Neil Patrick Harris is one of the few performers who gained huge acclaim as a child actor, then successfully transitioned to an adult career.
Harris was born to Ruidoso, N.M., restaurateurs Sheila and Ron Harris and got involved in acting at a very young age. His big break came at the age of 15 when playwright Mark Medoff discovered him at a New Mexico drama camp and cast him in his film, “Clara’s Heart” opposite Whoopi Goldberg. That film earned him his first Golden Globe nomination. The following year, he got the lead role in TV creator Steven Bochco’s comedy-drama series “Doogie Howser, M.D.” Harris’ performance as a precocious teenage doctor earned him his second Golden Globe nominations and made him a star. The series ran for four seasons, ending in 1993. After the show ended, Harris made a series of TV guest appearances and appearances in films, including the Paul Verhoeven science fiction action film “Starship Troopers” in 1997.
Harris began appearing in Broadway productions in 2000, including a concert production of “Sweeney Todd” and a revival of “Assassins.”
In 2005, Harris joined the ensemble cast of his second big TV hit, the CBS sitcom “How I Met Your Mother.” The role of Barney, a notorious ladies’ man, earned Harris multiple Golden Globe and Emmy nominations, but no wins.
During the series’ run, Harris also came out as a gay man, publicly acknowledging his relationship with actor David Burtka. The couple announced they were expecting fraternal twins through a surrogate mother in 2010.
Harris finally earned his first Emmy in 2010 for his hosting duties on another award show, the Tonys. He also won a creative Emmy for his guest acting spot in "Glee." Harris’ hosting job (which he repeated in 2011) earned the actor rave reviews and good ratings.