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About Neil Patrick Harris
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. He is best known for playing a 16-year-old doctor in the Steven Bochco television series Doogie Howser, M.D. and the womanizing Barney Stinson in How I Met Your Mother. For his contribution to the television industry, Harris was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6243 Hollywood Boulevard.
Born on June 15, 1973 in Albuquerque, NM, Harris was raised by his father, Ron, and mother, Sheila, both of whom were lawyers, in Ruidoso, New Mexico, where he got his start in acting as Toto in a grade school production of The Wizard of Oz. He appeared in several plays and musicals while attending La Cueva High School.
Harris met playwright Mark Medoff at a drama camp at New Mexico State University. Medoff cast the young Harris in Clara's Heart (1988), playing a young boy dealing with his parent's divorce while at the same time, cultivating a meaningful friendship with his Jamaican housekeeper (Whoopi Goldberg) - a role that earned him his first Golden Globe nomination. Over the next few years, Harris quickly racked up a number of television credits, including appearances in the TV movies Too Good to Be True (NBC, 1988) Home Fires Burning (CBS, 1989), Cold Sassy Tree (TNT, 1989) and a starring guest role in Blues for Buder (ABC, 1989), one of the B.L. Stryker detective TV movies, starring Burt Reynolds.
In 1989, Harris landed the role of the pubescent doctor on Doogie Howser, M.D., likeably playing the 16-year-old medical school graduate who struggles to deal with both his patients and his adolescence. Thanks to his skillful, award-winning performance as the young idealistic medical professional, Harris became inextricably linked to the role, which threatened to limit his future career prospects after the series' 1992 demise. But Harris managed to keep busy with a slate of television appearances in long-forms and series guest roles.
For the next several years, Harris continued to stay busy, though his projects failed to reach the same success as Doogie Howser, M.D. He appeared in supporting roles on the big screen in such films as Starship Troopers, The Next Best Thing and Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle. He also starred as a neurotic editor opposite Tony Shalhoub in the NBC sitcom Stark Raving Mad. Harris also appeared on Broadway in Proof, Assassins and Rent, as well as a critically acclaimed performance as the host in Cabaret.
Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Neil Patrick Harris earned acclaim for several made-for-TV movies, including My Antonia, Joan of Arc and The Christmas Blessing. He landed another sitcom success in 2005 with his role as the womanizing Barney Stinson in CBS's How I Met Your Mother.
In 2006, following media speculation about his sexual orientation, Neil Patrick Harris made a public statement in People magazine: "I am quite proud to say that I am a very content gay man living my life to the fullest." He is currently in a long-term relationship with Broadway actor David Burtka. The couple announced in August 2010 that they would be the parents of twins via a surrogate mother. "We're super excited/nervous/thrilled [to be parents]," Harris declared on Twitter.