10 Facts You May Not Know About Neil Patrick Harris
LEGEN wait for it DARY- LEGENDARY
1. He went to Freddie Prinze Jr.’s high school
Neil Patrick Harris was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico and went to the same high school, La Cueva High School, as former teen heartthrob Freddie Prinze Jr., although he was raised in a small town about 120 miles outside of Albuquerque called Ruidoso.
2. His SAG card reads “Neil Patrick Harris” for a reason
When Neil first applied for his Screen Actors Guild card, he couldn’t just use his first and last name – there was already a different actor named Neil Harris. So, he talked with his parents, joking that he considered names like “Neil Danger Harris” and “Neil Patrick Rocket” before agreeing on Neil Patrick Harris to be his full credited name.
3. He’s an expert magician
Neil used to practice magic as a child, and has such a passion for it that he’s performed tricks on almost every talk show appearance he’s had, including The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Late Show with David Letterman, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He is on the board of directors and attends meetings for a private magic club in Hollywood called Magic Castle, where he chums it up with fellow magicians to talk about developments in their field.
4. He loves muppets and puppets
With tentative plans to bring back the favorite kids show Sesame Street, Neil has been reading up on the history of the franchise and even proposed to have the opening act of this year’s Emmys include the muppets Statler and Waldorf up in their usual balcony seating, but the idea was too expensive to pull off. “I grew up being educated by Sesame Street and gained a sense of humor from The Muppet Show,” he says. “I’d give my right foot to be able to do a scene or two with Muppets.”
5. His parents own a restaurant
His parents, Ron and Sheila, both lawyers, opened up Perennials Restaurant in Albuquerque in 2000. The quaint establishment serves breakfast and lunch dishes made from “family recipes,” and Neil has been known to stop in for a meal or two whenever he goes back home for a visit.
6. He has a lifetime supply of Red Bull
On the set of How I Met Your Mother, Neil guzzles Red Bull as if it’s his life-blood. In fact, he’s such a Red Bull junkie, the energy drink company gave him a lifetime supply of the stuff, as well as a mini-refrigerator to keep it ice cold – just a little token of appreciation for giving Red Bull such great free advertising every time he slugs one back.
7. He was discovered at drama camp
A theater kid since the fourth grade, Neil was always performing in his school plays, including a lead role as Toto in The Wizard of Oz during his senior year of high school. But, it was a chance encounter at a youth drama camp that led to Neil’s breakthrough into mainstream acting. The screenwriter Mark Medoff discovered him at the camp and cast him in his 1988 movie, Clara’s Heart.
8. He had a major crush on his partner, David Burtka
Although he’s been dating partner David Burtka for over five years now, when they first met, Neil couldn’t have David because he was already in a relationship and raising twins with his male partner. Neil pined for his future boyfriend and gushed about his crush with actor friend Kate Reinders until David and his partner split and Neil could swoop in. “He’s made my life exponentially more livable,” says Neil. “He’s just—great. I’m his forever protector, and I’m happiest when he’s happy.”
9. He’s incredibly charitable
After watching his longtime manager struggle with cancer and having his partner David’s mother die of leukemia, Neil has been active in raising money to help find a cure for cancer. He was soaked in the “dunk pool” on The Ellen DeGeneres Show for Ellen’s Ellen For The Cure cancer drive, and he has made several donations to the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Food on Foot, and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure of breast cancer.
10. He’s played a doctor twice
No one can forget how Neil played the most adorable teenage doctor on Doogie Howser, M.D. in the ’80s and early ’90s, but now he’s reprising his doctor role – with a twist. If you watched the Emmys, you may know about Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (it won an Emmy!), but this project has been three years in the making. The show, which stars Neil as Dr. Horrible, Nathan Fillion as Captain Hammer, and Felicia Day as Penny, was writer/director Joss Whedon’s way of changing show business and introducing a video series exclusively online. The video, as well as its soundtrack, went straight to number one on iTunes and has been introduced in Australia and the UK.