Harris was born on June 13, 1973, in Albuquerque, New Mexico to his parents Sheila Gail (née Scott; born 1946) and Ronald Gene Harris (born 1946). He has grown up with his siblings, an elder brother in Ruidoso, New Mexico. His father was a lawyer and also had a restaurant business startup in Mexico.
To complete his education, he went to La Cueva High School in Albuquerque, graduating with high honors in 1991.

Talking about his personal life, Harris dated actress Christine Taylor from 1997 to 1998. He explained how the relationship let him recognize his true sexuality in a 2008 appearance on The Howard Stern Show: “She’s the coolest, loveliest girl you’ve ever met. ‘If I’m not going to feel the amazing sparks with her, it probably implies I’m gay,’ I reasoned.”

“I am pleased to clarify any misunderstandings or misconceptions and am quite proud to declare that I am a very content gay man living my life to the fullest and feel extremely lucky to be working with beautiful people in the business I love,” Harris said in November 2006.

Harris attended the Emmy Awards with his fiancé David Burtka in September 2007, afterward announcing their relationship. Harris says his relationship with Burtka began in 2004 in an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Harris and Burtka announced on August 14, 2010, that they were expecting twins through a surrogate mother. Gideon Scott and Harper Grace, their son and daughter, were born on October 12, 2010.

Neil Patrick Harris Career


Neil Patrick Harris began his career as a child actor at a young age. He drew the attention of playwright Mark Medoff while attending a theatre camp, and he was later cast in the 1988 film Clara’s Heart. In the same year, he also starred in the children’s film Purple People Eater.

Despite having established himself in the film industry, his major break came the following year, in 1989, when he landed the lead part in Doogie Houser, M.D. Neil Patrick Harris was nominated for a Golden Globe for his role in the sitcom, which lasted four seasons. Harris portrayed a teen physician with a brilliant mind in the show.

Neil Patrick: Awards & Honors

  • Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
  • Tony Awards for Best Actor in a Musical
  • Grammy Awards

Harris began his career as a child actor and was discovered by playwright Mark Medoff at a drama camp in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Harris’s first film role as an adult was 1995’s Animal Room, although he portrayed a teenager. In 2010, Harris provided voice acting for the role of the adult Dick Grayson (Nightwing) in the animated film Batman: Under the Red Hood and the beagle Lou in the film Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore.

On February 22, 2015, Harris hosted the 87th Academy Awards; it was his first time hosting the ceremony, and the first time an openly gay man hosted the Academy Awards.

On television, he is known for playing the title character on the ABC series Doogie Howser, M.D., for which he was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy, as well as Barney Stinson on the CBS series How I Met Your Mother, and Count Olaf on the Netflix series A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Harris served as coproducer and sometime host of several Emmy and Tony awards broadcasts, the latter of which won four Emmys for outstanding special class programs (2010, 2012, 2013, and 2014).

Frequently Asked Questions


Join the Discussion