Jun. 15th, 1973
Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
Neil Patrick Harris' Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Neil Patrick Harris (born June 15, 1973) is an American actor, producer, singer, and director. He is best known for the title role in Doogie Howser, M.D., the womanizing Barney Stinson in How I Met Your Mother, a fictionalized version of himself in the Harold & Kumar series, and the title role in Joss Whedon's musical web series Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.
Harris was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and grew up in Ruidoso, New Mexico. His parents, Sheila (Scott) and Ron Harris, ran a restaurant. He attended La Cueva High School in Albuquerque, where he acted in school plays and musicals. Harris graduated as an honors student in 1991.
Harris began his career as a child actor and was discovered by playwright Mark Medoff at a drama camp in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Medoff later cast him in his 1988 film Clara's Heart, a drama starring 'Whoopi Goldberg' based on the novel of the same name by Joseph Olshan. Clara's Heart earned Harris a Golden Globe nomination. The same year he starred in Purple People Eater, a children's fantasy.
In 1989, Harris won the lead role in Doogie Howser, M.D., for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe. After the show's four-season run ended in 1993, Harris played a number of guest roles on television series, including Murder She Wrote (1999-2000) and he starred with 'Tony Shalhoub' in the NBC sitcom Stark Raving Mad, which lasted 22 episodes.
Harris has taken lead roles in a number of made-for-television features including Snowbound: The Jim and Jennifer Stolpa Story (1994), My Ántonia (1995), The Christmas Wish (1998), Joan of Arc (1999), The Wedding Dress (2001), and The Christmas Blessing (2005).
After a string of made-for-television movies, Harris acted in his first big screen roles in nine years, Starship Troopers (1997) with 'Casper Van Dien' and then The Proposition (1998). In July 1997, Harris accepted the role of Mark Cohen for the Los Angeles production of the beloved musical, Rent (2005). His performance in Rent garnered him a Drama-League Award in 1997. He continued in the musical, to rave reviews, until January 1998. He later reprised the role for six nights in his hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico, in December 1998.
Harris has continued his stage work, making his "Broadway" debut in 2001 in Proof. He has also appeared on stage in Romeo and Juliet, Cabaret, Sweeney Todd and, most recently, Assassins.
In 2005, Harris returned to the small screen in a guest-starring role on Numb3rs (2005) and a starring role in the sitcom How I Met Your Mother (2005).
Harris was named as one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in 2010, and was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (September 2011). Harris has also hosted the Tony Awards on Broadway in 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2013.
Harris confirmed that he is gay in November 2006 by saying, "I am happy to dispel any rumors or misconceptions and am quite proud to say that I am a very content gay man living my life to the fullest and feel most fortunate to be working with wonderful people in the business I love".
Harris attended the Emmy awards September 2007 with his fiancé David Burtka, later confirming the relationship, which he said began in 2004, in an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. On August 14, 2010, Harris announced that he and Burtka were expecting twins via a surrogate mother. The fraternal twins Gideon Scott, a boy, and Harper Grace, a girl, were (born in 2010).
Following the passage of the Marriage Equality Act in New York on June 24, 2011, Harris and Burtka announced their engagement via Twitter, stating that they had proposed to each other five years earlier but kept the engagement secret until same-sex marriage became legal.
In A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, a joke refers to his coming out. As his persona in the film is heterosexual and womanizing, he is presented as only pretending to be gay so that women will find him less intimidating at first. Burtka also played himself, as Harris's secret drug dealer.
- He is credited using all three names because there was already a different actor named Neil Harris in the Screen Actors Guild by the time he first got his SAG card. Harris joked on NPR's "Fresh Air with Terry Gross" that he uses all three names because it's "far more theatrical," and that he and his parents considered using names like "Neil Danger Harris" or "Neil Patrick Rocket".
- Both of his parents are lawyers.
- He is an amateur magician, which he once demonstrated on the 'Jerry Lewis (I)' (qv) MDA Telethon.
- According to an oral history of _"Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" (2008)_ (qv) published in July 2008 in Entertainment Weekly, he auditioned to play the doctor role on _"Firefly" (2002)_ (qv) that was eventually filled by 'Sean Maher (I)' (qv).
- Has performed magic tricks on _"The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" (1962)_ (qv), _"Late Show with David Letterman" (1993)_ (qv), _"The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" (1992)_ (qv), and _"Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show" (2003)_ (qv).
- Typically, actors playing themselves on film are listed "as Himself" in the film's credits. Due to the over-the-top, outlandish nature of his role in _Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004)_ (qv) and _Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay (2008)_ (qv), he requested that his credit read "Neil Patrick Harris" instead of "as Himself". This was to make clear that he was playing a fictional character that was in no way a true representation of himself.
- Based on his Los Angeles stage performance in the musical Rent, he was attached to play Mark Cohen in a television mini series based on the Broadway musical, with 'Wilson Cruz' (qv) as Angel, 'Rikki Lee Travolta' (qv) as Roger Davis, and singer 'Shakira (I)' (qv) as Mimi, but the rights were pulled in order for 'Chris Columbus' (qv) to make a film adaptation using much of the original Broadway cast including 'Anthony Rapp' (qv) in the role of Mark.
- Is an avid Les Miserables fan, and performed the song "The Confrontation" with his co-star 'Jason Segel' (qv) (both of _"How I Met Your Mother" (2005)_ (qv) fame) live on _"The Megan Mullally Show" (2006)_ (qv). He performed the role of Javert, to wild cheers from the audience.