You may know him from the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother, but Neil Patrick Harris is a child actor who achieved popularity and critical acclaim at an early age. He is yet another child star who managed to avoid the typical fate that often slips into obscurity after spinning out of control. He thrived on stage, in films and on television.

First spotlight

He first got in the spotlight with ABC’s Doogie Howser, M.D. A few years later, Neil took prominent roles in Starship Troopers in 1997 and The Next Big Thing in 2000. He gained popularity with the parody of himself Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle in 2004. Neil made a comeback to the regular series as the opinionated womanizer Barney Stinson in CBS How I Met Your Mother in 2005 which earned him three Emmy Award nominations.

In 2006 he set the record straight on his portrayed character from HIMYM and came out of the closet alongside his boyfriend stage actor David Burtka. Neil met David when he was performing in Cabaret on Broadway. With a help from a surrogate, Neil and David welcome their twins on October 2010.

First gay breakthrough star

He appeared on the cover of New York Magazine proclaiming him as “Hollywood’s first (openly) gay breakthrough star.” In 2010 he receives an Creative Arts Emmy Awards for hosting at the Tony Awards and another one for his guest-starring role on Glee.


In 2009, Neil hosted the 63rd Tony Awards, a gig that gave him the opportunity to host another event the Primetime Emmy Awards where he received critics as “This is how you host the Emmys. Nice job!” He played the lead in the indie comedy The Best and The Brightest. He also starred in The Smurfs and The Smurfs 2 and in 2014 he played alongside co-star Ben Affleck in Gone Girl. On February 22, 2015, Neil will host his very first Academy Awards.

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