Biography

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 and Assassins. 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.

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.
  • Made his Broadway debut in 2002 in Proof.
  • In 2010, directed Rent at the Hollywood Bowl, starring Aaron Tveit, Skylar Astin and Vanessa Hudgens.

Awards

  • 1989, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1992, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 1990, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Male Performer in a New TV Series: Winner
  • 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 Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 2008, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 2007, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 2012, Emmy — Outstanding Special Class Programs: Winner
  • 2009, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television: Nominee
  • 2009, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 2014, Emmy — Outstanding Special Class Program: Winner
  • 2010, Emmy — Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series: Winner
  • 2010, Emmy — Outstanding Special Class Program: Winner
  • 2013, Emmy — Outstanding Special Class Program: Winner
  • 2011, People's Choice Awards — Favorite TV Comedy Actor: Winner
  • 2012, People's Choice Awards — Favorite TV Comedy Actor: Winner
  • 2014, Tony — Actor (Musical): Winner
  • 2015, Emmy — Outstanding Special Class Program: Nominee

Relationships

  • Sheila Harris — Mother
  • Brian Harris — Brother
  • Ron Harris — Father
  • Harper Grace — Daughter
  • David Burtka — Husband
  • Gideon Scott — Son