Where Did They Come From: The Cast of 'How I Met Your Mother'
Learn more about the early careers of the cast of 'How I Met Your Mother.'
Neil Patrick Harris
One of the show's main cast members, 'How I Met Your Mother' actually set off a bit of a career revival for Harris. While many of his costars were relatively new to acting, Harris had already been the star of a major TV hit about 20 years earlier.
That major TV hit was a show called 'Doogie Howser, M.D.,' which was on the air from 1989 to 1989-1993. Harris played the title character, a child genius who attends medical school and gains a medical license by age 14 and enters medical practice while dealing with the normal problems and questions of adolescence.
Like Harris, Hannigan was already a seasoned actor who had been on a super-popular TV show by the time she got cast on 'How I Met Your Mother.' Hannigan moved to Hollywood with her mother at age 11 to pursue an acting career, eventually attending college in the area while also doing commercial work and some minor TV roles.
Hannigan got her big break in 1997, when she landed the role of Willow Rosenberg in Joss Whedon's 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer.' The show has a major cult following, and Hannigan remains one of the most professionally successful actors from that show.
Segel is yet another 'HIMYM' cast member who started work pretty early; he was born and raised in Los Angeles and had access to the entertainment industry from a young age. One of his first acting credits, the teen comedy 'Can't Hardly Wait,' came in 1998, when Segel was still in his teens.
Though it wasn't as popular as Harris and Hannigan's shows, Segel was already a TV veteran by the time 'HIMYM' came around thanks to his experience acting on the critically acclaimed teen dramedy 'Freaks and Geeks.' Segel played Nick Andopolis, a high school student who was friends with characters played by actors such as Seth Rogen and James Franco.
'How I Met Your Mother' was definitely Radnor's big break. He'd done some small parts in big TV shows like 'ER' and 'Law & Order,' but they were all one-off roles. 'HIMYM' was his first starring role.
Hailing from Canada, Smulders' birth name is Jacoba, for which Cobie is a nickname. Her first major role before getting cast on 'HIMYM' was on a short-lived drama called 'Veritas: The Quest.'
Though he's uncredited in the series, Saget appears in each episode as a narrator. Those who don't recognize the voice may put two and two together after watching some reruns of the mega-popular 80's and 90's family-friendly show 'Full House,' on which he played Tanner family patriarch Danny. Before that, he was a stand-up comedian whose frequently raunchy material was worlds away from the work he did on 'Full House.'
Still a teenager when he got the role as one of the kids on the show, Henrie was actually a pretty experienced actor for such a young person. He'd already stared on the Disney Channel shows 'Wizards of Waverly Place' and 'That's So Raven.'