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Neil Patrick Harris’s Next Best Thing

‘I’d love to do something very against type, I’d love to revive something dirty and raw, to do something radical like Hedwig, something that would really be outside the box.’


Neil Patrick Harris is a star of the CBS comedy How I Met Your Mother on which he portrays Barney Stinson, a serial womanizer.

In 2009, he began a new career as a host of awards shows hosting the Tony Awards in June, as well as the TV Land Awards and the Writers Guild Awards. On Sept. 20, he hosted the Emmys.

He is openly gay, confirming this in November 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.”

Neil first starred on television in 1989 at age 16 in the title role of “Doogie Howser, M.D.,” portraying a teenage doctor. The series continued until 1993. He has also appeared on Broadway, in “Proof” (2002), “Cabaret” (2003) and “Assassins” (2004).


He was born in Albuquerque, N.M., on June 25, 1973. His movies include “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle” (2004) — in which two affable stoners pick up a hitchhiker who turns out to be a car-stealing, stripper-loving, Ecstasy-fueled former child actor named Neil Patrick Harris —  and the sequel, “Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay” (2007), in which he also played a fictional version of  himself.

In 2008, he starred as an aspiring supervillain in Joss Whedon’s ”Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog,” a 42-minute online musical. The same year, he appeared in the  Internet video ”Prop 8 — the Musical,” a comedic song-and-dance diatribe about the California ballot initiative defining marriage as existing only between a man and a woman. Playing a flamboyant figure trying to reconcile the proposition’s supporters and opponents, he sang, “Every time a gay or lesbian finds love at the parade/There’s money to be made.”

About his role as Barney, on “How I Met Your Mother,” he has said: “In that job, all I’m really looking for is takes, whether they be triple or split. I don’t wonder where Barney threw up last night or who his parents are. I just make bold choices and hope they stick.”


When he and David Burtka met and fell in love, each was appearing in a Broadway show – Harris in Assassins and Burtka in Gypsy.

They moved to Los Angeles when Harris landed the role of Barney and he says once the show ends its run, the couple and their children, Gideon and Harper, will return to their theater roots.

‘Our plan after How I Met Your Mother wraps up the series is to head east, David’s a New York theatre guy, so he’s clamoring to get back. I think that’s a great place to have our kids raised and go to school.’

Burtka told Oprah Winfrey earlier this year that when they first moved to Los Angeles, he thought it would be easier for him to find television work. Frustrated, he became a professional chef but now works as a correspondent for E! News.

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Harris returned to the Broadway stage for one day last week for a concert performance of Assassins, the Stephen Sondheim musical that won the 2004 Tony Award for Best Musical Revival.

The two-time Emmy winner and two-time Tony Awards host would like to revive his stage career for more than one night.

‘I’d love to do something very against type,’ he says. ‘I’d love to revive something dirty and raw, to do something radical like Hedwig, something that would really be outside the box.’


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