Sad news regarding Scott Bakula, a beloved actor.

Scott Bakula has played a time-traveling hero in “Quantum Leap,” Captain Jonathan Archer in “Star Trek: Enterprise,” and Special Agent in Charge on “NCIS: New Orleans,” but his best role over the last 30 years has been as one of Hollywood’s most revered, underappreciated talents. Bakula is known for portraying strong, empathic heroes with a twinkle in their eye, as well as humor, charm, and melancholy.

On “Leap,” the multi-talented actor took on a different persona each week, solving problems and righting wrongs before leaping into another life to do it all over again. Week after week, the charming sci-fi series grew a devoted fan base and showcased Bakula’s many talents.

Bakula is a lot of things, but he isn’t Dracula. Scott Bakula may be on television’s Mount Rushmore of powerful, sensitive leading men, but how well do you know him?

Some celebrities, like Tom Cruise’s center tooth or Megan Fox’s toe thumb, have physical quirks that aren’t immediately noticeable but can’t be ignored. Scott Bakula is also there.

He’s known for his rugged, old-fashioned good looks, mop-like hair, and a white streak above his brow before it greyed.

Bakula stated in a 2010 interview to promote “Men Of A Certain Age” that he had the streak since he was four years old and had a moniker due to it.

“I had a white stripe in the front of my hair,” he explained. “I had references to ‘grandpa,’ skunk, and stinky, as well as Dracula.”

Despite the obnoxious nicknames, he claims the white streak helped him.

“I went through hell,” he admitted in 2002. “It did, however, strengthen me.” It gave Bakula a distinct look that fans have come to appreciate. His white streak has a Facebook page.

Scott Bakula’s long career in television and film was not always planned. “I never wanted to be on television or in a movie,” he said in 2008. “My first love is theater.”

Bakula, originally from St. Louis, moved to New York at 22 to pursue a career in theater. Seven years later, in “Marilyn: An American Fable,” he played Joe DiMaggio. In Los Angeles and Boston, “Three Guys Naked From The Waist Down” and “Nightclub Confidential” followed. “Romance/Romance,” a 1988 Broadway musical in which he played Alfred, a wealthy playboy who falls in love while posing as a poet.

Bakula’s theatrical abilities earned him performances at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center Honors, and the Hollywood Bowl. He voiced Danny the Cat in Warner Bros.’ animated musical “Cats Don’t Dance” in 1997. Bakula appeared in the 2007 musical “No Strings!” in Los Angeles.

Bakula rose to prominence in the mid-1980s with roles in “Marilyn: An American Fable,” “Three Naked Guys,” and “Nightclub Confidential,” all of which starred his wife, Krista Neumann. Bakula’s agent, Maggie Henderson, suggested he audition for television.

“I gained some traction, and then; fortunately, I did a Disney Sunday Night ABC movie that was due out in the winter. It was time to go,” he said in an interview in 2000.

“My concert was a success here. It got a lot of attention, so I joined “Designing Women” early on and did the pilot and a few regular roles. But I waited and waited and finally got this show.”

On New Year’s Day 1986, he was cast in the short-lived TV adaptation of Michael Keaton’s “Gung Ho” in Los Angeles. In “Romance/Romance,” he was nominated for a Tony. He landed the role that would make him famous after returning to Los Angeles: Sam Beckett in “Quantum Leap.”

He returned to New York during the writers’ strike and performed in a Broadway musical. “I returned with ‘Quantum.’ So I assumed the company would find me.”

Scott Bakula rarely appears in paparazzi images, the back pages, or the gossip section because he dislikes self-promotion.

“Nowadays, the world is full of people who want to be famous,” he observed in 2017. “That’s nice, but I’ve never been interested.”

Bakula is a reserved actor who avoids discussing his personal life in interviews.

“People Magazine wanted to interview me at my house for a hundred million years,” he said while promoting “NCIS: New Orleans” in 2016. “Where do you draw the line?”

Scott Bakula and Neumann had two children before divorcing in 1995 and marrying actress Chelsea Field in 2009. Chelsy, his daughter who dated Prince Harry, is aspiring to be an actress.

Bakula jokes that he isn’t a bigger celebrity because he doesn’t promote himself. “That is my professional issue!”

Bakula moved to Los Angeles with his then-wife and daughter to pursue a career in television. Although “Quantum Leap” was a career-launching role, acting in an hour-long weekly drama takes time, so he was away from home for most of its five-year run.

Bakula admits that the incident harmed his marriage and children. He regrets missing his daughter’s “formative years” in 2015 and vowed to prioritize.

“It took me a long time to figure out how I felt about our relationship,” he admitted. “It takes effort and focuses on staying present in a marriage.”

Bakula avoided making the same mistakes he had made in the past during the lengthy negotiations to join “Star Trek: Enterprise” in 2001.

“I had it written into my contract that I would be done by six o’clock every Wednesday so I could be home for dinner,” Bakula, who was married to Field, recalls. “I coached my sons’ baseball and soccer teams.”

“Playgirl” features Scott Bakula, who has starred in famous TV shows.

Viewers of “Quantum Leap” will recall that he occasionally removed his shirt once per episode, but the legendary beefcake magazine went much further.

Bakula has been proud of his LGBTQ fanbase since his “Playgirl” cover in March 1995. In Steven Soderbergh’s 2013 Liberace film “Behind the Candelabra,” he played a gay Hollywood producer, introducing Matt Damon’s character to Liberace (Michael Douglas), with whom he had a long relationship. A year later, Bakula was cast as Lynn in “Looking,” an HBO LGBT series.

In a 2014 interview, Bakula discussed LGBTQ support. “I’ve always had gay supporters. Thank you,” he replied. “I’m grateful for my career, which has allowed me to do various things and reach many people. We believe we are universal and can move freely while still being accepted as performers.”

Sam Beckett, Bakula’s “Quantum Leap” character, was more than a hero; he was a realistic everyman driven by morality. Bakula resembles a real-life Sam Beckett.

Bakula, one of the nicest people in Hollywood, has only been chastised for his thick New Orleans accent on “NCIS.” “If the worst thing that can be said about you in Hollywood circles is how bad your accent is, then you must be doing something right,” one critic opined.

During a visit to pal Bob Saget’s podcast “Here For You” in 2021, the two recalled an incident on the set of the legendary “Leap” episode “Stand-Up” (Season 4, Episode 21), in which Saget guest starred.

Saget claims that Bakula saved co-life workers by shouting “cut” during a scene when he noticed a knife blade protruding from a set part that an actor could have tripped on. Bakula, like his character Sam Beckett, fixed things.

It’s nice to think that good things happen to good people, but Scott Bakula hasn’t always done well in his roles.

Bakula tried out for “Saturday Night Live,” but he bombed so badly that he kept the audition a secret for years.

William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy had infamous, half-baked music careers after their “Star Trek” stardom in the late 1960s. Before Hollywood, Bakula, unlike Kirk and Spock, was a gifted singer, songwriter, and theatrical actor. Bakula considers music, like theater, his “first love,” He regularly plays the piano and sings.

Bakula sang “Once Upon a Time” to Candice Bergen in an episode of “Boston Legal” with William Shatner in 2008. In several “Quantum Leap” episodes, he sang, danced, and played the piano, including writing and performing all of the songs in “Piano Man” (Season 3, Episode 15).

“I’m not as good as I’d like to be,” he admitted in 2020. “I’m a liar. New Orleans in particular.”

The multi-talented actor has accomplished much in his long career, but long-term success eluded him until recently.

“Quantum Leap” aired for nearly five years, but NBC kept it on the air primarily because it believed in it, even aired it twice every night in primetime.

“Star Trek: Enterprise” struggled to find viewers after its first season and was constantly on the verge of cancellation.

Bakula joined “NCIS: New Orleans” in 2014, and the procedural drama eventually propelled him past the 100-episode mark, but not without some tense moments for the series’ actor and producer.

The COVID-19 epidemic began in early 2020, threatening Bakula’s ability to film the final season in New Orleans. Fields were able to relocate to be with her boyfriend after being promoted to a main cast member.

Bakula said on Rachael Ray in 2018: “I adore working with her.” “She makes me a better actor because she works harder and more thoroughly than I do… It’s pretty good when you’re working with your wife.”

A year later, the series and Bakula and Field concluded happily. “NCIS: New Orleans” ended in May 2021 with Dwayne Pride and Rita Devereaux marrying and Bakula and Field saying “I Do” once more.

 

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