Neil Patrick Harris (born June 15, 1973) is an American actor, producer, singer, comedian, magician, and television host. He is known for playing Barney Stinson in the television comedy series How I Met Your Mother (2005–2014), for which he was nominated for four Emmy Awards, and for his role as the title character in Doogie Howser, M.D. (1989–1993). He currently hosts Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris.
He is also known for his role as the title character in Joss Whedon’s musical Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (2008) and a fictional version of himself in the Harold & Kumar film series (2004–2011). He appeared in the films Starship Troopers (1997), Beastly (2011), The Smurfs (2011), The Smurfs 2 (2013) and Gone Girl (2014).
Harris was named as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2010, He has hosted the Tony Awards on Broadway in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013, for which he won several special class Emmy Awards. He also hosted the Primetime Emmy Awards in 2009 and 2013, and hosted the 87th Academy Awards in 2015, thus making him the first openly gay man to host the Academy Awards. In 2014, he starred in the title role in Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway, for which he won the 2014 Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical.
Harris was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico and grew up Ruidoso, New Mexico, with his elder brother and their parents, Sheila (née Scott) (born 1946) and Ronald Gene Harris (born 1946). His parents were lawyers and also ran a restaurant. He attended La Cueva High School in Albuquerque, graduating with high honors in 1991.
Harris confirmed that he is gay on November 4, 2006 by saying, “I am happy to dispel any rumors or misconceptions and am quite proud to say that I am a very content gay man living my life to the fullest and feel most fortunate to be working with wonderful people in the business I love.”
Harris is an agnostic.
Harris attended the Emmy Awards in September 2007 with his fiancé David Burtka, later confirming the relationship. In an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Harris said his relationship with Burtka began in 2004. On August 14, 2010, Harris announced that he and Burtka were expecting twins via a surrogate mother. Their son, Gideon Scott, and daughter, Harper Grace, were born on October 12, 2010.
Following the passage of the Marriage Equality Act in New York on June 24, 2011, Harris and Burtka announced their engagement via Twitter, stating that they had proposed to each other five years earlier but kept the engagement secret until same-sex marriage became legal. On September 8, 2014, Harris announced on his Twitter page that David Burtka and he were married over the weekend in Italy. Pamela Fryman, the long-time director of How I Met Your Mother, officiated the wedding, while Elton John performed at the reception.
Harris and Burtka bought a townhouse on Fifth Avenue in Harlem in 2013, the Upper Manhattan, New York City neighborhood where they had been living for many years previously