Harris is no stranger to heading up awards ceremonies, though this is the first time he’ll be hosting the Academy Awards. The “How I Met Your Mother” actor hosted the Emmy Awards twice and has taken charge of the Tony Awards four times.
“It is truly an honor and a thrill to be asked to host this year's Academy Awards,” Harris said in a statement. “I grew up watching the Oscars and was always in such awe of some of the greats who hosted the show. To be asked to follow in the footsteps of Johnny Carson, Billy Crystal, Ellen DeGeneres, and everyone else who had the great fortune of hosting is a bucket-list dream come true.”
Meanwhile, producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who are producing the telecast for the third time, said of the choice in a statement, “We are thrilled to have Neil host the Oscars. We have known him his entire adult life, and we have watched him explode as a great performer in feature films, television and stage. To work with him on the Oscars is the perfect storm, all of his resources and talent coming together on a global stage.”
Zadan and Meron are also producing the upcoming NBC live production of the musical “Peter Pan.”
Harris has earned critical praise for his previous hosting turns, with NPR writer Linda Holmes writing of Harris’s opening number for the 2013 Tonys telecast, “If you're talking about awards shows in recent memory, the answer is that not only was it the best opener, but it utterly embarrassed just about everything except maybe Jimmy Fallon's ‘Born To Run’ at the 2010 Emmys. It's funny, energetic, committed, and ultimately deeply and touchingly warm-hearted.” Meanwhile, Michael Slezak of TVLine wrote of Harris hosting the 2013 ceremony, “Who can resist the charms of Neil Patrick Harris hosting the 2013 Tony Awards?... Any awards-show kickoff where the host ends up hanging for a good 30 seconds from a gigantic statuette at center stage is certainly worthy of the extended standing [ovation] that it receives.”
Harris recently appeared in the 2014 movies "A Million Ways to Die in the West" and "Gone Girl." He won a Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for his work in the stage show "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" and recently released a book, "Choose Your Own Autobiography."
The 2015 Oscars will air on Feb. 22.