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Before becoming Dr. Dick Solomon and brother to Sally Solomon on '3rd Rock From The Sun,' John Lithgow graduated from Harvard and began his acting career on Broadway.
'3rd Rock From The Sun' ran between 1996 and 2001 and when the show ended, Lithgow was cast in the film 'Orange County,' which stars Jack Black and Colin Hanks. Lithgow continued on with his acting career, appearing in television movies such as 'My Life, Inc.' and 'Einstein's Big Idea' and films such as 'Dreamgirls,' 'Confessions of a Shopaholic,' 'Shrek and 'Leap Year.'
Lithgow also landed recurring roles on shows such as 'Twenty Good Years' from 2006 to 2008 and in 2010, he won an Emmy for playing serial killer Arthur Mitchell on the Showtime series 'Dexter'.
In 2011, Lithgow appeared on the hit-TV comedy 'How I Met Your Mother' as the father of Barney Stinson, who is played by Neil Patrick Harris. He also appears in a prequel to the hit 'Planet of the Apes' film franchise - 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes,' which stars James Franco.
Over the years, Lithgow has earned multiple Tony and Emmy Awards, as well as two Academy Award nominations for his roles in the 1980s films 'The World According to Garp' and 'Terms of Endearment.' He has also recorded music and written poetry and short stories for children. Lithgow also delivers many commencement addresses and has shot ads for Campbell's Soup. Lithgow has been married twice and has a son and a daughter.
(Pictured: John Lithgow appears in a scene from the TV show, '3rd Rock from the Sun.' / John Lithgow appears in a scene from the TV show, 'How I Met Your Mother' in 2011.)
( Photo / Carsey-Werner Company/20th Century Fox Television)