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Neil Patrick Harris: Some exceptional facts about the Oscar host

Neil Patrick Harris attends the 57th Annual Grammy

Neil Patrick Harris attends the 57th Annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015, in Los Angeles. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Larry Busacca

Everybody knows that Neil Patrick Harris will be hosting the Academy Awards Sunday night. And who doesn't know that Harris made a name for himself at age 16 playing a child prodigy of the medical world in the ABC dramedy "Doogie Howser, M.D."?

But here are five things you probably didn't know about the Oscars' master of ceremonies, who also had a bloody good role as Rosamund Pike's creepy ex-boyfriend in one of last year's biggest movies, "Gone Girl."

 

DOGGIE HOWSER?

Long before his success in musicals on Broadway, including last year's Tony-winning star turn in "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," Harris made his stage debut playing Toto in a fourth-grade production of "The Wizard of Oz" at his school in Ruidoso, New Mexico. "They needed someone small," he told People.

 

HE'S A MAGIC MAN

Magic has always had a spell on Harris, who's performed tricks on "The Tonight Show" and is president of the Magic Castle, a private club for illusionists in Los Angeles. At age 11, Harris donned a top hat and cape and performed the "amazing finger chopper" trick -- which involved a mini-guillotine -- at a young girl's birthday party. Let's just say, his skills as a magician have improved since then.

 

HE'S BULLISH ON RED BULL

As womanizing Barney Stimson on "How I Met Your Mother," Harris had to guzzle a lot of Red Bull, his favorite drink. The company so appreciated all the free advertising they got on the show that they gave Harris a lifetime supply.

 

EAR YE, EAR YE

In a 2008 interview on Howard Stern's radio show, Harris admitted he had an otoplasty -- surgery to have his ears pinned back -- because he was so self-conscious about how they protruded.

 

FOLLOW MR. YELLOW BRICK ROAD

Elton John is one of Harris' best friends. According to Harris' 2014 memoir, "Choose Your Own Autobiography," he and Captain Fantastic bonded when they were both expecting children by surrogacy. Harris has even been a frequent guest at John's house in Nice, France, which Harris described in his book as "a villa one can only assume Elton timeshares with God."

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