So many child actors seem to go on to lousy adult lives, or at least to near-complete obscurity, it’s always nice to see one who not only avoids those fates but becomes even better known for their later acting career. Sure, there are probably plenty of people who still first think of Doogie Howser, M.D. when they hear mention of Neil Patrick Harris, who turns 39 years old today, but way fewer than there used to be — and particularly among geeks.
If you’re a geek, chances are you’ve seen or at least heard about the three-part web series Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, directed by Joss Whedon and starring Harris as the title character, along with geek icons Nathan Fillion and Felicia Day. If you haven’t seen it, incidentally, you should — and you should also check out his memorable (voice) appearance on Batman: The Brave and the Bold as the villain (created just for him) Music Meister. Between those roles, his many appearances on Broadway, his continuing role as Barney Stinson on the TV show How I Met Your Mother, his appearances in the Harold & Kumar movies (including the upcoming A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas), his hosting the Tony Awards twice and the Emmys once, and his part in the upcoming Smurfs film, it seems like NPH (as he is often referred to) is everywhere. (We’re aware he also appeared in the 1997 movie Starship Troopers, but it was quite a while after that that he really rose to prominence in the geek community.)
We can’t be certain if NPH is a geek, though he is certainly at the very least geek-adjacent. He and his partner David Burtka are the proud parents of twin toddlers, so he’s a dad, if not necessarily a geek dad.
Please join all of us at GeekDad in wishing Neil Patrick Harris a very happy birthday, and many more to come!
A version of this article was published on this date last year.