5 Things You Should Know About 'NCIS: New Orleans' Star Scott Bakula

The 59-year-old actor is brainy, he can sing – and he once posed for Playgirl

Photo: Marianna Massey/Getty

Seventeen million viewers can’t be wrong. At least that many tuned in Tuesday night to see Scott Bakula make his debut as Dwayne “King” Pride, the special agent in charge over at CBS’s burgeoning hit, NCIS: New Orleans.

While most fans remember that Bakula played Dr. Sam Beckett in the cult sci-fi series Quantum Leap for four years, what else is there to know about the attractive 59-year-old actor? A lot, actually. Here are five of them:

1. He can sing!
He started a rock band as a kid, crooned in high school musicals and even sang with the St. Louis Symphony. He also played Nathan Detroit in a Hollywood Bowl performance of Guys and Dolls.

2. He could have been a lawyer.
Bakula actually considered a career in law while attending the University of Kansas, before he got the acting bug and dropped out to join a tour of Godspell, which ironically never happened.

3. He once posed for Playgirl.
In 1995, he appeared on the cover of Playgirl – but his chest was mostly covered by a black cardigan. “It was a funny thing to do,” he told PEOPLE in 2009. “I just rolled with it. I was just smart enough to keep my clothes on.”

4. He’s been beamed up.
Though he’s still best known for Quantum Leap, which aired from 1989-93, he also played the captain of the Enterprise in the 2001 Star Trek reboot.

5. He’s got a Globe.
Bakula costarred in HBO’s Behind the Candelabra and the criminally-underrated TNT drama, Men of a Certain Age, but has never won an Emmy, even though he’s earned five nominations. He snagged a Golden Globe in 1992, though, for Quantum Leap.

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