To some he will forever be teen doctor Doogie Howser. But those more familiar with Harris' career know that he successfully transformed himself from a baby-faced lead into a versatile character actor. After making an his film debut in 1988's Clara's Heart
, Harris became known for his small-screen work, including Doogie Howser, M.D.
and a plethora of TV-movies. As an adult, he moved to big-screen supporting parts (the lone white guy in 1997's Undercover Brother
; a scientist in 2002's Starship Troopers
) and even conquered Broadway with his impressively powerful vocals in Cabaret
. In 2005, he returned to series television as a womanizing wise guy on How I Met Your Mother
, a wonderfully ironic role considering that Harris acknowledged he was gay when he officially came out in November 2006. He had initially remained mum on the subject, although he did poke fun at his ambiguous sexual orientation on Will & Grace
when he guest-starred as a "reformed" homosexual. When he's not on stage or set, Harris has been known to indulge in his passion for magic---both as a fan and as an amateur performer.Neil Patrick Harris Fast Facts:
- First stage role was in an elementary-school production of The Wizard of Oz---playing Toto.
- Growing up, his parents were both lawyers and owned Perennials Restaurant in Albuquerque.
- Was discovered by screenwriter Mark Medoff while attending a youth drama camp, and was subsequently cast for the film Clara's Heart (1988).
- An amateur magician, he has performed tricks on late-night shows hosted by David Letterman, Jay Leno and Carson Daly.
- Sought to distance himself from Doogie Howser-like roles. "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," he told the New York Times in 1997.
- Has always been partial to live theater because, as he told Newsday in 2004, "It's just more challenging, more legit." Made his Broadway debut in 2002 in Proof.
- As a stage performer, was recognized as a superlative interpreter of Stephen Sondheim, winning acclaim as the balladeer in the 2004 production of Assassins.
- Neil Patrick Harris Relationships:
- Ron Harris - Father
- Brian Harris - Brother
- Sheila Harris - Mother
- Gideon Scott - Son
- Harper Grace - Daughter
- David Burtka - Significant Other
- Neil Patrick Harris Awards:
- 2012 People's Choice Awards: Favorite TV Comedy Actor - Winner
- 1992 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy - Nominee
- 2008 Emmy: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series - Nominee
- 2007 Emmy: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series - Nominee
- 2009 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television - Nominee
- 1990 People's Choice Awards: Favorite Male Performer in a New TV Series - Winner
- 2009 Emmy: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series - Nominee
- 2010 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television - Nominee
- 2010 Emmy: Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series - Winner
- 2010 Emmy: Outstanding Special Class Program - Winner
- 2010 Emmy: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series - Nominee
- 2011 People's Choice Awards: Favorite TV Comedy Actor - Winner
- 2012 Emmy: Outstanding Special Class Programs - Winner
- 1989 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture - Nominee
- 2013 Emmy: Outstanding Special Class Program - Winner