Culkin at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2009
|Born||Macaulay Carson Culkin
August 26, 1980
New York City, New York, U.S.
(m. 1998; div. 2002)
|Relatives||Rory Culkin (brother)
Kieran Culkin (brother)
Bonnie Bedelia (aunt)
|Associated acts||The Pizza Underground|
Macaulay Carson Culkin (born August 26, 1980) is an American actor. He became famous as a child actor for his role as Kevin McCallister in the family comedy Home Alone (1990) and its sequel Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992). He is also known for his roles in Uncle Buck (1989), My Girl (1991), The Good Son (1993), The Pagemaster (1994), Richie Rich (1994), Party Monster (2003), and the music video for Michael Jackson's "Black or White". At the height of his fame, he was regarded as the most successful child actor since Shirley Temple. Culkin ranked at number two on VH1's list of the "100 Greatest Kid-Stars" and E!'s list of the "50 Greatest Child Stars".
Culkin was born in New York City. His father, Christopher Cornelius "Kit" Culkin, is a former actor known for his productions on Broadway and is the brother of actress Bonnie Bedelia. His mother is Patricia Brentrup, who never married Culkin. He was raised Roman Catholic, and attended a Catholic school (St. Joseph's School of Yorkville) for five years before moving on to Professional Children's School. He also studied ballet at the School of American Ballet. Macaulay Carson Culkin was named after Thomas Babington Macaulay. He was given the middle name Carson so he would then be named after Kit Carson of the old west. Culkin was the third of seven children, five boys and two girls: Shane (born 1976), Dakota (1979–2008), Kieran (born 1982), Quinn (born 1984), Christian (born 1987), and Rory (born 1989). During Culkin's early childhood, the family lived in a small apartment; his mother was a telephone operator and his father worked as a sacristan at a local Catholic church.
Culkin began acting at the age of four. Early roles saw him appearing in a stage production of Bach Babies at the New York Philharmonic. He continued appearing in roles on stage, television, and films throughout the 1980s. Notable parts in this period included an episode of the popular action series The Equalizer, in which he played a kidnapping victim, and in the TV movie The Midnight Hour. In 1989, he starred in Uncle Buck with John Candy.
Culkin rose to international fame with his lead role as Kevin McCallister in the blockbuster film Home Alone (1990), where he was reunited with Uncle Buck writer and director John Hughes and Uncle Buck co-star John Candy. He reprised the role of Kevin in the 1992 sequel Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Culkin also starred in a Saturday morning cartoon entitled Wish Kid and hosted Saturday Night Live in late 1991. Despite the huge success of Uncle Buck, Home Alone, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York and My Girl, other films Culkin acted in, such as The Good Son, only did reasonably well (although he was nominated for MTV Movie Award in the category for Best Villain for his performance in the film). Getting Even with Dad, The Pagemaster, and Richie Rich, all released in 1994, were only mildly successful at the box office. He also appeared, while a student at the School of American Ballet, in a filmed version of The Nutcracker as the title role in 1993, which was staged by Peter Martins from the 1954 George Balanchine New York City Ballet version of the work. He appeared in the 1998 music video for the song "Sunday" by the rock band Sonic Youth.
After several years of inactivity, Culkin returned to acting, in 2000, with a role in the play Madame Melville, which was staged in London's West End. In the spring of 2003, he made a guest appearance on the NBC sitcom Will & Grace. His role as Karen Walker's deceptively immature divorce lawyer won him favorable reviews. Culkin headed back into motion pictures in 2003 with Party Monster, in which he played a role very different from those he was known for, that of party promoter Michael Alig, a drug user and murderer. He quickly followed that with a supporting part in Saved!, as a cynical wheelchair-using, non-Christian student in a conservative Christian high school. Though Saved! only had modest success at the box office, Culkin received positive reviews for his role in the film and its implications for a career as an adult actor. Culkin began doing voice-over work, with appearances in Seth Green's Robot Chicken. In 2006, he published an experimental, semi-autobiographical novel, Junior, which featured details about Culkin's stardom and his shaky relationship with his father. Culkin starred in Sex and Breakfast, a dark comedy written and directed by Miles Brandman. Alexis Dziena, Kuno Becker and Eliza Dushku also star in this story of a couple whose therapist recommends they engage in group sex. Shooting for the film, Culkin's first since Saved!, took place in September 2006. The film opened in Los Angeles on November 30, 2007 and was released on DVD on January 22, 2008 by First Look Pictures. Culkin's next project was a role in the thirteen-episode NBC television series Kings as Andrew Cross.
In 2009, Culkin appeared in a UK-based commercial for Aviva Insurance (formerly Norwich Union) to help promote their company's rebranding. Culkin stared into the camera stating, "Remember me." On August 17, 2009, Culkin made a brief cameo appearance on WWE Raw at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri, following a "falls count anywhere" match between Hornswoggle and Chavo Guerrero, in which Guerrero was defeated by the classic Home Alone gag of rigging a swinging paint can to hit him upon opening a door. Culkin appeared in the doorway and said, "That's not funny." In February 2010, Culkin appeared in an episode of Poppy de Villeneuve's online series for The New York Times, The Park. On March 7 of the same year, he appeared alongside actors Matthew Broderick, Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, Anthony Michael Hall, and Jon Cryer in a tribute to the late John Hughes. In April 2011, Culkin was featured in musician Adam Green's experimental film The Wrong Ferarri, which was entirely shot on an iPhone. In the same month, he also appeared in the music video for "Stamp Your Name On It" performed by Green's former bandmate Jack Dishel/Only Son. In September 2012, he appeared in a video on YouTube explaining how he turned his apartment in New York into a painting workshop.
In 2013, Culkin directed and co-produced a short called "Macaulay Culkin Eating a Slice of Pizza" co-starring Phoebe Kreutz.
The Pizza Underground
In December 2013, a viral video of Culkin eating a cheese pizza was uploaded to YouTube. He was parodying Andy Warhol consuming a Burger King Whopper in Jørgen Leth's documentary 66 Scenes from America. Culkin was promoting the debut of his New York-based, pizza-themed comedy rock band the Pizza Underground. Their tour began in Brooklyn on January 24, 2014. In late May 2014, Culkin stormed off stage at Rock City during his kazoo solo after fans began booing and throwing pints of beer at the band. They subsequently cancelled the remaining U.K. shows, though they claimed the cancellation had nothing to do with the Rock City performance.
On July 10, 2016, Culkin revealed that the Pizza Underground is splitting up and their next album will be the last.
Culkin stated in a May 27, 2004, interview on Larry King Live that he tends to refrain from disclosing aspects of his personal life, though he discussed his life as a child actor, the conflict in his family life (including his estrangement from his father), and how he retired from acting at age 14. Culkin married actress Rachel Miner in 1998, but the couple separated in 2000 and divorced in 2002.
Culkin began dating actress Mila Kunis in May 2002. By 2006, he was residing in New York, and Kunis was in Los Angeles. On January 3, 2011, Kunis's publicist confirmed reports that Culkin and Kunis had ended their relationship several months previously, saying, "The split was amicable, and they remain close friends."
On September 17, 2004, Culkin was arrested in Oklahoma City for the possession of 17.3 grams (0.61 oz) of marijuana and two controlled substances, 16.5 milligrams (0.25 grains) of Alprazolam and 32 milligrams (0.5 gr) of Clonazepam, for which he was briefly jailed, then released on a $4,000 bail. After being arraigned in court for misdemeanor drug offenses, he pleaded not guilty at the trial (October 15, 2004, to June 9, 2005), then later reversed the plea to guilty. He received three one-year suspended prison sentences and was ordered to pay $540 in fees.
Friendship with Michael Jackson
Around the time of the first Home Alone movie, Culkin became close friends with pop singer Michael Jackson, making an appearance in Jackson's "Black or White" music video. After sexual abuse allegations involving Michael Jackson, Culkin spoke at Jackson's trial, and reported he had slept in Jackson's bedroom on countless occasions but also stated that Jackson's bedroom was arranged over two stories and that Jackson had never sexually molested him or touched him in improper ways. Culkin referred to the allegations as "absolutely ridiculous". Culkin attended Jackson's burial on September 3, 2009.
|1985||The Midnight Hour||Halloween Kid||TV movie|
|1988||The Equalizer||Paul Gephardt||Episode: "Something Green"|
|1991||Wish Kid||Nicholas McClary||Voice|
|1991||Saturday Night Live||Host||Episode: "Macaulay Culkin/Tin Machine"|
Episode: "Seat of Power"
|2003||Will & Grace||Jason "JT" Towne||Episode: "May Divorce Be with You"|
|2004||Foster Hall||Clark Hall||TV movie|
|2009||Kings||Andrew Cross||Episodes: "Judgment Day"
"The Sabbath Queen"
"The New King: Part One"
"The New King: Part Two"
|2005–2010||Robot Chicken||Bastian Bux
|Episodes: "Junk in the Trunk"
"That Hurts Me"
"Robot Chicken's DP Christmas Special"
|2015–2016||The Jim Gaffigan Show||Himself||guest-star|
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