Macaulay Culkin Biography

Macaulay Culkin photo

Born: August 26, 1980

MACAULAY CULKIN

Date of Birth: August 26, 1980

Born in New York, NY, Macaulay Culkin comes from a family of seven children. His mother, Patricia Brentrup, and father, Christopher Culkin, never married. Christopher, a former child actor, started his children in showbusiness early. Macaulay first appeared on stage at the age of four, and by the time he was seven he'd landed a major role in the feature film Rocket Gibraltor (1988), acting with veteran actor Burt Lancaster. The following year, he was starring as one of the children who get John Candy as their babysitter in John Hughes' Uncle Buck (1989). Hughes was so impressed by Culkin that he wanted him to star in his next script, Home Alone (1990), directed by Chris Columbus. The movie grossed over $285 million in the US alone, and Macaulay Culkin became one of the biggest child stars of all time. He made several more movies in quick succession and at age 11, hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live. For his work in Home Alone, he won a Young Artist Award, an American Comedy Award, a Chicago Film Critics Association award and a Golden Globe nomination. His salary skyrocketed, going from $100,000 for the first Home Alone to $4,500,000 for the 1992 sequel.

However, as is the case with child stars, when they begin to grow up, critics and the public begin seeing them with different eyes. Cast as an evil pre-teen in The Good Son (1993) opposite Elijah Wood, the comparisons between the two young stars were inevitable—many critics agreed that Wood was the superior actor and that without the cutesy mannerisms Culkin displayed in the Home Alone movies, his acting was flat and dull.

After flops such as The Nutcracker (1993), Getting Even With Dad (1994) and Richie Rich (1994), and amid rumors that Culkin's father was a demanding figure not only at home but that he often disrupted filming on Macaulay's movies with outrageous demands, Culkin's career took a downswing. In 1995 his parents separated and a very public legal battle followed, not only over the custody of their kids but for control of Macaulay and his $17 million fortune. The suit was settled in April 1997 and several of the Culkin children publicly stated that they were relieved to be out from under their father's control. Macaulay's younger brothers Rory and Kieran followed in his footsteps and are successful film actors in their own right.

In 1998 at the age of 17, Macaulay married 17-year-old actress Rachel Miner, but the marriage dissolved in 2000. He returned to acting in 2001, performing in London in the play Madame Melville. After a nine-year absence from films, Culkin made his debut in an independent film entitled Party Monster (2003), playing a gay, flamboyant New York partier who goes a step too far when he commits a murder.

In 2008, tragedy entered his life when his sister, Dakota Culkin, died at age 29 after being struck by a car.

In 2009 Macaulay has appeared as a regular on the drama series King and from 2005 to 2010 he provided voices for the animated series Robot Chicken.

Change Location