Neil Patrick Harris
Actor Neil Patrick Harris found stardom as a childhood actor before growing into one of the most recognizable actors of his generation as an adult. Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, he earned a prized role right out of the gate when he appeared opposite Whoopi Goldberg in "Clara's Heart" (1988) as a teenager. That performance brought him to the attention of television producers Steven Bochco and David E. Kelley who cast him as the lead in their dramedy "Doogie Howser, M.D." (ABC, 1989-93). Harris played the title character, a medical prodigy who's beginning his career with a hospital residency as a 16-year-old. The role turned the young actor into a pop culture sensation, and he was soon making appearances as the character in PSAs and the hit sitcom "Roseanne" (ABC, 1988-2018). When the show ended, the actor continued making regular appearances on television, largely in TV films such as "Not Our Son" (CBS, 1995) and "A Family Torn Apart" (NBC, 1993). Stage performances in James Lapine's "Luck, Pluck & Virtue" and the original West Coast production of Jonathan Larson's "Rent" helped change the perception of Harris as an actor incapable of adult roles. He began getting non-teen roles in films such as "Starship Troopers" (1997) and opposite Tony Shaloub in the sitcom "Stark Raving Mad" (NBC, 1999-2000). He mixed in stage roles with guest appearances on television before what would become a second defining role. Harris joined the cast of "How I Met Your Mother" (CBS, 2005-14) as scheming ladies man Barney Stinson, a part that would last for nine seasons. He earned a different kind of cache when he played a version of himself in the stoner comedy "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle" (2004). He would later join stars John Cho and Kal Penn for two sequels. During the Writers Guild of America strike in 2008, the actor had the opportunity to show off his singing voice when he starred in Joss Whedon's "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" (2008). On the big screen, he starred in the comedies "The Smurfs" (2011), "The Smurfs 2" (2013), and Seth MacFarlane's "A Million Ways to Die in the West" (2014). Stretching beyond his norm, he appeared in David Fincher's mystery thriller "Gone Girl" (2014). He also gained acclaim playing the lead in the Broadway revival of "Hedwig and the Angry Itch" in 2014. Harris turned into the go-to emcee for awards shows, hosting the television broadcasts of the Tony, Emmy, and Academy Awards. He built upon that easy rapport with audiences to create the short-lived variety show "Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris" (NBC, 2015). The actor played against his likable persona with a turn as the villainous Count Olaf in the television adaptation of the Lemony Snicket children's books "A Series of Unfortunate Events" (Netflix, 2017-19). He then joined the 1970s music drama "Spinning Gold" (2020) playing Kiss manager Bill Aucoin.