The time is far past overdue for another actor spotlight; but let’s focus, this time, on actor and singer Neil Patrick Harris.
Neil, or NPH as he is known by his fans, grew up in New Mexico and was active in school plays and musicals during his school years. In 1988 playwright Mark Medoff discovered Neil at a drama camp in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He cast Neil in the film Clara’s Heart, which earned the child actor a Golden Globe nomination. That same year he starred in the children’s fantasy Purple People Eater and the TV movie Too Good to be True.
One year later, Neil appeared in the TV movies Cold Sassy Tree and Home Fires Burning before landing the role that would make him famous (and earn him another Golden Globe nomination): Doogie Howser, M.D. That TV series ran for four seasons, ending in 1993. During his years as Doogie, he appeared in the 1991 TV movie Stranger in the Family as well as episodes of Blossom, The Simpsons and Roseanne. In 1993 he guest starred in Murder, She Wrote and Quantum Leap and the TV movie A Family Torn Apart.
Over the course of the next few years, Neil starred in a number of TV movies, including the true story film Snowbound: The Jim and Jennifer Stolpa Story, The Man in the Attic, Not Our Son, My Antonia and Legacy of Sin: The William Coit Story. He also appeared in the little seen film Animal Room, which was his first film role as an adult.
Throughout 1996 into early 2000, he appeared in both TV and film roles, including guest appearances in The Outer Limits and Homicide: Life on the Street as well as the now cult classic 1997 box office film Starship Troopers. He also appeared in the box office film The Proposition and the TV movies The Christmas Wish and Joan of Arc and the short-lived comedy Stark Raving Mad.
For the next five years, Neil appeared in TV shows such as Will & Grace, Son of the Beach, Ed, Touched by an Angel, Boomtown, Law& Order: Criminal Intent, Numb3rs and Jack & Bobby. During this time, he also appeared in the TV movies The Wedding Dress and The Christmas Blessing as well as the box office films The Next Best Thing, Undercover Brother and Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle.
It was in 2005 where Neil’s next big TV series – How I Met Your Mother – came along. The series is now in its 7th season, which has obviously kept him busy; but he found time to appear in the 2008 box office film Harold & Kumar: Escape from Guantanamo Bay and provided his voice for the films Beyond All Boundaries, Justice League: The New Frontier, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore. In 2010, he made a special guest appearance on the TV musicomedy Glee, singing the Aerosmith classic “Dream On” alongside series star Matthew Morrison; and last year he appeared in the box office films A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas, The Smurfs and Beastly as well as provided his voice in the animated film Rio.
TV and film are not Neil’s only fortes as he has appeared on stage, both on and off Broadway, since 1997. He got his start on the stage in the national tour of Rent in Los Angeles and San Diego followed by the lead role in Romeo and Juliet in 1998 in San Diego. In 2001, he appeared in Sweeney Todd and followed that with appearing in Proof the next year on Broadway alongside Anne Heche. In 2003, he appeared in Cabaret with Deborah Gibson and the late Tom Bosley. The next year he was on Broadway in the musical revival of Assassins and also performed in the tour company of the musical Rent. Four years later, he revisited Rent by directing a production of the musical at the Hollywood Bowl. And, last year he was the lead in Stephen Sondheim’s Company with the New York Philharmonic.
Neil appeared in the lead role in the web series sensation from Joss Whedon, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog and then hosted the 63rd Annual Tony Awards in June and that September he was the host of the 61st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. The following year he delivered the opening musical number for the 82nd Annual Academy Awards. That same year, Neil was honored by Time Magazine by being named to their list of the 100 most influential people of the year.
Neil has been nominated for countless awards including the Golden Globes, Teen Choice Awards, Young Artist Awards, Emmy Awards, Streamy Awards, Spike Video Game Awards, Golden Icon Awards and People’s Choice Awards. Among his wins over the course of his career have been as Best Young Actor in a TV series (for his work on Doogie Howser, M.D.), A-List Male Actor, Best Male Actor in a Comedy Web Series for his role in Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, an Emmy for his guest star role on Glee and a People’s Choice Award for Favorite TV Comedy actor (for his role on How I Met Your Mother).
Neil and his partner David Burtka became the parents of fraternal twins Gideon Scott and Harper Grace in October of 2010 via a surrogate.