In TV Series adaptation of the book series which the plot goes not in the same ways of the book except two episodes which each adapted from two from all book series, Harry was portrayed by Paul Blackthorne
Harry was born on Halloween, to Margaret LeFay and Malcolm Dresden. His mother died in childbirth, so Malcolm took care of him while travelling across the country trying to make a career as a stage magician. When Harry was six, Malcolm died of a brain aneurysm. Harry, orphaned, became a ward of the state.
Harry first manifested his powers at age ten, during a running long jump at school Olympics in the spring. Desperate to win, he magically pushed himself about about ten feet farther than he would have jumped on his own. Though he landed badly and sprained his wrist, he won a blue ribbon that he keeps to this day.
About two weeks after first manifesting, he was adopted by Justin DuMorne, a wizard and former Warden of the White Council, who took him as his apprentice.
At thirteen, Harry was given his first shielding lesson by DuMorne, who used baseballs as projectiles.
At sixteen, DuMorne tried to enthrall both Harry and his girlfriend, fellow adoptee Elaine Mallory. He succeeded in enthralling Elaine, but Harry escaped. He faced and beat He Who Walks Behind, an Outsider summoned by DuMorne to kill Harry; afterwards, he decided to go back and rescue Elaine. Harry made a bargain with the Leanansidhe in which he received power enough to defeat Justin DuMorne, a debt he would owe his godmother for years to come. Harry faced DuMorne in a duel to the death and won. He stole Bob, the air spirit of knowledge, and left, thinking Elaine died in the fire.
Harry was then found by the White Council (to his surprise - as far as he knew, there were no other wizards besides himself, DuMorne, and Elaine) and was put on trial for breaking the First Law of Magic. He was let off the death penalty due to the killing being ruled as self defence, and instead was put under the Doom of Damocles. This was due to some of the Council members, notably Ebenezar McCoy. Harry was taken in as apprentice by McCoy; though this would later be found out to be because McCoy was the Council's wet-works man, and was under orders to kill Harry if he showed any signs of rebelliousness -- which happened fairly often, apparently. Harry lived with McCoy on his farm in Hog Hollow, Missouri; his days were spent with hard work on the farm during the day, and studying in the evening. Although McCoy taught him about magic, his teaching of general values and providing a stable and peaceful life and home were even more important, and crucial for shaping his life. It is revealed in Changes that McCoy is Harry's grandfather.
After spending some years "getting his head together" under McCoy's tutelage, Harry attained membership to the Council, though he didn't, and still doesn't, trust them. (This is improving, albeit slowly.) He spent some years travelling across America, much like he did with his father, before settling down in Chicago.
After he first came to Chicago, he worked at a bunch of different jobs, among them being a dance partner with a senior-citizen organization, where he learned ballroom dancing. He then joined Nicholas Christian at Ragged Angel Investigations, where he spent three years gaining his licence as a private investigator. After this, he opened his own business, which had been open for two years as Storm Front opens.
In the years since, Harry has worked a great deal with the Chicago Police Force (particularly Karrin Murphy), assisting them in investigating crimes that, while supernatural in nature, are generally not recognized as such by the police department or society at large. At first, his relationship with Murphy is somewhat antagnostic, due to the fact he does not reveal everything about the supernatural world, but, after working several cases together, Harry trusts her enough to fully loop her into the existence of the White Council and the other supernatural power-players.
While his relationship with the White Court is tenuous at the best of times, their ongoing war with Red Court of vampires has strained their numbers enough that Harry was promoted to the postion of Warden: the White Court's secret police force which enforces the Laws of Magic and arrests those who violate them.
When needed, he wears a red, white and blue unembroidered stole, bearing the letters "GED," over his formal black robe.