David Michael Burtka (born May 29, 1975) is an American actor and professional 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 in 2014.
Burtka was born in Dearborn, Michigan, the son of Deborah A. Zajas (d. 2008) and Daniel Burtka. He is of Polish descent. 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.
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 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.
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.
Burtka returned to Broadway in the David Hyde Pierce-directed It Shoulda Been You in April 2015, playing the Catholic fiance 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.
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. Speculation around this story eventually led Harris to publicly acknowledge that he is gay in a cover story in People magazine. Burtka made no public response to the story, though later Harris stated that he and Burtka were moving in together.
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.
Burtka's mother died from cancer in May 2008.
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. Harris refers to Burtka as "my better half" and "an amazing chef". Burtka and Harris are parents to fraternal twins Gideon Scott and Harper Grace, born in October 2010, via a surrogate mother. Burtka is not the biological father of his ex Lane Janger's children (who were also born via surrogate) but has remained close to them over the years.
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 in their state.
According to Harris, Burtka quit acting full-time in order to become a professional chef. 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. Nevertheless, Burtka does continue to act, most recently in It Shoulda Been You on Broadway in 2015.
|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|
|2012||Annie and the Gypsy|
|2013||The Gay Christian Mingle||Short film|
|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||Himself||Episodes: "Dream Bump"
|2006–14||How I Met Your Mother||Scooter||8 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"|