His parents are musical. In the fourth grade he started a rock band and wrote also words for some songs. Later he sang with the St. Louis Symphony. Then he studied Law at the University of Kansas. In 1976 he was first hired professionally in the role of 'Sam' in 'Shenandoah', and went to New York.
In 1983 Bakula (having previously appeared as a standby) made his Broadway debut playing Joe DiMaggio in Marilyn, An American Fable. His television debut would consist of commercials for Canada Dry and for de-caffeinated Folgers coffee.
Bakula also played the lead role as Alfred/Sam in the Broadway musical Romance, Romance and in 1988 he was nominated for a Tony Award.
His performance in Romance, Romance and his Tony nomination helped him 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 that inserts his consciousness into people in the past. His performance in this program would earn him a Golden Globe award (along with three nominations) and four Emmy nominations for best actor. Low ratings for this program caused its cancellation in 1993.
He also played a gay neighbor to Kevin Spacey in the Oscar-winning American Beauty in 1999.
As Captain Jonathan Archer in Star Trek: Enterprise, Bakula is the captain of Starfleet's first long-range interstellar ship, a ship of exploration converted into a warship in order to defend Earth's interests.
A 'ModernRockPowerPopPunkTrio' from Madison, Wisconsin named Sunspot has written and recorded a song about the actor; sample lyrics include "...played quarterback-ula in Necessary Roughness", "I even watched 'Lord Of Illusions', even though I thought the movie kinda sucked", and the archetypical "Ziggy says there's a 98%... chance that the ending's sad". The song, Scott Bakula, can be heard here (http://sunspot.lunarpages.com/mp3/sunspot_scott_bakula.mp3).
He won a 'Golden Globe' in 1992 for 'Best Performance by an Actor in a TV series - Drama' for: "Quantum Leap" (1989) and was nominated for a Tony award in 1988. Today he lives in Los Angeles and has a farm in "up-state New York".