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OTRC: Neil Patrick Harris to host Tony Awards for the 3rd time (Poll)

Neil Patrick Harris appears at his star ceremony on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Sept. 15, 2011. (Hollywood Chamber of Commerce)

Neil Patrick Harris will host the 2012 Tony Awards, marking the third time the comedy actor and stage performer has hosted the annual event, which honors achievements in American theatre.

The nominations will be announced on May 1. The ceremony takes place at the Beacon Theatre on June 10 and will air live on CBS at 8 p.m. ET.

Harris, 38, had hosted the Tonys in 2009 and 2011. The latter telecast was watched by 6.9 million people. Ratings were slightly lower than those from the year before, when the event was hosted by "Will & Grace" actor Sean Hayes, but were higher among the coveted audience of adults aged 18 to 49 by 9 percent.

"He's back! Neil Patrick Harris has officially been announced as the host of the 2012 Tony Awards, June 10 on CBS. This is his third time hosting, and we're THRILLED!" read a message posted on the official Facebook page of the Tony Awards.

Harris enjoys a large fan following, especially among young people. The actor rose to fame playing a teenage doctor on the show "Doogie Howser, M.D." and currently plays Barney on the hit CBS sitcom "How I Met Your Mother." He has also guest-starred on the musical sitcom "Glee," another show popular with younger audiences.

Harris has also acted on Broadway, which has traditionally had an older fan base. He made his debut in 2002 with the play "Proof." He later had roles in revivals of the musical "Cabaret" and the play "Assassins." He also took part in a national tour of the musical "Rent" and directed a 2010 Los Angeles production of it that starred Vanessa Hudgens.

Harris and "Castle" star Nathan Fillion both starred in "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" creator Joss Whedon's 2008 online musical "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog." Whedon attended the unveiling of Harris' star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2011.

Also last year, Harris starred in the New York Philharmonic's production of the musical "Company," along with the likes of Stephen Colbert, "Mad Men" actress Christina Hendricks and Broadway actress Patti LuPone. The cast performed at the 2011 Tony Awards and Harris also showcased his rapping skills during the ceremony and participated in a musical showdown with Hugh Jackman, a former Tony Award winner and ex-Tonys and Oscars host. The actor, known for playing Wolverine in the "X-Men" movies, plays the main role of Jean Valjean in a musical film adaptation of "Les Miserables," a Broadway show that originally starred LuPone.

Harris and his "How I Met Your Mother" co-star Jason Segel are both Broadway musical fans. They have sung the famous "Les Miserables" "Confrontation" duet between Valjean and his nemesis, Inspector Javert, in television and press appearances. Segel also co-wrote and starred in the 2011 musical film "The Muppets."

Harris lives in Los Angeles with his partner, David Burtka. The two are parents to twins and recently celebrated their eighth anniversary.

Harris can be seen in the new movie "American Reunion," the fourth installment in the "American Pie" comedy franchise, which hits theaters on Friday, April 6.

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