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Neil Patrick Harris

Neil Patrick Harris

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: June 15, 1973 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A child actor who achieved popularity and critical acclaim at an early age, Neil Patrick Harris managed to avoid the typical fate of child stars who often slipped into obscurity after spinning out of control; instead he thrived on stage, as well as in film and on television. Harris first emerged into the national spotlight as the titular character on "Doogie Howser, M.D." (ABC, 1989-1992), playing a child prodigy who works as a surgeon while still trying to cope with the struggles of an everyday teenager. For a long time after the series was cancelled, Harris was solely identified with the role, though he nonetheless continued to deliver strong performances in television movies and on stage. Following a few down years in the early 1990s, Harris re-emerged at the end of the decade with a revamped feature career, thanks to prominent roles in "Starship Troopers" (1997) and "The Next Best Thing" (2000). After delivering huge laughs with a parody of himself in "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle" (2004), Harris made a triumphant return to regular series work, co-starring as the opinionated womanizer Barney Stinson, whose catchphrase "Suit up" helped propel "How I Met Your Mother" (CBS, 2005- ) into a...

A child actor who achieved popularity and critical acclaim at an early age, Neil Patrick Harris managed to avoid the typical fate of child stars who often slipped into obscurity after spinning out of control; instead he thrived on stage, as well as in film and on television. Harris first emerged into the national spotlight as the titular character on "Doogie Howser, M.D." (ABC, 1989-1992), playing a child prodigy who works as a surgeon while still trying to cope with the struggles of an everyday teenager. For a long time after the series was cancelled, Harris was solely identified with the role, though he nonetheless continued to deliver strong performances in television movies and on stage. Following a few down years in the early 1990s, Harris re-emerged at the end of the decade with a revamped feature career, thanks to prominent roles in "Starship Troopers" (1997) and "The Next Best Thing" (2000). After delivering huge laughs with a parody of himself in "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle" (2004), Harris made a triumphant return to regular series work, co-starring as the opinionated womanizer Barney Stinson, whose catchphrase "Suit up" helped propel "How I Met Your Mother" (CBS, 2005- ) into a ratings winner, allowing Harris to finally exorcise the ghosts of Doogie Howser. Despite playing the skirt-chasing Stinson, Harris came out in 2006; an admission many felt would harm his career. Instead, the public greeted the news with a collective shrug and the actor went on to enjoy even greater success. Because his resurgent stardom led to hosting gigs for the Emmys and Tony Awards, Harris was able to bask in his ever-growing fame while becoming one of Hollywood's most in-demand stars.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 Gone Girl (2014)
5.
 Smurfs 2, The (2013)
6.
 American Reunion (2012)
7.
 Beastly (2011)
8.
 Smurfs, The (2011)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Ruidoso, NM
1979:
First stage role at age six, playing Toto in a school production of "The Wizard of Oz"
:
Met playwright Mark Medoff (scripted "Clara's Heart") at a drama camp at New Mexico State University
1988:
Feature debut starring opposite Whoopi Goldberg in "Clara's Heart"; received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor
1988:
Featured in the little-seen sci-fi comedy "Purple People Eater"
1988:
TV-movie debut in "Too Good to Be True" (NBC)
1989:
Breakthrough role as a child prodigy doctor on the ABC series "Doogie Howser, M.D."; earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor
1992:
Voiced a young country mouse on the short-lived politically themed animated series "Capitol Critters"
1993:
Starred the NBC movie "A Family Torn Apart" as one of two adopted sons suspected of murdering their parents
1993:
Made professional stage debut starring role in "Luck, Pluck & Virtue"
1994:
Starred in the fact-based TV-movie "Snowbound: The Jim and Jennifer Stolpa Story" (CBS)
1997:
Featured in "Starship Troopers" as Colonel Carl Jenkins
1997:
Joined the Los Angeles production of the musical "Rent" as the narrator Mark
1998:
Starred as Romeo in San Diego production of "Romeo and Juliet"
1998:
Starred in the CBS holiday movie "The Christmas Wish"
1999:
Featured opposite Leelee Sobieski's "Joan of Arc" (CBS)
1999:
Critically praised for his turn as Tobias Ragg in the Los Angeles production of "Sweeney Todd"
1999:
Cast in NBC's "Stark Raving Mad" as a book editor assigned to work with an eccentric mystery writer
2000:
Featured in "The Next Best Thing" opposite Madonna and Rupert Everett
2001:
Recreated role of Tobias in a San Francisco production of "Sweeney Todd" (aired on PBS)
2003:
Joined the cast of Broadway's "Cabaret" in the role of the Emcee
2004:
Played a drug-crazed, lecherous parody of himself in "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle"
2004:
Performed a dual role of the Balladeer and Lee Harvey Oswald on Broadway in Stephen Sondheim's "Assassins"
2005:
Cast as the womanizing Barney Stinson on the CBS comedy "How I Met Your Mother"
2008:
Once again played a parody of himself in "Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay"
2009:
Hosted the 63rd Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall
2009:
Hosted the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards on CBS
2009:
Voiced Steve the Monkey in "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs"
2010:
Appeared in "Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore," the sequel to the 2001 family film "Cats & Dogs"
2010:
Guest starred as Bryan Ryan, a former high school show choir member on "Glee" (Fox)
2011:
Featured in the film "Beastly," a retelling of the fairytale <i>Beauty and the Beast</i>
2011:
Co-starred in the 3D film "The Smurfs," based on the 1980s animated TV series
2011:
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (September)
2011:
Returned for "A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas"
2012:
Announced as the host and producer of the 66th Annual Tony Awards; also produced alongside Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss
2013:
Starred in "The Smurfs 2"
2013:
Returned to voice Steve the Monkey in "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

La Cueva High School: Albuquerque , New Mexico - 1991

Notes

"I'm very open . . . little kids are attracted to me because I'm like a magnet. I like magic and juggling. I'm like the baby sitter you always wanted to have." --Neil Patrick Harris quoted in USA TODAY, November 28, 1990

Harris on the choices he faced after the final season "Doogie Howser, M.D.": "I did a TV show that was very good and my TV-Q was very high. I had the opportunity then to do more TV and make a lot more money. I didn't want to do that, and I'm glad I didn't." --quoted in LOS ANGELES TIMES, August 31, 1997

"I'm trying to break free of wholesome, of 'smile, show your teeth, be a nice good boy' and try to be more mysterious, sexual, warped." --Harris to THE NEW YORK TIMES, November 2, 1997

"The two biggest attributes I hold dear are creativity and authenticity." --Harris in THE NEW YORK TIMES, November 2, 1997

On his work in "Rent": "It'd be awesome if I could get people my age--the heroin chic generation who only think it's cool to go to the Skybar, do little indie movies and brush shoulders with Ethan Hawke--to see how powerful musical theater can be if it's done right." --Harris quoted in MOVIELINE, December 1997/January 1998

Harris on being known as Doogie Howser: "I'm glad I'm recognized for work that I'm proud of. You get some [heckling], but that's sort of the karmic equivalent to getting a good table at a restaurant. It's the yin and yang of it all." --quoted in PEOPLE, December 7, 1998

Harris showing an unexpected caustic wit, commenting on how he deals with questions regarding his child prodigy TV alter ego, seven years after the series' final episode: "That's what stun guns are for. Shuts people right up. You'd be surprised--it takes only, like, three seconds, but if you hold it there for seven or eight, they really clam up." --quoted in ENTERTAINTMENT WEEKLY, October 8, 1999

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Carla Bianco. Dating as of 2000.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Ron Harris. Lawyer.
mother:
Sheila Harris. Lawyer.

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