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Neil Patrick Harris admitted he realised he was gay after dating Ben Stiller’s wife

Neil Patrick Harris admitted he realised he was gay after dating Ben Stiller’s wife

The actor's failed romance with the Arrested Development star helped him realise his true sexuality.

Not all of our relationships are a roaring success, but the failed ones certainly teach us some valuable life lessons and help us come to some key realisations about ourselves.

In the case of Neil Patrick Harris, the end of his romance with Ben Stiller's now wife helped him blossom into his true self and come out as a gay man.

The 50-year-old actor, best known for his role as Barney Stinson in How I Met Your Mother, might be loud and proud these days, but he only came to terms with his sexuality during his teen years.

It was long before he took on the suit obsessed and sex-mad character he is recognised for, when he was a lesser-known name in the entertainment industry and still forging his path.

But he was steadily building his career after booking the starring role in ABC's medical sitcom Doogie Howser, M.D, which started airing back in 1989.

During this period of his life, the then-teenage star was also thrust further into the public eye thanks to his relationship with Arrested Development star Christine Taylor.

She had just scored her breakout role as Marcia Brady 1995's The Brady Bunch Movie, so the pair were quite the hot showbiz couple - for a fleeting moment.

After getting together in 1997, the couple ended up splitting the following year but remained amicable - but Harris later took the brunt of the blame for their failed romance.

The actor, 50, dated Christine Taylor for a year back in the day.
Nathan Congleton/NBC via Getty Images

A decade after their break-up and two years after he had publicly come out as a 'very content gay man', he discussed what caused them to call time on their relationship during an appearance on The Howard Stern Show in 2008.

The American Horror Story actor said of Taylor: "She's the coolest, nicest chick ever. She's an absolute catch, and I thought, 'If I'm not going to feel the super sparks with her... it probably means I'm gay'."

While playing the role of womaniser Barney Stinson in How I Met Your Mother, Harris shared a statement with fans, saying: "I am happy to dispel any rumours or misconceptions and am quite proud to say that I am a very content gay man living my life to the fullest and feel most fortunate to be working with wonderful people in the business I love."

Harris is now happily married to fellow actor and chef David Burtka, after they became an item back in 2004.

He said Ben Stiller's wife helped him realise he was gay.
Rob Kim/Getty Images for Tribeca Festiva

The couple became parents in October 2010 when they welcomed twins, son Gideon and daughter Harper, via a surrogate and tied the knot in Italy in September 2014.

Taylor obviously went on to get together with Ben Stiller, who she met in 1999 while they were both filming sci-fi TV comedy Heat Vision and Jack.

The comedic couple also appeared alongside each other in films Zoolander, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Tropic Thunder, and Zoolander 2 as well as in the TV series Arrested Development and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

They share children Ella, 21, and Quinlin, 18, together.

Taylor and Stiller separated in 2017 after 17 years of marriage, but later reconciled after the actor moved back into the family home during the pandemic.

She said: "We had so much time to talk, there were no other distractions, so it was a really special time for us, for the family. It just happened organically."

Don't you just love a happy ending?

Featured Image Credit: Nathan Congleton/NBC/Rob Kim/Getty Images for Tribeca Festiva

Topics: Sex and Relationships, Celebrity, TV and Film, US News, LGBTQ