age, and landed in one of the best films of his career, Steven Soderbergh's The Informant!.