Neil Patrick Harris (born June 15, 1973) is an American actor, singer, director, producer and magician. He is best known for the title role in Doogie Howser, M.D., the womanizing Barney Stinson in How I Met Your Mother, a fictionalized version of himself in the Harold & Kumar series, and the title role in Joss Whedon's musical web series Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.
Harris was named as one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in 2010, and was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in September 2011.
Harris was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico and grew up in Ruidoso, New Mexico. His parents, Sheila and Ron Harris, ran a restaurant. He attended La Cueva High School in Albuquerque, where he acted in school plays and musicals. Harris graduated as an honors student in 1991.
Harris is openly gay, confirming this in November 2006 by saying "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."
Harris attended the Emmy awards in September 2007 with his partner David Burtka, later confirming the relationship, which he said began in 2004, in an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
On August 14, 2010, Harris announced that he and Burtka were expecting twins via a surrogate mother. The fraternal twins Gideon Scott, a boy, and Harper Grace, a girl, were born in 2010.
Following the passage of the Marriage Equality Act in New York on June 24, 2011, Harris and Burtka announced their engagement via Twitter, stating that they had proposed to each other five years earlier but kept the engagement secret until same-sex marriage became legal.
In A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, a joke refers to his coming out. As his persona in the film is heterosexual and womanizing, he is presented as only pretending to be gay so that women will find him less intimidating at first. Burtka also played himself, as Harris' secret drug dealer.