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The evolution of Neil Patrick Harris: From 'Doogie Howser' to Oscar host

by Erin Clements / / Source: TODAY

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Neil Patrick Harris has spent weeks preparing to host the 2015 Academy Awards, but the multi-hyphenate performer has been charming audiences for most of his life.

Harris, now 41, found stardom at age 16 playing a precocious doctor on "Doogie Howser, M.D." Even before that, the child actor was sharing screen time with Whoopi Goldberg in the 1988 drama "Clara's Heart," for which he earned a Golden Globe nomination.

These days, he's known for his role as Barney Stinson on the long-running sitcom "How I Met Your Mother," and his eclectic career has also included various Broadway stints and credits in films such as "Gone Girl" and "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle."

He's also had plenty of practice for the Oscars, having hosted the Tony Awards four times and the Emmy Awards twice.

Watch the video above to follow Harris's long road to Hollywood's biggest night.

This article was originally published Feb. 20, 2015 at 5:20 p.m. ET.

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