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Neil Patrick Harris is an American actor best known for portraying the title character in the ‘80s TV series Doogie Howser, M.D. and Barney Stinson in the 2000s sitcom How I Met Your Mother. Outside of his acting career in television and musicals, Harris has garnered a large following online for his active social media presence and advocacy of LGBT rights as an openly gay actor.
After a few small roles in TV movies Harris landed the lead role in Doogie Howser, M.D., a show about a teenage doctor, which he starred in for four season from 1989-1993. He guest starred on several TV shows in the late 1990s and early 2000s before getting the co-starring role of Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother in 2005. The show lasted for nine seasons, concluding in 2014. He has been nominated for seven Primetime Emmys, winning three for Outstanding Special Class Programs for hosting the Tony Awards and one for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series (Glee). While working on HIMYM Harris had leading roles in several movies including Beastly (2011), The Smurfs (2011) and A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014).
On November 27th, 2012, Nerdist uploaded a video (below, left) to their YouTube channel titled “Neil Patrick Harris dreams THE LULLABYE,” which featured Harris having a darkly comic dream about puppets. As of June 2014, the video has gained over 1.4 million views. A follow up video (below, right) featuring Harris having another puppet dream was uploaded on December 4th, 2012. As of June 2014, the video has gained over 1.2 million views.
On January 6th, 2014, Harris posted a series of eight photos to his Instagram account meant to depict his challenge to drink as many margaritas as possible on his last day of vacation in Mexico. The first photo gained over 70,000 notes within six months. The photo series was covered by many websites including Gawker, People and the New York Daily News.
Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
In 2008 Harris starred in the popular three part musical web series Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, created and directed by Joss Whedon. It was first made available for streaming on Hulu on July 15th, 2008. It became available for download on iTunes on October 10th, 2009. That year it won a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Special Class (Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Programs) and a People’s Choice Award for Favorite Online Sensation. The entire three parts aired on the CW on October 9th, 2012.
Harris has hosted the Tony Awards four times in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013. Many clips from the award shows featuring Harris became popular on YouTube. On June 13th, 2011, YouTuber GuilbeauxFan’s channel uploaded a video of Harris’ opening number from the 2011 Tony Awards. As of June 2014, it has gained over 5.7 million views. The same day GuilbeauxFan’s channel uploaded a video featuring Harris and Hugh Jackman performing a duet at the 2011 Tony Awards. As of June 2014, the video has gained over 6.4 million views.
Harris came out in a statement published by People on November 3rd, 2006, in which he explained:
“So, rather than ignore those who choose to publish their opinions without actually talking to me, 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.”
In a profile published on September 13th, 2009, New York Magazine declared Harris was,“poised to become the first out gay actor to become an A-list star,” noting his popularity had only increased since coming out.
Since coming out Harris has been a vocal advocate for LGBT rights. He recorded a “It Gets Better” style video for MTV, which was uploaded to YouTube on October 3rd, 2010. As of June 2014, the video has gained over 1.1 million views.
Harris’ family, comprised of his fiance David Burtka and their two children born via a surrogate, twins Gideon Scott and Harper Grace, is often lauded online for being particularly sweet and photogenic. Online articles about their family include Buzzfeed’s “27 Times In 2013 Neil Patrick Harris’ Family Was Cuter Than Yours” and The Huffington Post’s “Neil Patrick Harris’ Kids With David Burtka Are Too Cute For Words.” Their annual themed family Halloween costumes are often highlighted by many websites including Buzzfeed, which covered their 2011 Peter Pan themed costumes, Hyper Vocal, which covered their 2012 Wizard of Oz themed costumes and The Huffington Post, which covered their 2013 monster themed costumes.
As of June 2014, Harris’ Facebook page has over 2.2 million likes and his Twitter account has over 8.8 million followers. Fans have created several Tumblr blogs dedicated to him including fuckyeahneilpatrickharris and neilpatrickharris.DeviantArt  has over 3,000 fan art submissions featuring Harris as of June 2014.
Harris was born on June 15th, 1973, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He graduated from La Cueva High School in 1991.
The Huffington Post – Neil Patrick Harris’s Family Halloween Costume Was Even Better Than Everyone Expected
The Huffington Post – Neil Patrick Harris’ Kids With David Burtka Are Too Cute For Words
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