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Jesse Tyler
Sam as Jesse with Mz Melny.png
Sam, who leaps into Jesse in conversation with Ms. Melny (Susan French).
Personal Information
Gender: Male
Ethnicity Black
Occupation/
Career:
Chauffer for Ms. Melny Trafford, the widow of fictional former Alabama governer Charles Trafford
Character information
Appeared on: Quantum Leap
Episodes appeared in: "The Color of Truth" in Season 1 and "Shock Theater" in Season 3
Character played by: Howard Matthew Johnson as the leapee
Scott Bakula, as Sam Beckett in the leap into Jesse

Jesse Tyler was the chauffer of Ms. Melny Trafford (Susan French), a widowed Southern woman who was the wife of fictional late Alabama Governor Charles Trafford, who employed him in 1955, and who Sam was assigned with the task of helping things change; speaking through Jesse, Sam's modern-day racial attitudes caused unrest among the white local townsfolk, which almost lead to brutal consequences.

Jesse and Ms. Melny often conversed on many things particularly in the area of civil rights, which she is a supporter of; as Jesse, Dr. Beckett tries to get her to use her influnce in the community to help things change for the better for blacks. Jesse's son, the Rev. Willis Tyler (Michael D. Roberts) tries to talk Jesse out of trying to change things as an agitator when he sits in at the local diner in an attempt to be served, which stirs up turmoil.

Leaper Sam (Scott Bakula, left) looking into Sheriff's Office window image of himself as Jesse (Howard Matthew Johnson, right).

Sam's true mission as Jesse is to save the life of Ms. Melny Trafford, who in the original sequence, dies in a automobile accident, in a collision with a train while trying to drive in town; he and Al, who appears as the hologram on Ms. Melny's fateful drive into town are able to get her to pull into a nearby cemetery, avoiding the oncoming train. The leapee Jesse was portrayed by Howard Matthew Johnson in "The Color of Truth" in Season one and "Shock Theater" in Season three of the series.

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