Editor's note: October is LGBT History Month. Each day this month, Equality Forum will feature one LGBT icon who has made notable contributions to society and SDGLN will publish the story in the Causes section.
Neil Patrick Harris is an award-winning television, film and stage actor. Starting at age 16, he has forged an enduring career as a performer in Hollywood and on Broadway.
Harris was born June 15, 1973 and grew up in Ruidoso, New Mexico, the son of two lawyers who ran a restaurant. He took up acting in the fourth grade, playing the role of Toto in “The Wizard of Oz.”
When Harris was 15, the family moved to Albuquerque. That same year, he made his feature film debut in “Clara’s Heart,” for which he received a Golden Globe nomination.
When he was 16, Harris landed the leading role in the television series “Doogie Howser, M.D.” The series ran for four years and earned him a second Golden Globe nomination as well as a People’s Choice Award.
In 1997, Harris accepted the role of Mark in the Los Angeles production of “Rent” and received a Drama League Award for his performance. He made his Broadway debut in 2002 opposite Anne Heche in “Proof.” Thereafter, he appeared as the Emcee in “Cabaret” and as Lee Harvey Oswald in Stephen Sondheim’s musical “Assassins.”
Harris’s films include “Undercover Brother,” “The Next Best Thing,” “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle” and “Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay.”
In 2005, Harris joined the television series “How I Met Your Mother” as womanizer Barney Stinson and received four consecutive Emmy Award nominations for this role.
Harris came out publicly in 2006, telling People magazine, “Rather than ignore those who choose to publish their opinions without actually talking to me, I am happy to dispel any rumors or misconceptions.”
Harris has guest starred on dozens of television series, and received an Emmy Award in 2010 for his performance on “Glee.” He has hosted the Academy Awards, the Primetime Emmy Awards and the Tony Awards.
In 2010, he was named one of the 100 Most Influential People by Time magazine. Later that year, Harris and his long-term partner, David Burtka, had twins, Gideon Scott and Harper Grace. Harris and his family live in Los Angeles.
For more information about LGBT History Month, click HERE.