Neil Patrick Harris

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Neil Patrick Harris
Neil Patrick Harris 2011 (cropped).jpg
Harris at a ceremony to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. September 2011
Born(1973-06-15) June 15, 1973 (age 41)[1]
Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.
OccupationActor, voice actor, writer, producer, director, comedian, magician, singer
Years active1988–present
Spouse(s)David Burtka (m. 2014)
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Neil Patrick Harris
Neil Patrick Harris 2011 (cropped).jpg
Harris at a ceremony to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. September 2011
Born(1973-06-15) June 15, 1973 (age 41)[1]
Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.
OccupationActor, voice actor, writer, producer, director, comedian, magician, singer
Years active1988–present
Spouse(s)David Burtka (m. 2014)

Neil Patrick Harris (born June 15, 1973) is an American actor, writer, producer, director, magician,[2] comedian, and singer. He is best known for playing Barney Stinson in the television comedy series How I Met Your Mother (2005–2014), for which he was nominated for four Emmy Awards.

As a child star he played the title character in Doogie Howser, M.D. (1989–1993). He is also known for his role as the title character in Joss Whedon's musical Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog (2008) and a fictional version of himself in the Harold & Kumar film series (2004–2011). He has also appeared in the films Starship Troopers (1997), Beastly (2011), The Smurfs (2011), The Smurfs 2 (2013) and Gone Girl (2014).

Harris was named as one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in 2010,[3] and was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in September 2011.[4] He has also hosted the Tony Awards on Broadway in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013, for which he won several special class Emmy Awards.[5] He also hosted the Primetime Emmy Awards in 2009 and 2013, and will host the 87th Academy Awards in 2015. In 2014, he starred as the title role of Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway, for which he won the 2014 Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical.

Early life[edit]

Harris was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico and grew up in the town of Ruidoso. His parents, Sheila (Scott) and Ronald Gene Harris, were lawyers and ran a restaurant.[6][7][8][9] He attended La Cueva High School in Albuquerque, graduating with high honors in 1991.[10]


Harris at the 2008 Comic Con in San Diego, California


Harris began his career as a child actor and was discovered by playwright Mark Medoff at a drama camp in Las Cruces, New Mexico.[11] Medoff later cast him in the 1988 drama film Clara's Heart, 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.

His first film role as an adult was 1995's Animal Room, although he portrayed a teenager. His subsequent film work has included supporting roles in The Next Best Thing, Undercover Brother, and Starship Troopers. Harris plays a fictionalized version of himself in the Harold and Kumar stoner comedy films Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay and A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas.

In 2010, he provided voice acting for the role of the adult Dick Grayson (Nightwing) in the animated film Batman: Under the Red Hood and the beagle Lou in the film Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore. The same year, he played the lead in the indie comedy The Best and the Brightest.[12] On March 7, 2010, he made a surprise appearance at the 82nd Academy Awards, delivering the opening musical number. He starred in the films The Smurfs (2011) and The Smurfs 2 (2013) and David Fincher's Gone Girl (2014) with Ben Affleck.

On February 22, 2015, Harris will host the 87th Academy Awards; it will be Harris' first time hosting the ceremony.[13]


Harris has worked on Broadway in both musical and dramatic roles. He played Tobias Ragg in the 2001 concert performances of Sweeney Todd. In 2002, he performed beside Anne Heche in Proof. In 2003, he took the role of the Emcee in Cabaret alongside Deborah Gibson and Tom Bosley. As a result of his critically acclaimed performance in Cabaret, Harris was named the top-drawing headliner in the role of the Emcee by, topping fellow celebrity stars John Stamos and Alan Cumming.[14] In 2004, he performed a dual role of the Balladeer and Lee Harvey Oswald on Broadway, in the musical revival of Stephen Sondheim's Assassins. He also sang the role of Charles (first played by Anthony Perkins) on the Nonesuch recording of Sondheim's Evening Primrose, and has portrayed Mark Cohen in the touring company of the musical Rent, a role he mockingly reprised on the January 10, 2009, episode of Saturday Night Live, which he hosted.

In 2010, he directed a production of the rock musical Rent at the Hollywood Bowl; he cast his Beastly co-star Vanessa Hudgens as Mimi.[15] In 2011, Harris played the lead role of Bobby in Stephen Sondheim's Company, with the New York Philharmonic in concert opposite Patti LuPone and others.[16] The same year, he directed The Expert at the Card Table at Broad Stage's Edye in Santa Monica, California.[17]

Harris has hosted the Tony Awards four times including: the 63rd Tony Awards on June 7, 2009,[18] 65th Tony Awards on June 12, 2011, the 66th Tony Awards on June 10, 2012, and the 67th Tony Awards on Sunday, June 9, 2013. Only Angela Lansbury, who hosted five ceremonies, has hosted the Tony Awards more times.[19] Hosting the Tony Awards has earned him three Emmy Awards; on 2010, 2012 and 2013 for the 63rd, 65th and 66th respectively.[20]

A week after hosting the Tonys, it was announced that Harris would portray the titular role in the first Broadway production of the rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which he did from March through August 2014.[21][22]


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. From 1999 to 2000, Harris starred with Tony Shalhoub in the NBC sitcom Stark Raving Mad, which lasted 22 episodes. He has taken lead roles in a number of made-for-television features including Snowbound: The Jim and Jennifer Stolpa Story in 1994, My Ántonia in 1995, The Christmas Wish in 1998, Joan of Arc in 1999, The Wedding Dress in 2001 and The Christmas Blessing in 2005.

From 2005 to 2014, Harris played Barney Stinson, a serial womanizer, in the CBS ensemble sitcom How I Met Your Mother. The role earned him Emmy nominations every year from 2007 to 2010.

In 2008, he guest-starred on Sesame Street as the Sesame Street Fairy Shoe Person.[23][24][25] In 2009, Harris hosted the 7th Annual TV Land Awards and appeared as a guest judge on Season 9 of American Idol.[26]

He also hosted the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards on September 20 of the same year. On August 21, 2010, he won two Emmy Awards at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremony, one of which was for his guest performance in the television series Glee.[27] Harris hosted the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards on September 22, 2013, marking the second time he hosted the event.[20][28][29]

After a preview at the San Diego Comic-Con, a musical episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold, featuring Harris as the villainous Music Meister, premiered on October 23, 2009 on Cartoon Network. As a character who could make anyone do his bidding by singing, he spent most of the episode singing several original songs.[30]

In 2014, Harris turned down the chance to replace David Letterman as host of the Late Show on CBS, stating that he feared he would get bored of the repetition hosting the show entails. He also rejected the suggestion of replacing Craig Ferguson as host of The Late Late Show on the same grounds.[31]


Harris is a fan of magic, like his character on How I Met Your Mother. He serves as the President of the Board of Directors of Hollywood's Magic Castle.[32] Harris won the Tannen's Magic Louis Award in 2006 and hosted the 2008 World Magic Awards on October 11, 2008. Additionally, Harris and partner David Burtka were guests of honor for a Top Chef Masters episode which took place at the Magic Castle. Harris also performed magic in his Emmy-winning performance on Glee.

Other media[edit]

In 2007, Harris worked with Mike Nelson on an audio commentary for RiffTrax. The two "riffed" on the film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Harris is a big fan of the cult TV series Nelson worked on, Mystery Science Theater 3000. He was interviewed for a 1992 Comedy Central special This Is MST3K hosted by Penn Jillette about the series and its fans.[33] In 2008, Harris played the title role in Joss Whedon's musical web series Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog alongside Nathan Fillion and Felicia Day. The first episode of the series debuted July 15, 2008.[34] He has also provided his voice for the Disney California Adventure Park attraction California Screamin'.[35]

On December 11, 2010, Harris hosted the Spike Video Game Awards.[36]

Personal life[edit]

Harris with his husband David Burtka in September 2011

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."[37]

Harris attended the Emmy Awards in September 2007 with his fiancé David Burtka, later confirming the relationship. In an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show,[38] Harris said his relationship with Burtka began in 2004. On August 14, 2010, Harris announced that he and Burtka were expecting twins via a surrogate mother.[39][40] The children—Gideon Scott, a boy, and Harper Grace, a girl, were born on October 12, 2010.[41][42]

Following the passage of the Marriage Equality Act in New York on June 24, 2011, Harris and Burtka announced their engagement via Twitter,[43] stating that they had proposed to each other five years earlier but kept the engagement secret until same-sex marriage became legal.[44] On September 8, 2014, Harris announced on his Twitter page that David Burtka and he were married over the weekend in Italy.[45][46][47][48][49] Pam Fryman, the long-time director of How I Met Your Mother, officiated the wedding while Elton John performed at the reception.[50][51][52]

In A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, a joke refers to his coming out. He plays a caricatured version of himself as a womanizer who is only pretending to be gay so he can get women to let their guard down and sleep with him. Burtka also played himself in the film, as Harris' secret drug dealer.

Harris and Burtka bought a townhouse on Fifth Avenue in Harlem in 2013, the neighborhood where they had been living for many years previously.[53]


Cast recordings[edit]

YearAlbum titleNotes
2001Evening PrimroseStudio Cast
2004AssassinsRevival Cast Recording
2006Wall to Wall: Stephen SondheimConcert Cast
2008Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along BlogOriginal Cast Recording
2009Batman: The Brave and the Bold – Mayhem of the Music MeisterOriginal Cast Recording
2014Hedwig and the Angry InchOriginal Broadway Cast Recording


YearSinglePeak chart positionsSalesAlbum
2010"Nothing Suits Me Like a Suit"1137650How I Met Your Mother season 5
"Dream On" (featuring Matthew Morrison)912444472684,000 (US)[54]Glee: The Music, Volume 3 Showstoppers



1988Clara's HeartDavid Hart
1988Too Good to Be TrueDanny HarlandTelevision film
1988Purple People EaterBilly Johnson
1989Cold Sassy TreeWill Tweedy/NarratorTelevision film
1989Home Fires BurningLonnie TibbitsTelevision film
1990The Earth Day Special[55]Doogie HowserTelevision film
1991Stranger in the FamilySteve ThompsonTelevision film
1993Family Torn Apart, AA Family Torn ApartBrian HanniganTelevision film
1994Snowbound: The Jim and Jennifer Stolpa StoryJim StolpaTelevision film
1995The Man in the AtticEdward BroderTelevision film
1995Animal RoomArnold Mosk
1995Not Our SonPaul Kenneth KellerTelevision film
1995My AntoniaJimmy BurdenTelevision film
1995Legacy of Sin: The William Coit StoryWilliam CoitTelevision film
1997Starship TroopersCarl Jenkins
1998The PropositionRoger Martin
1998The Christmas WishWill MartinTelevision film
2000Next Best Thing, TheThe Next Best ThingDavid
2001The Wedding DressTravis ClevelandTelevision film
2002The MesmeristBenjamin
2002Undercover BrotherLance
2004Harold & Kumar Go to White CastleNeil Patrick Harris
2005Christmas Blessing, TheThe Christmas BlessingNathan AndrewsTelevision film
2008Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo BayNeil Patrick Harris
2008Beyond All Boundaries1st Lt. David Hettema (voice)Documentary
2008Justice League: The New FrontierBarry Allen/The Flash (voice)Direct-to-DVD
2009Cloudy with a Chance of MeatballsSteve (voice)
2009Carrie Underwood: An All-Star Holiday SpecialAce (voice)Television film
2009Yes VirginiaDr. Philip O'Hanlon (voice)Television film
2010Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty GaloreLou the Beagle (voice)
2010The Best and the BrightestJeff
2010Batman: Under the Red HoodDick Grayson/Nightwing (voice)Direct-to-DVD[56]
2011BeastlyWill Fratalli
2011Smurfs, TheThe SmurfsPatrick Winslow
2011Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, AA Very Harold & Kumar 3D ChristmasNeil Patrick Harris
2011The MuppetsHimselfCameo
2012American ReunionCelebrity Dance-Off HostCameo
2013The Smurfs 2Patrick Winslow
2013Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2Steve the Monkey (voice)
2014A Million Ways to Die in the WestFoy
2014Gone GirlDesi Collings
2015The Good DinosaurCliff (voice)


1989Hallmark Hall of FameLonnie TibbettsEpisode: "Home Fires Burning"
1989B.L. StrykerBuder CampbellEpisode: "Blues for Buder"
1989–1993Doogie Howser, M.D.Douglas "Doogie" Howser97 Episodes
1991BlossomThe "Charming" Derek SladeEpisode: "Blossom – A Rockumentary"
1991Simpsons, TheThe SimpsonsHimself as Bart Simpson (voice)Episode: "Bart the Murderer"
1992RoseanneDr. Doogie HowserEpisode: "Less Is More"
1992Captain Planet and the PlaneteersTodd Andrews (voice)Episode: "A Formula for Hate"
1992Capitol CrittersMax (voice)13 Episodes
1993Quantum LeapMike HammondEpisode: "Return of the Evil Leaper – October 8, 1956"
1993Murder, She WroteTommy RemsenEpisode: "Lone Witness"
1996Outer Limits, TheThe Outer LimitsHowie MorrisonEpisode: "From Within"
1997Homicide: Life on the StreetAlan SchackEpisode: "Valentine's Day"
1999Joan of ArcThe Dauphin2 episodes
1999–2000Stark Raving MadHenry McNeeley22 Episodes
2000Will & GraceBillEpisode: "Girls, Interrupted"
2001Static ShockJohnny Morrow (voice)Episode: "Replay"
2001Son of the BeachLoverboyEpisode: "Queefer Madness"
2001Legend of Tarzan, TheThe Legend of TarzanMoyo (voice)Episode: "Tarzan and the Challenger"
2001EdJoe BaxterEpisode: "Replacements"
2002Touched by an AngelJonasEpisode: "The Princeless Bride"
2002Justice LeagueRay Thompson (voice)2 episodes
2003BoomtownPeter CormanEpisode: "Monster's Brawl"
2003Spider-Man: The New Animated SeriesPeter Parker/Spider-Man (voice)13 Episodes
2004Law & Order: Criminal IntentJohn TagmanEpisode: "Want"
2005Numb3rsEthan BurdickEpisode: "Prime Suspect"
2005Jack & BobbyProf. Preston PhelpsEpisode: "Querida Grace"
2005–2014How I Met Your MotherBarney Stinson208 episodes; directed 1 episode (Jenkins)
2006Me, Eloise(voice)Episode: "Eloise Goes to School"
2007–2009Family GuyBarney Stinson (voice)2 episodes
2008Sesame StreetThe Fairy ShoepersonEpisode: "Telly's New Shoes"
2009Saturday Night LiveHimself (host)Episode: "Neil Patrick Harris/ Taylor Swift"
2009Batman: The Brave and the BoldThe Music Meister (voice)Episode: "Mayhem of the Music Meister!"
2009–2012Robot ChickenVarious roles (voice)3 episodes
200963rd Tony AwardsHimself (host)Television special
200961st Primetime Emmy AwardsHimself (host)Television special
2010GleeBryan RyanEpisode: "Dream On"
2010–2013Penguins of Madagascar, TheThe Penguins of MadagascarDr. Blowhole (voice)3 episodes
20102010 Spike Video Game AwardsHimself (host)Television special
2011Brain GamesNarrator (voice)3 episodes
2011–2013Adventure TimePrince Gumball (voice)2 episodes
201165th Tony AwardsHimself (host)Television special
201266th Tony AwardsHimself (host)Television special
201367th Tony AwardsHimself (host)Television special
201365th Primetime Emmy AwardsHimself (host)Television special
2013Disney Parks Christmas Day ParadeHimself (host)Television special
2014Under the GunnHimself (guest judge)Episode: "Finale"
2014RuPaul's Drag RaceHimself (guest judge)Episode: "Drag My Wedding"
2015American Horror Story: Freak ShowChester2 episodes
201587th Academy AwardsHimself (host)Television special


1997RentMark CohenNational Tour
1998Romeo and JulietRomeo MontagueOld Globe Theatre
2001Sweeney ToddTobias RaggSan Francisco Symphony Orchestra concert version
2002ProofHalManhattan Theatre Club
2003CabaretEmceeStephen Sondheim Theatre
2004Paris Letter, TheThe Paris LetterYoung Anton / Burt SarrisRoundabout Theatre
2004AssassinsLee Harvey Oswald / The BalladeerRoundabout Theatre
2005Tick, Tick... BOOM!JonMenier Chocolate Factory
2006All My SonsChris KellerGeffen Playhouse
2006AmadeusWolfgang Amadeus MozartHollywood Bowl
Hollywood Bowl
2011CompanyRobertNew York Philharmonic Concert Version
2011A Snow White ChristmasThe Magic MirrorEl Portal Theater
2014Nothing to Hide[57]Director
Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre
2014Hedwig and the Angry InchHedwigBelasco Theatre


2008Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along BlogDr. Horrible/Billy3 episodes
2008Prop 8: The MusicalA Very Smart FellowShort film
2012Neil's Puppet DreamsNeil Patrick Harris7 episodes; also co-creator, writer, executive producer

Video games[edit]

2008Saints Row 2Veteran Child (voice)
2009Eat Lead: The Return of Matt HazardWallace "Wally" Wellesley (voice)
2010Rock of the DeadUnnamed character (voice)
2010Spider-Man: Shattered DimensionsPeter Parker/Spider-Man (voice)
2013Saints Row IVVeteran Child (voice)[58]


Awards and nominations[edit]

1989Young Artist AwardBest Leading Young Actor in a Feature FilmClara's HeartNominated
Golden Globe AwardBest Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role – Motion PictureNominated
1990Young Artist AwardBest Young Actor Starring in a Television SeriesDoogie Howser, M.D.Won
People's Choice AwardFavorite Male Performer in a New TV SeriesWon
Favorite Male TV PerformerNominated
Viewers for Quality Television AwardBest Actor in a Quality Comedy SeriesNominated
1991Young Artist AwardBest Young Actor Starring in a Television SeriesWon
Golden Globe AwardBest Actor – Television Series Musical or ComedyNominated
2007Teen Choice AwardChoice TV Actor: ComedyHow I Met Your MotherNominated
Primetime Emmy AwardOutstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy SeriesNominated
2008People's Choice AwardFavorite Scene Stealing StarNominated
Teen Choice AwardChoice TV Actor: ComedyNominated
Primetime Emmy AwardOutstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy SeriesNominated
2009Golden Globe AwardBest Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television FilmNominated
TCA AwardIndividual Achievement in ComedyNominated
Teen Choice AwardChoice TV Actor: ComedyNominated
Primetime Emmy AwardOutstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy SeriesNominated
Streamy AwardBest Male Actor in a Comedy Web SeriesDr. Horrible's Sing-Along BlogWon
Satellite AwardBest Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television FilmHow I Met Your MotherNominated
2010Golden Globe AwardBest Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television FilmNominated
PRISM AwardBest Performance in a Comedy SeriesNominated
Primetime Emmy AwardOutstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy SeriesNominated
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy SeriesGleeWon
Outstanding Special Class Program63rd Tony AwardsWon
Spike Video Game AwardBest Performance by a Human MaleSpider-Man: Shattered DimensionsWon
Satellite AwardBest Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television FilmHow I Met Your MotherNominated
2011People's Choice AwardFavorite TV Comedy ActorWon
Favorite TV Guest StarGleeNominated
Critics' Choice Television AwardBest Supporting Actor in a Comedy SeriesHow I Met Your MotherWon
Hollywood Walk of FameWon
Satellite AwardBest Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television FilmHow I Met Your MotherNominated
2012People's Choice AwardFavorite TV Comedy ActorWon
TV Guide AwardFavorite ActorNominated
Teen Choice AwardChoice TV Actor: ComedyNominated
Primetime Emmy AwardOutstanding Special Class Program65th Tony AwardsWon
201366th Tony AwardsWon
Webby AwardBest Comedy: Long Form or SeriesNeil's Puppet DreamsNominated
People's Choice AwardFavorite TV Comedy ActorHow I Met Your MotherNominated
Favorite TV BromanceNominated
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice AwardFavorite Movie ActorThe Smurfs 2Nominated
Drama Desk AwardOutstanding Actor in a MusicalHedwig and the Angry InchWon
Drama League AwardDistinguished PerformanceWon
Outer Critics Circle AwardOutstanding Actor in a MusicalNominated
Daytime Emmy AwardOutstanding Special Class SpecialDisney Parks Christmas Day ParadeNominated
Hasty Pudding TheatricalsHasty Pudding Man of the YearWon
Tony AwardBest Actor in a MusicalHedwig and the Angry InchWon
Dorian AwardTV Musical Performance of the Year67th Tony AwardsNominated
Primetime Emmy AwardOutstanding Special Class ProgramWon
2015Grammy AwardBest Musical Theater AlbumHedwig and the Angry InchPending


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  6. ^ "Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris - Excerpt". Retrieved November 13, 2014. 
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  39. ^ So, get this: David and I are expecting twins this fall. We're super excited/‌nervous/‌thrilled. Hoping the press can respect our privacy... Neil Patrick Harris on Twitter. August 16, 2010 . Retrieved March 4, 2012.
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  41. ^ Babies!! On 10/12, Gideon Scott and Harper Grace entered the Burtka-Harris fold. All of us are happy, healthy, tired, and a little pukey. October 15, 2010 on Twitter.
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  43. ^ David and I did propose to each other, but over five years ago! We've been wearing engagement rings for ages, waiting for an available date. June 25, 2011 on Twitter. March 4, 2012.
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  45. ^ Guess what? @DavidBurtka and I got married over the weekend. In Italy. Yup, we put the 'n' and 'd' in 'husband'. September 08, 2014 on Twitter. March 4, 2012.
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External links[edit]

Media offices
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Host of Tonys
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