One of the most famous child stars in history and certainly of the 1990s has to be Macaulay Culkin who endeared audiences with his role of Kevin in the 1990 hit “Home Alone.” Macaulay was born on August 26, 1980, in New York City, New York, USA, as the third of seven siblings. His father Kit Culkin was also a former child and stage actor, Broadway producer, and the manager of Macaulay’s career.
Culkin shot to fame with his Home Alone role but he kicked things of 5 years earlier at the age of five in the TV movie “The Midnight Hour” where he was uncredited as Halloween Kid. Three years later he guest-starred on an episode of the 80s hit series “The Equalizer” in the 1988 episode Something Green.
Macs first feature film role was in the 1988 film “Rocket Gibraltar” where he played Cy Blue Black, the next year he was Billy Livingstone in “See You in the Morning” and as Miles in the hilarious John Candy comedy “Uncle Buck.”
He kicked off his 90s fame with the mega-hit Home Alone but also appeared uncredited in “Jacob’s Ladder.” “Home Alone” from director Chris Columbus premiered in Chicago on November 10, 1990, and then had its North American wide release on November 16 just in time for the Christmas season and went on to draw mega audiences. In the film, we see Culkin as Kevin an eight-year-old ball of trouble who must protect his house from a pair of bungling burglars when he is accidentally left home alone by his family during Christmas vacation. Macaulay earned a nomination for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.
In 1991 Culkin continued his winning ways teaming up once again with John Candy in “Only the Lonely” and as Thomas J. Sennett in the excellent “My Girl” along with Anna Chlumsky. It was inevitable and 2 years after the first 12 years old Macaulay returned as Kevin in “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York,” he was paid $4,500,000 to star in the film, the biggest salary ever to a twelve-year-old child actor. The film was another hit for the 1992 Christmas season.
The next year Culkin took on two vastly different roles by playing the twisted Henry in “The Good Son” who terrorizes his cousin Mark, played by Elijah Wood. The same year he played The Nutcracker / Drosselmeier’s Nephew in “The Nutcracker.”
The year 1994 could be viewed as the year Culkin’s popularity started to wean a bit, he starred in “Getting Even with Dad,” “The Pagemaster” and “Ri¢hie Ri¢h ” with none of them reaching the success he enjoyed in previous films. Macaulay after these films seemed to disappear from the acting scene until 2003 when he guest-starred on “Will & Grace” and the feature “Party Monster.”
At his peak, he was regarded as the most successful child actor since Shirley Temple and was ranked at number two on VH1’s list of the “100 Greatest Kid-Stars” and E!’s list of the “50 Greatest Child Stars.”