Neil Patrick Harris (born June 15, 1973 in Albuquerque, New Mexico), occasionally nicknamed NPH, got his first big break as the title character of Doogie Howser, M.D. when he was a teenager. He managed to establish himself in theater (RENT, Toby in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street) after that, as well as taking roles in films such as Starship Troopers and Undercover Brother. He took his career to the big screen again in 2004, playing... Neil Patrick Harris, a crude Jerkass womanizer in Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (pretty much an Up to Eleven version of the Former Child Star stereotype). He then went on to play the part of the womanizing Barney Stinson in How I Met Your Mother. Shortly afterwards, he came out as gay, and proceeded to play a singing shoe fairy in a Sesame Street cameo.
Of course, in Internet circles, he's probably most famous for his leading role in Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. He later used his musical talent to play The Music Meister in the Musical Episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold and plays Nightwing in Batman: Under the Red Hood, and again used his musical talent as Doctor Blowhole in The Penguins of Madagascar. He worked alongside Mike Nelson on the RiffTrax of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. An episode of Adventure Time featured him as Prince Gumball, the gender flipped version of Princess Bubblegum. He's done some voice acting, lending his voice to Spider-Man in both the 2003 series and Amazing Spider-Man in Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions. He is currently president of the Academy of Magical Arts (the famous "Magic Castle" in Hollywood, California). He is also the star of new Nerdist web show, Neil's Puppet Dreams. For the 2015 TV season, he's hosting an American adaptation of Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, called Best Time Ever on NBC.
On August 21, 2010 he won his first Emmy awards thanks to his stellar guest appearance on Glee and awesome hosting of last year's Tony Awards. After four years hosting the Tony's, on June 8, 2014 Neil took it up to eleven by winning the Best Actor in a Musical Tony for his performance in the title role of a botched-sex-change transgender glam-rock goddess in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. He hosted the Oscars in 2015 and promptly declared, afterwards, that it would be his only time.
NPH has been in a relationship with David Burtka since 2004. In January 2010 he was voted "Gay Man of the Decade" after a fierce Twitter war against John Barrowman. It was once said of NPH that "Neil Patrick Harris is so manly, only another man could possibly satisfy him." And in the fall of 2010, Neil and David became daddies to twins.
Some roles Neil has played includes:
- Adventure Time: Prince Gumball
- American Horror Story: Freak Show: Chester Creb
- Animal Room: Arnold Mosk
- Assassins: The Balladeer/Lee Harvey Oswald
- Batman: The Brave and the Bold: The Music Meister
- Batman: Under the Red Hood: Nightwing
- California Screamin' at Paradise Pier in Disney California Adventure: PA/Safety announcer
- Capitol Critters: Max
- Captain Planet and the Planeteers: Todd Andrews (You may know him better as the victim from the AIDS episode)
- Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs: Steve
- Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog: Billy/Dr. Horrible
- Doogie Howser, M.D.: Doogie Howser
- Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard: Wallace "Wally" Wellesley
- Glee: Bryan Ryan
- Gone Girl: Desi Collings
- Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle: Neil Patrick Harris
- Hedwig and the Angry Inch: Hedwig
- How I Met Your Mother: Barney Stinson
- Justice League: Ray Thompson
- Justice League: The New Frontier: Barry Allen
- Neil's Puppet Dreams: Neil Patrick Harris.
- RENT: Mark Cohen
- Romeo and Juliet: Romeo Montague
- Saints Row 2 and Saints Row IV: DJ Veteran Child
- A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017): Count Olaf
- Sesame Street: The Fairy Shoeperson
- The Smurfs: Patrick Winslow
- Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions: Amazing Spider-Man
- Spider-Man: The New Animated Series: Spider-Man
- Stark Raving Mad: Henry McNeeley
- Starship Troopers: Carl Jenkins
- Static Shock: Johnny Morrow
- Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: Toby
- The Penguins of Madagascar: Dr. Blowhole
- Undercover Brother: Lance
This actor provides examples of:
- As Himself / Adam Westing:
- Spoofed in the Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, where he's credited "Neil Patrick Harris as Neil Patrick Harris". He had himself credited like this so people wouldn't think the way he acts in the film is how he acts in real life.
- Also in Neil's Puppet Dreams.
- Career Resurrection: Though he was never completely off the radar, the period between Doogie and H&K were a pretty thin stretch for Neil outside of maybe Starship Troopers.
- The Cast Show Off:
- Chewing the Scenery: He regularly plays Large Ham characters, and tends to do them Up to Eleven.
- Forehead of Doom: A minor example.
- Former Child Star: Notably averted. And hilariously subverted in Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle.
- Funny Background Event: Doing his Spider-Man bit behind Angela Lansbury and Ted Chapin at the 2012 Tony Awards, Harris appears to get stuck.Ted: Thank you for your undivided attention!
- Iconic Outfit: Thanks to Barney Stinson, he became heavily associated with suits.
- Irony as She Is Cast: He is an openly gay actor most well-known for playing an impulsive womanizer, though notably he wasn't openly out until after he was cast.
- Playing Against Type: He's played some unsavory types before, as well as the requisite Large Ham, but never a cartoonishly evil child-abuser like Count Olaf.
- Promoted Fanboy: A life-long MST3K fan, he's on the RiffTrax (MST3K's online successor) for Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. In the 2017 relaunch of MST3K, he plays Felicia Day's long-distance love interest.
- "Sesame Street" Cred: He was the Sesame Street Fairy Shoe Person.
- He's also friends with Elmo.
- Shakespearean Actors: An acclaimed theater actor, he played the titular Romeo in Romeo and Juliet during a 1998 event.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: There is tension to be had whenever he and Hugh Jackman share the stage and screen.
- Villain Song: Has rocked quite a few, notably "Slipping", "Brand New Day", "Drives Us Bats", I'm The Music Meister "Its The Count" and "Brand New Plan".