So, remember Neil Patrick Harris? The talented actor who charmed us all as Barney Stinson in “How I Met Your Mother”? Well, it seems like he disappeared from the spotlight for a while, leaving fans wondering, “What happened to Neil Patrick Harris?” In this article, we’ll take a look at what the multi-talented performer has been up to lately and where his career has taken him. Get ready to catch up on the exciting journey of Neil Patrick Harris!
Early Life and Entry into Acting
Childhood and family background
Neil Patrick Harris was born on June 15, 1973, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Growing up in a middle-class family, he had a relatively normal childhood. His parents, Sheila and Ron, both lawyers, provided a supportive and loving environment for him and his older brother Brian. Their encouragement allowed Neil to explore his interests and develop a passion for the performing arts.
Early interest in acting
From a young age, Neil showed a natural inclination towards acting. He would eagerly participate in school plays and local theater productions, impressing audiences with his talent and stage presence. Recognizing his passion, his parents enrolled him in acting classes and nurtured his budding talent.
First roles in theater and film
Neil’s early foray into acting led to his first professional roles in both theater and film. At the age of 15, he made his Broadway debut in the play “Purple People Eater.” Shortly after, he transitioned to the big screen and starred in the comedy film “Clara’s Heart” alongside Whoopi Goldberg. These early experiences laid the foundation for his future success and set him on a path towards a promising acting career.
Breakthrough with ‘Doogie Howser, M.D.’
Casting as Doogie Howser
Neil’s breakthrough moment came when he landed the lead role on the hit sitcom “Doogie Howser, M.D.” The show, which aired from 1989 to 1993, portrayed the life of a teenage genius balancing his medical career and personal life. Neil’s portrayal of the prodigious Dr. Douglas “Doogie” Howser showcased his versatility and charisma, captivating audiences worldwide.
Popularity and impact of the role
“Doogie Howser, M.D.” catapulted Neil Patrick Harris to stardom. The show garnered a dedicated fan base and made him a household name. Neil’s portrayal of Doogie resonated with viewers, as he effortlessly captured the character’s intelligence, vulnerability, and youthful spirit. His performance brought a relatability and authenticity to the role, solidifying his place as a rising talent in the industry.
Ending of the show and its effects on Harris’ career
The conclusion of “Doogie Howser, M.D.” marked a bittersweet moment for Neil. Although the show had been immensely successful, its ending posed challenges for his career. Like many child stars transitioning into adulthood, Neil faced the daunting task of shedding his child actor image and proving his versatility as an adult performer. This period presented him with obstacles, but it also served as a catalyst for growth and eventual resurgence in his career.
Career Slump and Revival
Struggles in finding substantial roles
Following the end of “Doogie Howser, M.D.,” Neil Patrick Harris experienced a career slump. He struggled to find substantial roles that would allow him to showcase his talent beyond his iconic teenage character. Casting directors and producers still associated him primarily with Doogie Howser, making it challenging to break out of that mold.
Small parts in major films
During this period, Neil took on smaller supporting roles in major films, such as “Starship Troopers” and “The Next Best Thing.” While these roles weren’t leading performances, they allowed him to gain valuable experience and expand his range as an actor.
Successful return to television with ‘How I Met Your Mother’
Neil’s career took a significant upturn when he landed the role of Barney Stinson in the hit sitcom “How I Met Your Mother” in 2005. His portrayal of the womanizing yet lovable character won over audiences and critics alike. The show’s success revitalized Neil’s career, allowing him to showcase his comedic timing and charm in a way that solidified his place as a versatile actor.
Success with ‘How I Met Your Mother’
Character of Barney Stinson
Barney Stinson quickly became one of Neil Patrick Harris’ most memorable characters. Known for his catchphrases and elaborate schemes, Barney provided Neil with a platform to exhibit his comedic prowess. Audiences were captivated by Barney’s larger-than-life personality and unique brand of humor, resulting in a widespread following for the character.
Reception by audiences and critics
Neil’s performance as Barney Stinson received immense praise from both audiences and critics. He effortlessly balanced the character’s comedic moments with moments of vulnerability, showcasing his range as an actor. Neil’s portrayal of Barney resonated with viewers, who eagerly tuned in week after week to witness his hilarious antics and heartfelt moments.
Award nominations and wins
Neil’s portrayal of Barney Stinson garnered him critical acclaim and earned him several award nominations. He received numerous Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, winning the award four times. His compelling performance solidified his status as a comedic force to be reckoned with and earned him a rightful place among the television industry’s elite.
Venturing into Broadway
Interest in theater work
Throughout his career, Neil Patrick Harris consistently expressed his love for theater and his desire to perform on Broadway. He had a deep appreciation for the craft of stage acting and recognized the unique opportunities it presented to connect with live audiences.
Significant roles and performances
Neil’s venture into Broadway led to several significant roles that showcased his immense talent. He starred in the critically acclaimed musical “Rent,” playing the role of Mark Cohen. His performance received rave reviews for its authenticity and emotional depth. Neil also captivated audiences with his portrayal of the flamboyant Emcee in the Broadway revival of “Cabaret.”
Neil’s performances on Broadway garnered widespread critical acclaim. His ability to seamlessly transition between different roles and genres showcased his versatility as a performer. Critics praised his stage presence, singing prowess, and commitment to breathing new life into iconic characters. Neil Patrick Harris became synonymous with excellence in the world of theater.
Hosting Gigs and Award Shows
Hosting the Tony and Emmy Awards
Neil Patrick Harris further showcased his talents through his hosting gigs at various award shows. He hosted the Tony Awards multiple times, displaying his wit, charm, and showmanship. His ability to entertain large audiences while effortlessly transitioning between comedy and musical performances made him an ideal choice for such prestigious events.
Reception to his hosting skills
Neil’s hosting skills were universally celebrated. His performances were met with rave reviews, often highlighting his charisma and ability to engage viewers. His natural stage presence and comedic timing made each event memorable and set a new standard for hosting award shows.
Hosting the Oscars
In 2015, Neil Patrick Harris hosted one of the most revered award shows in the industry – the Oscars. His hosting duties brought out the best of his talents, as he seamlessly blended humor, song and dance, and the necessary gravitas expected from such a prestigious event. While hosting the Oscars, Neil solidified his status as a true entertainer and a beloved figure in the industry.
Personal Life and Family
Coming out and LGBTQ+ advocacy
In 2006, Neil Patrick Harris publicly came out as gay, inspiring countless individuals struggling with their own identities. His honesty and authenticity allowed him to become a role model for many within the LGBTQ+ community. Neil embraced his advocacy role, using his platform to promote acceptance, equality, and understanding for all.
Marriage to David Burtka
Neil’s personal life also flourished. In 2014, he married his longtime partner, actor and chef David Burtka. Their beautiful and loving relationship served as an inspiration to many, solidifying their status as one of Hollywood’s most beloved couples.
Neil and David welcomed their twins, Harper Grace and Gideon Scott, in 2010. The couple embraced parenthood with grace and love, prioritizing their children’s happiness and well-being. Their journey as parents showcased their devotion and became an inspiration to others navigating the world of raising children.
Recent Works and Endeavors
Roles in TV and film
Neil Patrick Harris continued to showcase his talent through various roles in television and film. He starred in the critically acclaimed Netflix series “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” portraying the enigmatic and villainous Count Olaf. Neil’s performance received widespread acclaim for his ability to bring complexity and nuance to the character.
Voice work and animation
Neil also lent his voice to numerous animated projects, captivating audiences with his distinct vocal talents. He voiced the character of Steve in the animated film “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” and thrilled audiences as the singing villain Dr. Blowhole in “Penguins of Madagascar.” Neil’s versatility extended beyond live-action performances, leading to a diverse range of roles and projects.
Publishing children’s books
In addition to his multifaceted acting career, Neil Patrick Harris ventured into the literary world. He published a series of children’s books known as the “Magic Misfits” series. These books showcased his creative storytelling abilities and further solidified his connection with young audiences.
Health Concerns and Issues
Surgeries and recoveries
Neil Patrick Harris has faced health concerns throughout his life. In 2008, he underwent surgery for a chronic sinus condition, which required a weeks-long recovery period. Despite these challenges, Neil remained resilient and used his experiences to raise awareness about health issues and to inspire others facing similar obstacles.
COVID-19 diagnosis and recovery
In 2020, Neil contracted COVID-19 but was fortunate to experience a relatively mild case. He remained vocal about his diagnosis, urging others to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and their communities. Neil’s resilience and commitment to public health served as a beacon of hope during a challenging time.
Neil Patrick Harris’ Legacy and Influence
Influence on next generation of actors
Neil Patrick Harris’ journey and success have inspired countless aspiring actors. He shattered stereotypes, proving that talent and hard work could break down barriers and lead to remarkable achievements. Young performers look up to Neil as a beacon of possibility and an example of what can be accomplished when pursuing one’s dreams.
Legacy in television and theater
Neil’s impact on both television and theater is undeniable. He brought a fresh energy and magnetic presence to every project he undertook, leaving an indelible mark on the industry. Neil’s iconic roles and memorable performances will continue to be celebrated and remembered for years to come.
Charitable work and activism
Beyond his accomplishments as an actor, Neil Patrick Harris has consistently demonstrated a commitment to charitable work and activism. His advocacy for LGBTQ+ rights, support for various charitable organizations, and efforts to raise awareness about health issues have had a lasting impact. Neil’s dedication to making a positive difference in the world serves as a testament to his character and the values he holds dear.
Neil Patrick Harris’ journey from child actor to beloved entertainer is a testament to his talent, resilience, and unwavering dedication. Throughout his career, he has delighted audiences with his performances, both on stage and on screen. Neil’s influence extends far beyond entertainment, as he has used his platform to advocate for important causes and inspire countless individuals. As his legacy continues to evolve, Neil Patrick Harris remains a beloved figure in the world of acting, leaving an indelible mark on the industry and the hearts of fans worldwide.