Neil Patrick Harris: Snapshot

Neil Patrick Harris
Date of Birth
June 15, 1973
Birth Place
Albuquerque, N.M.
Neil Patrick Harris has come a long way since his Doogie days. The former teenage medical prodigy has portrayed a fictionalized, drug-crazed version of himself in Harold & Kumar and now plays TV's most lovable womanizer Barney Stinson on CBS's How I Met Your Mother – all while making his sexuality a non-issue.

Fans fell in love with Harris (and his blue computer screen!) on Doogie Howser, M.D, a role that earned him a Golden Globe nomination. But as an adult he proved there was life after Doogie, garnering acclaim on Broadway for roles in Assassins, Proof and Cabaret – where he met longtime love, stage actor David Burtka.

Now considered Hollywood's first openly gay leading man, the award-winning actor – who earned raves (and an Emmy!) for hosting the Tony and Emmy Awards in 2009 – welcomed twins Gideon and Harper in October 2010. In 2014, he and Burtka finally made it official, marrying in an intimate Italian wedding.

Neil Patrick Harris: Video

Star Talk

The Emmys host reveals his choice for who should play Ted Mosby's future wife (01:15)

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Neil Patrick Harris: Five Fun Facts

  1. Neil Patrick Harris got his first acting role in the fourth grade, starring as Dorothy's dog, Toto, in a school production of The Wizard of Oz. "They needed someone small," he told PEOPLE.
  2. Neil Patrick Harris attended the same high school, La Cueva High School in Albuquerque, as actor Freddie Prinze Jr.
  3. Neil Patrick Harris was surprised to be named among PEOPLE's "Sexiest Men Alive" in 2007. "I wasn't thought of in a sexual way, which is easy when you have big ears and are called Doogie all the time," he said.
  4. An amateur magician, Neil Patrick Harris serves on the Board of Directors of Hollywood’s Magic Castle, where the world’s top magicians mingle. He even won the Tannen’s Magic Louis Award in 2006.
  5. Neil Patrick Harris couldn't call the role of Doogie Howser his own until a mere two days before shooting began. "We auditioned hundreds of kids from everywhere," the show's casting director told PEOPLE.

Neil Patrick Harris: Biography


Neil Patrick Harris

Doing Doogie

Born the youngest son of two lawyers, Harris jumps into the spotlight at age 16 as a medical prodigy on ABC's Doogie Howser, M.D.. During the show's four-year run, the teen star wins a People’s Choice Award for Favorite Male Performer in a New Series (1990) and earns a Golden Globe nomination (1990). In 1993, ABC "shockingly" cancels the show. "We never had a final episode," he tells PEOPLE in 1998.


Neil Patrick Harris


Post-Doc Life

After appearing in a string of TV movies, Harris earns his stripes on stage as Mark Cohen in the L.A. production of the musical, Rent. After earning a Drama League Award for his performance, Harris takes on Broadway, with roles in Proof (2002), Cabaret (2003) and 2004's Assassins, where he played John F. Kennedy's killer, Lee Harvey Oswald.


Neil Patrick Harris

Doogie Does Doobie?!

Harris completely ditches his goody-good child star past by surprising audiences as a fictionalized, drug-crazed version of himself in the cult comedy, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle. With such quotes as, "The Doogie line always works on strippers," Harris proves he's all grown up. The actor reprises his role in the 2008 sequel.

Read More on Neil Patrick Harris' Life

Photo Credits

Top Left: Jason Merritt/FilmMagic

BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Everett; Brian To/FilmMagic; Everett

Edited by Julia Wang

Neil Patrick Harris

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