Neil Patrick Harris is turning 40, if you can believe it, and we’re ready to spend the day watching everything NPH that we can find – but first, let’s take a look back at his fabulous life and amazing career!
Neil Patrick Harris is an American singer, producer, actor, and perhaps most surprisingly, magician. He was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to parents who own a restaurant. While he attended La Cueva High School, he sang and acted in both plays and musicals. He graduated as an honors student in 1991.
His career started as a child, when he was discovered by Mark Medoff, a playwright, at drama camp. Medoff cast him in his 1988 film Clara’s Heart, for which Harris received a Golden Globe nomination. His first major film role was as an adult in the 1995 film Animal Room, but he actually played a teenager in this role.
In 1989, the 15 year old Harris landed the title role on ABC’s Doogie Howser, M.D., which still stands as one of his best known television roles to date. In addition to his TV and film roles, and the occasional Broadway appearance, Harris has also become immensely popular for hosting television shows and appearing in various musical numbers, often in character as an exaggerated version of himself. He has hosted the TV Land Awards, the Emmy Awards, and the Tony Awards, and he even performed a surprise musical number at the 82nd Academy Awards.
As an adult actor, Neil Patrick Harris, is probably best known to most people for his role as Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother. Legend has it that Harris assumed he was a long shot for the role when he was asked to audition, so he mostly just played around and goofed off – but the executive in charge of casting enjoyed his playful nature and quickly offered him the part. Barney Stinson is known for obsessively wearing suits, being an all-around womanizer, and for trying to get laid anytime he can, and Harris plays the part with panache.
Harris has described Barney as an instigator who starts crazy situations then backs off and lets everybody else deal with the aftermath. Barney is an avid lover of magic, and often performs tricks with fire, which typically only serves to annoy his friends. Harris himself shares this characteristic with his character, and even sits on the board of the Magic Castle in LA, a kind of Academy of Magical Arts. Barney Stinson is perhaps most well-known for some of his catchphrases, which recur again and again on the show, like “Suit up!”, “Legen…wait for it…dary!”, and “Challenge accepted!”.
Another Neil Patrick Harris fan favorite, Doctor Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog, came about because of the writer’s strike that took How I Met Your Mother off the air for a period in 2008. Doctor Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog is in the form of a mini-series in three acts, and features Harris playing an aspiring supervillain known as Dr. Horrible. His catch phrase is “I’ve got a PhD in Horribleness” and his life goal is to join the Evil League of Evil, use his inventions to take over the world, and use his inventions to further social change for the betterment of humanity. The movie, as of 2010, has grossed over $3 million (you can watch an unofficial upload of the whole movie here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esiIFLI3ryI)
At the age of 40, Harris has already had a fabulous career. His recent gig as repeat host of the Tony Awards was another huge success, and he already has three films slated for release in 2014, which will also mark the final season of How I Met Your Mother, so the future is bright!
Happy 40th Birthday, Neil Patrick Harris!
Author Bio: Spencer Blohm is a freelance entertainment blogger currently working for www.directtvdeal.com. Thanks to a long-term addiction to watching television, he has enjoyed much if not all of Neil Patrick Harris’ work through the years. He also maintains the belief that much like a fine wine, Neil has just gotten better with age. He would like to that the lovely people at NPH-fan.com for allowing him to share his love of all things NPH.