Neil Patrick Harris (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Neil Patrick Harris (born June 15, 1973) is an American actor, singer, director, producer and magician. He is best known for the title role in Doogie Howser, M.D., the womanizing Barney Stinson in How I Met Your Mother, a fictionalized version of himself in the Harold & Kumar series, and the title role in Joss Whedon's musical web series Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.
Harris was named as one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in 2010, and was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in September 2011.
Harris was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico and grew up in Ruidoso, New Mexico. His parents, Sheila and Ron Harris, ran a restaurant. He attended La Cueva High School in Albuquerque, where he acted in school plays and musicals. Harris graduated as an honors student in 1991.
Harris began his career as a child actor and was discovered by playwright Mark Medoff at a drama camp in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Medoff later cast him in his 1988 film Clara's Heart, a drama starring Whoopi Goldberg based on the novel of the same name by Joseph Olshan. Clara's Heart won 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. On March 7, 2010, he made a surprise appearance at the 82nd Academy Awards, delivering the opening musical number. He starred in the 2011 movie The Smurfs.
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 GuestStarCasting.com, topping fellow celebrity stars John Stamos and Alan Cumming. 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. 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. The same year, he directed The Expert at the Card Table at Broad Stage's Edye in Santa Monica, California.
Harris has hosted three Tony Awards including: the 63rd Tony Awards on June 7, 2009, 65th Tony Awards on June 12, 2011, and the 66th Tony Awards on June 10, 2012.
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, such as 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.
In 2008, he guest-starred on Sesame Street as the Sesame Street Fairy Shoe Person. In 2009, Harris hosted the 7th Annual TV Land Awards and appeared as a guest judge on Season 9 of American Idol.
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.
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.
Since 2005, Harris has played Barney Stinson, a serial womanizer, in the CBS ensemble sitcom How I Met Your Mother. The role earned him Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series nominations every year from 2007 to 2010.
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. Harris won the Tannen's Magic Louis Award in 2006 and hosted the 2008 World Magic Awards on October 11, 2008. Additionally, Harris and 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.
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 hosted by Penn Jillette about the series This Is MST3K and its fans. 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. He has also provided his voice for the Disney California Adventure Park attraction California Screamin'.
On December 11, 2010, Harris hosted the Spike Video Game Awards.
Harris is openly gay, confirming this 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."
Harris attended the Emmy awards in September 2007 with his partner David Burtka, later confirming the relationship, which he said began in 2004, in an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. On August 14, 2010, Harris announced that he and Burtka were expecting twins via a surrogate mother. The fraternal twins Gideon Scott, a boy, and Harper Grace, a girl, were born in 2010.
Following the passage of the Marriage Equality Act in New York on June 24, 2011, Harris and Burtka announced their engagement via Twitter, stating that they had proposed to each other five years earlier but kept the engagement secret until same-sex marriage became legal.
In A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, a joke refers to his coming out. As his persona in the film is heterosexual and womanizing, he is presented as only pretending to be gay so that women will find him less intimidating at first. Burtka also played himself, as Harris' secret drug dealer.
Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas
2000 New York Concert Cast
Revival Cast Recording
Wall to Wall: Stephen Sondheim
Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog
Original Cast Recording
Batman: The Brave and the Bold - Mayhem of the Music Meister