Macaulay Carson Culkin (born August 26, 1980)[1] is an American actor and musician. He started his acting career as a child actor. He became famous for portraying the role of Kevin McCallister in the Christmas film Home Alone (1990), for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.

He starred in the films My Girl (1991), Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), The Good Son (1993), The Pagemaster (1994) and Richie Rich (1994). He has been nominated for Kids' Choice Awards, MTV Movie Awards and Young Artist Awards.

At the height of his fame, he was regarded as the most successful child actor since Shirley Temple.[2] 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."[3]

In 1994, he took a break from his acting career, making his return in 2003, with a role on the television show, Will and Grace, and in the film Party Monster (2003).

He wrote the autobiographical book, Junior, which was published in 2006.

In 2013, Culkin became the vocalist of his New York-based, pizza-themed comedy rock band the Pizza Underground. Their tour began in Brooklyn on January 24, 2014. On July 10, 2016, Culkin revealed that the Pizza Underground is splitting up and their next album will be the last.

Early life

Macaulay Carson Culkin was born in New York City.[1] 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.[4] He was named Macaulay after Thomas Babington Macaulay and Carson 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),[5] 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.[6]

He was raised Roman Catholic,[7] and attended a Catholic school (St. Joseph's School of Yorkville) for five years[8] before moving on to Professional Children's School. He also studied ballet at the School of American Ballet.[9]


Culkin at the Governor's Ball after the Emmy Awards on August 25, 1991.

1985–1989: Early work

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. He made a small appearance in the TV movie, The Midnight Hour (1985). In 1988, he appeared in an episode of the popular action television series, The Equalizer, in which he played a kidnapping victim, Paul Gephardt. He made his big-screen debut portraying the character of Cy Blue Black in the drama film, Rocket Gibraltar (1988).

He played the role of Billy Livingstone in the romantic-comedy film, See You in the Morning (1989), starring Jeff Bridges, Alice Krige, Farrah Fawcett and Drew Barrymore. He starred as Miles Russell alongside actor John Candy in the comedy film, Uncle Buck (1989).[10]

1990–1994: Breakthrough

Culkin rose to fame with his lead role of Kevin McCallister in the highly successful blockbuster Christmas film, Home Alone (1990), where he was reunited with Uncle Buck writer and director John Hughes and Uncle Buck co-star John Candy, who played the role of Polka band member, Gus Polinski. He was nominated for a Golden Globe Award, and won an American Comedy Award and a Young Artist Award for his role as Kevin McCallister.

In 1991, Culkin starred in an animated Saturday morning cartoon television series, Wish Kid, hosted Saturday Night Live and starred in Michael Jackson's "Black or White" music video. He starred as Thomas J. Sennett in the film, My Girl (1991), for which he was nominated for Best On-Screen Duo and won Best Kiss at the MTV Movie Awards, with Anna Chlumsky.

He reprised his role of Kevin McCallister in the sequel, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), for which he was nominated for a Kids' Choice Award. He played the role of Henry in the drama-thriller film, The Good Son (1993), which only did reasonably well (although he was nominated for MTV Movie Award in the category for Best Villain for his performance). 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 was in the films, Getting Even with Dad (1994), The Pagemaster (1994) and Richie Rich (1994), which were all only mildly successful at the box office.

1994–2003: Career break

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.[11]

2003–2010: Return to acting and book debut

In the spring of 2003, he made a guest appearance on the NBC sitcom Will & Grace.[12] 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.[13][14][15] In 2004, he appeared in the music video for the song "Sunday" by the rock band Sonic Youth. 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.[16] 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.[17]

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.

2010–2015: Musical and other artistic endeavors

Culkin with the Pizza Underground in Chicago 2014

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 December 2013, a viral video that Culkin co-produced and directed of himself eating a cheese pizza was uploaded to YouTube, co-starring Phoebe Kreutz. He was parodying Andy Warhol consuming a Burger King Whopper in Jørgen Leth's documentary 66 Scenes from America.[18] Culkin was promoting the debut of his New York-based, pizza-themed comedy rock band the Pizza Underground.[19] Their tour began in Brooklyn on January 24, 2014.[20] 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.[21] They subsequently cancelled the remaining U.K. shows, though they claimed the cancellation had nothing to do with the Rock City performance.[22]

On July 10, 2016, Culkin revealed that the Pizza Underground is splitting up and their next album will be the last.[23]

2015–present: continued acting career

In July 2016, Culkin had joined the meerkats Aleksandr and Sergei in Compare the Market's new ad.[24]

He is portraying the role of Ian in the upcoming film, Changeland, alongside Seth Green and Brenda Song.

Personal life

Legal issues

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,[25] for which he was briefly jailed, then released on a $4,000 bail.[26][27] 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.[28]


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.[7] He relaxed this somewhat during a March 20, 2018 interview on Anna Faris' podcast. In it, he discussed what type of woman he is attracted to, and revealed that he lost his virginity when he was 15. Though he declined to name his partner, he stated, "It wasn't gross or weird. We planned it".[29]

Culkin married actress Rachel Miner in 1998, when they were both 18,[29][30] but the couple separated in 2000[31] and divorced in 2002.[32]

Culkin began dating actress Mila Kunis in May 2002.[32] By 2006, he was residing in New York, and Kunis was in Los Angeles.[33] 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."[34]

Culkin had been dating former All My Children actress Jordan Lane Price in 2013 but later broke up.[35] Since 2013, Culkin lives in Paris.[36] As of October 2017, Culkin has been in a relationship with his Changeland co-star Brenda Song.[29][37]

Friendship with Michael Jackson

Around the time of the first Home Alone movie, Culkin became close friends with pop singer Michael Jackson,[38] making an appearance in Jackson's "Black or White" music video.[39] 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."[40] Culkin attended Jackson's burial on September 3, 2009.[41]


Year Title Role Notes
1988 Rocket Gibraltar Cy Blue Black
1989 See You in the Morning Billy Livingstone
1989 Uncle Buck Miles Russell
1990 Jacob's Ladder Gabe Singer Uncredited
1990 Home Alone Kevin McCallister
1991 Only the Lonely Billy Muldoon
1991 My Girl Thomas J. Sennett
1992 Home Alone 2: Lost in New York Kevin McCallister
1993 Dangerous: The Short Films Himself Seen in Black or White
1993 The Good Son Henry Evans
1993 The Nutcracker The Nutcracker Prince
1994 Getting Even with Dad Timmy Gleason
1994 The Pagemaster Richard Tyler
1994 Richie Rich Richard "Richie" Rich Jr.
2003 Party Monster Michael Alig
2004 Saved! Roland Stockard
2007 Sex and Breakfast James Fitz
2011 The Wrong Ferarri Himself
2015 Adam Green's Aladdin Ralph
2018 Changeland Ian Filming
Year Title Role Notes
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"
1994 Frasier Elliot Voice
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 5 episodes
2005–2010 Robot Chicken Bastian Bux
Kevin McCallister
Kid (voice)
5 episodes
2015 Best of the Worst Master Culkin Episode: "The Photon Effect, How I Saved the President, and Double Down"
2015–2016 The Jim Gaffigan Show Himself Guest star, 8 episodes

Awards and nominations

Year Nominated work Category Result Ref.
American Comedy Awards
1991 Home Alone Funniest Actor in a Motion Picture Won
Chicago Film Critics Association
1991 Home Alone Emerging Actor Won
Golden Globe Awards
1991 Home Alone Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Nominated
Golden Raspberry Awards
1995 Getting Even with Dad Worst Actor Nominated
The Pagemaster Nominated
Richie Rich Nominated
Kids' Choice Awards
1993 Home Alone 2: Lost in New York Favorite Movie Actor Won
MTV Movie Awards
1992 My Girl Best Kiss shared with Anna Chlumsky Won
Best On-Screen Duo shared with Anna Chlumsky Nominated
1994 The Good Son Best Villain Nominated
Stinkers Bad Movie Awards
1994 Getting Even with Dad Worst Actor Nominated [42]
The Pagemaster Nominated
Richie Rich Nominated
2003 Party Monster Nominated
Young Artist Awards
1991 Home Alone Best Young Actor Starring in a Motion Picture Won


  1. ^ a b Neal, Rome (June 4, 2004). "Macaulay Culkin's 'Saved!'". CBS News. Retrieved February 23, 2010. 
  2. ^ Gliatto, Tom (December 17, 1990). "Running Away with the Box Office by Staying Home Alone, Macaulay Culkin Is Hollywood's Newest Little Big Man". People. Retrieved February 22, 2010. 
  3. ^ "The Greatest: 100 Greatest Kid Stars (100 - 81) VSPOT Video Clips, Photos, Episodes and Real Online Message Boards from the Reality TV Show VH1.com". VH1.com<!. Retrieved August 7, 2009. 
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  14. ^ Guidelive.com Archived April 7, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
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  36. ^ Grazia.fr (2016-05-10). "VIDEO - Macaulay Culkin dans C à vous : Les choses vont plutôt bien pour moi, j'ai de la chance". Grazia.fr (in French). Retrieved 2017-04-10. 
  37. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Macaulay Culkin and Brenda Song Are Dating, Show PDA During Theme Park Date: Pics!". Entertainment Tonight. October 1, 2017. Retrieved March 20, 2018. 
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  40. ^ "CNN.com". May 11, 2005. 
  41. ^ Kaufman, Gil (September 4, 2009). "Michael Jackson's Kids Lay Golden Crown On His Casket At Funeral". MTV.com. Viacom. Retrieved May 17, 2010. 
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  • Holmstrom, John. The Moving Picture Boy: An International Encyclopaedia from 1895 to 1995, Norwich, Michael Russell, 1996, p. 398.

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