10 actors and actresses back from the brink
A look at bottomed-out A-listers who successfully re-ignited their careers
Neil Patrick Harris
Early Success: As a teen, Harris landed the starring role in the TV series "Doogie Howser, M.D."
The Brink: After the show ended its four-season run, Harris was neatly pigeonholed as a nerdy, precocious kid just as he was aging into adult roles. A starring role in the short-lived sitcom "Stark Raving Mad" didn't do much to stop the "Doogie" jokes, either.
The Comeback: Audiences took notice when Harris played a borderline insane version of himself for the comedy "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle." He not only showed off his comedic chops, he reinvented himself as an edgy, self-aware grown-up far removed from the kid doctor who wore a tie to work.
Did it take? You've seen "How I Met Your Mother," haven't you?
-Liane Bonin Starr