BackgroundBurtka was born May 29, 1975 in Dearborn, Michigan, and grew up in Canton, Michigan, and graduated from Plymouth-Salem High School in 1994. 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.
CareerBroadway debut was as Tulsa in the 2003 production 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 made his television debut in 2002 with a guest role on The West Wing; this was followed by guest appearances on Crossing Jordan. In the second season episode of How I Met Your Mother, the actor reprised his role as "Scooter", the former high school boyfriend of Lily (Alyson Hannigan).
According to his long-term partner, actor Neil Patrick Harris, Burtka has, as of 2009, quit acting in order to become a chef. He graduated from the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Pasadena in summer 2009 and afterward began running a Los Angeles catering company, Gourmet M.D.
Personal lifeSix months after Burtka's How I Met Your Mother appearance, there was a story published purporting 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.
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". On August 14, 2010, Harris announced that he and Burtka were expecting twins via a surrogate mother. Fraternal twins Gideon Scott, a boy, and Harper Grace, a girl, were born on October 12, 2010.