How I Met Your Mother cast ages: How old were the actors when the show started

How I Met Your Mother ran for nine seasons beginning in 2005 and this year it will be 19 years since we first met the cast. Find out how old they were when the show began.
The Paley Center For Media's PaleyFest 2014 Honoring "How I Met Your Mother" Series Farewell
The Paley Center For Media's PaleyFest 2014 Honoring "How I Met Your Mother" Series Farewell / Frazer Harrison/GettyImages

It’s been nearly 19 years since How I Met Your Mother first aired on Sep. 19, 2005. There are some shows that we love to look back on, even if the ending had plenty of people talking, even years later. The show revolved around an older man named Ted Mosby narrating the story of, you guessed it, how he met the mother of his kids. 

For nine seasons, audiences for the CBS series got to know the characters who have since spawned many catchphrases, such as Barney Stinson’s (Neil Patrick Harris) iconic line “Legen-wait for it-dary.” The show even had a short-lived spin-off titled How I Met Your Father, which was unfortunately canceled after airing for two seasons on Hulu. In addition to that show being on Hulu, the original series is also available for streaming so fans can rewatch it whenever they'd like.

Even though the series was met with a disappointing ending for many fans, it still is memorable for the characters that fans grew to love. So let’s look back at who the cast was and how they have grown since the show’s airing. How old was the cast of the series then and now?

Rise - Season:1
RISE -- Season: 1 -- Pictured: Josh Radnor as Lou Mazzuchelli -- (Photo by: Eric Liebowitz/NBC) /

Josh Radnor as Ted Mosby

Born: July 29, 1974
Age when How I Met Your Mother premiered: 31
Age now: 49

Born on July 29, 1974, Radnor played the main protagonist Ted Mosby. He was the younger version of the narrator as he went through life looking for his person. At the time the show premiered, he was 31 years old. Besides his role in the iconic show, he has also appeared in All Happy Families, Hunters, Fleishman Is in Trouble, and Mercy Street. Today, Radnor is 49 at the time of this writing.

Jason Segel
75th Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals / Neilson Barnard/GettyImages

Jason Segel as Marshall Eriksen

Born: January 18, 1980
Age when How I Met Your Mother premiered: 25
Age now: 44

Born on January 18, 1980, Segel was 25 when the show premiered and he is now 44 years old. He played Marshall Eriksen, Ted’s friend, and husband to Lily Aldren. Besides the show, he is also known for Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The End of the Tour, and Sex Tape.

STUMPTOWN - "Forget it Dex, It's Stumptown." - Dex Parios - a strong, assertive and sharp-witted army veteran with a complicated love life, gambling debt and a brother to take care of - works as a PI in Portland, Oregon. With only herself to rely on, she solves other people's messes with a blind eye toward her own, finding herself at odds with the police and in the firing line of criminals, on the series premiere of "Stumptown," WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 25 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (ABC/Mitch /

Cobie Smulders as Robin Scherbatsky

Born: April 3, 1982
Age when How I Met Your Mother premiered: 23
Age now: 42

Born on April 3, 1982, Smulders was 23 when the show premiered. She played Robin Scherbatsky, Mosby’s ex who would later marry Barney Stinson for a brief period. The show also alluded to Ted and Robin eventually getting back together, a move that is still controversial to this day. Besides the show, she has also appeared in the MCU films, including The Avengers, and she is also known for Safe Haven, and Spiderman: Far From Home. Today, she is 42 years old.

Uncoupled. Neil Patrick Harris as Michael in episode 108 of Uncoupled. Cr. Barbara Nitke/Netflix © 2022 /

Neil Patrick Harris as Barney Stinson

Born: June 15, 1973
Age when How I Met Your Mother premiered: 32
Age now: 52

Harris was born on June 15, 1973, making him 32 when the show premiered. When he was younger, he starred as Dr. Douglas “Doogie” Howser in Doogie Howser, M.D. before making his mark as Barney Stinson. In addition to the show, he has also appeared in A Series of Unfortunate Events and Gone Girl. Today. He is 52 years old as of 2024.

Host Alyson Hannigan, as seen on Girl Scout Cookie Championship, Season 1.
Host Alyson Hannigan, as seen on Girl Scout Cookie Championship, Season 1. photo provided by Food Network /

Alyson Hannigan as Lily Aldrin

Born: March 24, 1974
Age when How I Met Your Mother premiered: 31
Age now: 50

Born on March 24, 1974, Hannigan was 31 years old when the show premiered. She played Lily Aldrin Eriksen, who was married to Marshall. She is also best known for her iconic role on Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Hannigan has also appeared in American Pie and Office Race.

Bob Saget
Women's Guild Cedars-Sinai Annual Gala / Phillip Faraone/GettyImages

Bob Saget as the narrator

Born: May 17, 1956
Age when How I Met Your Mother premiered: 49

Bob Sage, best known for his role in Full House, may not have appeared in the series itself, but he did portray the older version of Ted Mosby as the narrator. He told the kids the story throughout the series, except for the final two episodes. Born on May 17, 1956, the well-known comedian was 49 when the show premiered. Sadly, he passed away on January 9, 2022, at the age of 65.

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