Neil Patrick Harris
Neil Patrick Harris experienced a fair amount of success in his acting career early on, with a role in 1988’s Clara’s Heart and his starring role in Doogie Howser M.D. from 1989 to 1993. After the end of the latter series, however, Patrick’s career sputtered; he acquired guest spots in shows through the years but it was nothing compared to the iconic Doogie Howser role, and no one really gave much thought to him other than as “that dude who played the kid doctor on TV in the '80s.” Sad stuff.
It wasn’t until a cameo in 2004’s Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, in which he played a highly fictionalized, doped up, asshole version of himself, that he really saw a career resurgence, and his role as Barney Stinson in the wildly successful How I Met Your Mother cemented that. Now, after coming out as a gay man in 2006, Harris has been named one of the 100 most influential people by TIME magazine, and is also considered one of the greatest people ever. Seriously.