Neil Patrick Harris 'I Am a Very Content Gay Man'
updated 11/20/2006 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 11/20/2006 AT 01:00 AM EST
His life in the spotlight began at age 16; for four seasons Harris starred as the titular prodigy on Doogie Howser, M.D. After the show ended in 1993, Harris continued to work in TV, movies and theater. In 1997 he starred in the L.A. production of Rent. In 2004 he landed on Broadway in Stephen Sondheim's Assassins, but after that, he said, "I felt the need to come home" to L.A.
Now that Harris has publicly come out, his sitcom colleagues have been supportive. "Calling this 'coming out' seems kind of absurd," says Mother co-creator Carter L. Bays, "because being gay isn't something Neil has ever hidden from anyone who knows him. He's proud of who he is, and should be—he's ... a terrific guy." Harris's fans agree. "Still got a crush on him," wrote one female admirer in an Internet chat room. "He's a great actor [and] that's what counts."