The Life & Career of Macaulay Culkin

Celebs November 14, 2017 By Vincent

The name Macauly Culkin often instantly conjures up images of Christmas films and a more innocent time for millennials and those of a certain age as the actor became one of the biggest stars of the 1990s at a very young age but from appearing in everything to retiring from public life for a while what is the actor up to now?

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Here we take a look at the life and career of Macaulay Culkin.

A Star Is Born

Born in 1980 to an actor father who had been on Broadway and with an aunt who also acted Macaulay had acting in his blood and both he and his brother were caught by the bug.

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He started acting professionally at just the age of 4 years old and was on his way to stardom.

First Steps

Largely appearing in theater productions, Culkin first appeared on television in the show The Equalizer. After that, he appeared in a made-for-TV movie called The Midnight Hour.

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It wasn't until 1989 though that Macaulay appeared in a Hollywood movie when he was cast in Uncle Buck which became a success and brought him to the attention of the world.

Keeping It In The Family

With his father being his manager and understanding the fickle nature of the career path he had set him on, he pushed the young Macaulay to take more projects on to memorize the hardest part of scripts for auditions so that he would always shine.

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This paid off as, in 1990, Macaulay landed the role of Kevin Macallister in the film Home Alone.

Home Alone

Home Alone was actually created with Macaulay in mind, and he worked with many of the people from Uncle Buck. Written to showcase Culkin's talents, the film was made on a modest budget of $18m  but grossed a total of $476.7 million at the box office and made Macaulay a superstar.


It is now considered a classic Christmas film and is still played around the world.

Big Earner

Following on the footsteps of that, Macaulay became the first ever child star to receive $1m for a role in a single film when he played Thomas in My Girl in 1991.

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After that, he returned to the Home Alone franchise by filming the sequel in 1992.

Sequel To Success

Home Alone 2: Lost In New York again made an incredible return from the modest budget as $20m turned into $350m at the box office.


His father began to push for more and more work, and this not only put a strain on a young Macaulay but also caused tension between his parents.

Getting Everywhere

In 1992, the same year that Home Alone 2 was released, Macaulay became the voice of Nick McClary in the Saturday morning cartoon Wish Kid.


Now appearing everywhere the film offers were rolling in, and Culkin was in high demand.

Branching Out

By 1993, Macaulay was trying more than just cutesy roles as he took on The Good Son in which he played a boy whose increasingly disturbing behavior starts to raise suspicion.

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Its budget was just $17 million, and it managed to rake in a reasonable $60 million, but critics were not too fond of the outing. It also starred child star Elijah Wood who would go on to have an acting career as an adult appearing in The Lord of The Rings Films amongst many others.

Talented Dancer

An avid dancer as well as actor, Macaulay enrolled at the School of American Ballet in 1993 and landed the lead role in a film adaptation of the famed ballet The Nutcracker.

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Showing off his skills the actor was building a head of steam on a seemingly unstoppable career.

On The Downturn

In 1994 Culkin's workload shot through the roof as he starred in Pagemaster, Richie Rich, and Getting Even with Dad.


All of these films stuttered both critically and commercially, and it appeared that the Macaulay Culkin spell was wearing thin despite the credits being racked up.

Calling It Quits

As he started to burn out, a fierce custody battle broke out between his parents in a fiery split that saw his work as a major bone of contention.

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Now estranged from his father, Macaulay retired at the tender age of 14, just a few short years after bursting onto the scene.

Friendship With The King of Pop

As a boy, Macaulay Culkin developed a close friendship with the pop star Michael Jackson and even became the godfather to his daughter Paris. When Jackson was accused of inappropriate behavior with minors, Culkin would defend him tie and again saying he never suffered any such mistreatment.

The king of pop's death hit Culkin hard and he attended the funeral. In recent years he has been pictured with Paris Jackson, still honoring his commitment as godfather to her.

A Normal Teen

Trying to make the most of his teenage years, Culkin didn't work for a while, and at 18 he hit the headlines again for his marriage to fellow actor Rachel Miner in 1998.

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The marriage was not to last though and just 4 years later the pair divorced.

Drug Bust

Still not stepping into the spotlight optionally it was in 2004 that he gained some unwanted media attention when police found 16.5 milligrams of Xanax, 32 milligrams of Klonopin, as well as a little over 17 milligrams of marijuana on the former child star.

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Released on $4000 bail, he would receive a fine of $540, as well as a one-year delayed prison sentence. This was not ideal as the actor was once again trying to break back into acting.

Back To The Screen

Wanting to avoid any major blockbusters for a while, Macaulay appeared in the play Madame Melville, performed on London’s West End in 2000.

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Three years later he made an appearance on the hit TV showWill&Grace and followed this up with the film Party Monster but that was a flop, and people doubted his star power would return.


After the flop of Party Monster, Culkin appeared in the low budget teen drama Saved! that actually performed pretty well and did something to repair his tarnished reputation.

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 In 2007, he starred in an independent film entitled Sex and Breakfast. He played one of the main characters in this film, and it served him well.

The Rumor Mill

Because of his previous drug bust, when a picture of the star surfaced of him looking extremely pale and gaunt surfaced in 2012 many speculated he was using heroin.


Culkin denied this though and continues to do so.

Meeting Mila

In 2002, Culkin started dating the beautiful Mila Kunis, best known her role on That ’70s Show and for voicing Meg Griffin from Family Guy and he seemed to be piecing things back together in his life.


The pair had a close relationship that lasted in 2011. It was an amicable split, and the pair apparently remain friendly today despite Mila now being married to Hollywood star Ashton Kutcher.

Still Working

Still happy to be working, Culkin began to take on odd roles here and there, and from 2005 to 2010, Macaulay was involved heavily in the Adult Swim sketch comedy show Robot Chicken.


He also took occasional guest star roles on TV shows.

Indie Darling

Seemingly more happy with independent projects Macaulay threw himself into things that more interested him rather than those that would earn him a lot of money.

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In 2011's The Wrong Ferrari the actor played a fictional version of himself in a film entirely shot on an iPhone.


Wanting to do more than act, Macaulay formed an art collective with some flatmates and also started a parody band of The Velvet Underground called The Pizza Underground.

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The band toured for a while and sung songs mostly revolving around pizza. Eventually, the band went their separate ways.

A New Life

Since 2013, Macaulay has spent most of his time in Paris, France to avoid much of the media attention around him.

He occasionally appears in commercials to earn a little bit of cash, but he considers himself professionally retired and only dabbles in projects that appeal to him.

© 2017