David Burtka

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David Burtka
David Burtka 2012.jpg
Burtka in 2012
Born David Michael Burtka
(1975-05-29) May 29, 1975 (age 40)
Dearborn, Michigan, US
Alma mater University of Michigan
Occupation Actor
Years active Actor
Spouse(s) Neil Patrick Harris (m. 2014)
Children 2

David Michael Burtka (born May 29, 1975) is an American actor and chef. He is known for his acting roles in theatre and television shows such as How I Met Your Mother and The Play About the Baby. After his role on How I Met Your Mother, Burtka gained media attention for dating Neil Patrick Harris, whom he later married.

Early life[edit]

Burtka was born in Dearborn, Michigan, the son of Deborah A. (Zajas) and Daniel Burtka. He is of Polish descent.[1][2][3] He grew up in Canton, Michigan, and graduated from Salem High School in 1993. He trained in acting at Interlochen Center for the Arts, obtained his Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Michigan and had further training at the William Esper Studios.

Acting career[edit]

Burtka made his television debut in 2002 with a guest role on The West Wing; this was followed by guest appearances on Crossing Jordan.

Burtka's made his Broadway debut as Tulsa in the 2003 revival of Gypsy starring Bernadette Peters. He played The Boy in the American premiere of Edward Albee's The Play About the Baby, for which he won the 2001 Clarence Derwent Award for most promising male performer.

In 2004, Burtka originated the role of Matt in the musical The Opposite of Sex and reprised the role in the work's East Coast premiere in the summer of 2006.

Burtka appeared in seven episodes of How I Met Your Mother, playing "Scooter", the former high school boyfriend of Lily (Alyson Hannigan), who still has not gotten over their breakup. Burtka made a cameo appearance in A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas as himself, sharing a scene with Neil Patrick Harris playing a part much like his character from How I Met Your Mother.

Burtka starred in Osiris Entertainment's 2013 film Annie and the Gypsy.[4]

Burtka has a role in the upcoming film Dance Off, written and produced by Mark Goodman & Amy George. The movie tells the story of two rival studios whose star-crossed lovers, Jasmine and Brandon, must compete against each other for a $25,000 prize and the top award, the Platinum Platinum. It was announced in June Burtka was joining the cast and he tweeted that the rehearsals were some of the "hardest of my life" and that he was coming out of retirement.[5]

Burtka returned to Broadway in the David Hyde Pierce-directed It Shoulda Been You in April 2015, playing the Catholic boyfriend of a Jewish bride, played by Sierra Boggess, whose wedding day is disrupted when her ex-boyfriend shows up at the wedding. Additional cast members include Tyne Daly and Harriet Harris.[6][7]

Personal life[edit]

Burtka with his husband, Neil Patrick Harris, in September 2011

Six months after Burtka's How I Met Your Mother appearance, allegations arose that the actor received the part because of a romantic relationship with one of the series' stars, Neil Patrick Harris.[8] Speculation around this story eventually led Harris to publicly acknowledge that he is gay in a cover story in People magazine.[9] Burtka made no public response to the story, though later Harris stated that he and Burtka were moving in together.[10]

Burtka and Harris attended the Emmy awards in September 2007 as an openly acknowledged couple for the first time, an appearance which Harris discussed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.[11]

Burtka's mother died from cancer in May 2008.[12]

On February 4, 2009, Burtka and Harris appeared for the first time on stage together singing a duet from Rent at a benefit for The LGBT Community Center in New York. The two actors have been together since April 2004.[13] Harris refers to Burtka as "my better half" and "an amazing chef".[14] Burtka and Harris are parents to fraternal twins Gideon Scott and Harper Grace,[15] born on October 12, 2010, via a surrogate mother. Burtka is not the biological father of his ex Lane Janger's children but has remained close to them over the years. [16]

Following the passage of the Marriage Equality Act in New York on June 24, 2011, Burtka and Harris announced their engagement via Twitter, stating that they had proposed to each other five years earlier but had kept the engagement secret until same-sex marriage became legal.[17] News sources reported that the two were married in September 2014 in Italy.[18]

According to Harris, Burtka quit acting in order to become a professional chef.[19] He graduated from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Pasadena in summer 2009 and afterward began running a Los Angeles catering company, Gourmet M.D.[20] Nevertheless, Burtka does continue to act, most recently in It Shoulda Been You on Broadway in 2015.[21]



Year Title Role Notes
1999 24 Nights Toby
2007 Worldly Possession Andrew Bates Television film
2007 Open House Husband Short film
2007 Army Guy Keith Short film
2011 A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas David Burtka
2011 Gaysharktank.com Short film
2012 Annie and the Gypsy
2013 The Gay Christian Mingle Short film
2014 Dance-Off JT


Year Title Role Notes
2002 The West Wing Intern Bruce Episode: "The Black Vera Wang"
2005 Crossing Jordan Craig Heeley Episode: "Total Recall"
2007 CSI:NY David king Episode: "Down the Rabbit Hole"
2012 Neil's Puppet Dreams N/A Episode: "Doctor's Office"
2006–14 How I Met Your Mother Scooter 7 episodes
2014 RuPaul's Drag Race Himself (guest judge) Episode: "Drag My Wedding"
2015 Beat Bobby Flay Himself (guest judge) Episode: "No Training Wheels"
2015 American Horror Story: Freak Show Michael Beck Episode: "Curtain Call"


  1. ^ "Deborah A. Zajas Burtka (1948 - 2008) - Find A Grave Memorial". findagrave.com. Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  2. ^ "Obituary » Michigan Death Notices » from Michigan.com . . .". michigan.com. Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  3. ^ Administrator. "Famous Polish Americans". polishyoungstown.com. Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  4. ^ "Annie and the Gypsy". Retrieved 2013-02-08. 
  5. ^ "神社挙式には、他の結婚式場にない魅力がたくさん". platinumthedancemovie.com. Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  6. ^ BWW News Desk. "Tyne Daly, Harriet Harris, Sierra Boggess, Lisa Howard, David Burtka & More Will Star in David Hyde Pierce-Helmed IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU on Broadway; Opens April 14". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  7. ^ BWW News Desk. "Tyne Daly, Harriet Harris, Sierra Boggess, Lisa Howard, David Burtka & More Will Star in David Hyde Pierce-Helmed IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU on Broadway; Opens April 14". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  8. ^ canada.com October 24, 2006 (2006-10-24). "O.C. stars hit T.O". Canada.com. Retrieved 2010-09-15. 
  9. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Neil Patrick Harris Tells PEOPLE He Is Gay - Neil Patrick Harris". People.com. 2006-11-03. Retrieved 2010-09-15. 
  10. ^ Fabien Montique (July 26, 2007). "Neil Patrick Moves In With Boyfriend!". theBosh.com. Retrieved 2007-09-07. 
  11. ^ Thomson, Katherine (2007-09-13). "Watch: Neil Patrick Harris Tells Ellen About Going To The Emmys Since Coming Out". The Huffington Post. 
  12. ^ WENN. "Harris' Tribute To Boyfriend's Late Mother". contactmusic.com. Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  13. ^ "15 Questions with Neil Patrick Harris". 
  14. ^ "US Weekly". February 18, 2008. 
  15. ^ "Neil Patrick Harris Welcomes 'Happy, Healthy' Twins". People. 2010-10-15. Retrieved 2010-10-15. 
  16. ^ "David Burtka on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  17. ^ Published Saturday, Jun 25 2011, 1:42pm EDT (2011-06-25). "Neil Patrick Harris announces secret engagement". Digitalspy.com. Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
  18. ^ "Neil Patrick Harris Marries David Burtka". PEOPLE.com. Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  19. ^ "Neil Patrick Harris talks Thanksgiving on The Late Late Show". Youtube.com. Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
  20. ^ "GourmetCatering.com". Gourmetmdcatering.com. Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
  21. ^ ""It Shoulda Been You" official broadway site". Retrieved 2015-04-04. 

External links[edit]