The classic comedy Home Alone made cheeky kiddie winkie Macaulay Culkin a household name and at the height of his fame he was regarded as the most successful child star since Shirley Temple but Where Is He Now?
The Early Years
The third of seven children to Broadway actor Kit Culkin, Macaulay was pushed into acting at the age of four and appeared in loads of TV shows, adverts and movies throughout the 80s.
His big break came in 1990 when aged ten he landed the main role in Home Alone, that of Kevin McCallister, the boy left behind by mistake while his family bugger off on holiday.
Home alone was a huge hit, largely thanks to the brilliantly violent ways Kevin defended the family home from a pair of burglars played by Goodfellas’ Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern - who was, fact fans, the narrator on The Wonder Years.
During that time Macaulay Culkin also forged a friendship with Michael Jackson, but we’ll gloss over that for various reasons…
Point is, despite making a Home Alone sequel and starring opposite other WATN alumnus Anna Chlumsky in My Girl, he disappeared. Where did he go?
The Wilderness Years
Well, Macaulay kept acting, appearing in movies such as The Good Son, opposite a young Elijah Wood and a filmed version of The Nutcracker as the title role in 1993.
When Culkin was fourteen years old, his parents disputed custody and after a messy legal wrangling Macaulay was legally ‘emancipated from them’.
He later went on to write about his relationship with his parents in an experimental semi-autobiography called Junior, focusing especially on his apparently overbearing father Kit, who was also his manager.
Anyway, back to the story. Apart from appearing in the 1998 music video for "Sunday" by Sonic Youth, he ‘retired' from acting during that decade.
That same year he married fellow teen actress Rachel Miner but that only lasted a couple of years, probably because the little fool was still stuck in the throes of puberty.
The Rocky Road Back
In 2000 he returned to acting, but over here in Blighty, starring in the West End play Madame Melville.
In the spring of 2003, he made a guest appearance on the sitcom Will & Grace and following good reviews, he starred in Party Monster, his first movie since his return.
Party Monster saw Culkin play a role very different from those he was known for, that of party promoter Michael Alig, a drug user and murderer. Then life began to mirror art in a rather unsavoury way.
On September 17, 2004, Culkin was arrested in Oklahoma City for the possession of 17.3g of marijuana and two ‘controlled substances’ and was briefly jailed in Oklahoma but soon released on a $4,000 bond.
His trial saw him initially plead not guilty but later reverse his plea to guilty and he received three one-year suspended prison terms, a probationary drug treatment program and a $540 fine.
Despite this little misdemeanour, Macaulay continued to be drawn to quirky roles, he then starred in Saved! playing a cynical, wheelchair-bound student.
Of course, if you tell us you’ve seen this movie – or indeed anthing he’s been in since My Girl - we simply won’t believe you.
Kevin's All Grown Up
But it seems that Culkin, having tasted superstardom - and Michael Jackson - at an early age, he now is more selective, picking and choosing his roles, living as he does in both Los Angeles and New York. Here's what he looks like now.
Since 2002 he has been dating the lovely actress Mila Kunis, from That 70’s Show and the voice of Meg Griffin in Family Guy. Lucky swine. There are rumours the pair may get hitched, but that’s not confirmed.
He’s also done voice over work for another star of Family Guy, Seth Green, in Robot Chicken and appeared in the 2007 movie Sex and Breakfast, a dark comedy about a couple whose therapist recommends group sex to them.
In 2009, Culkin returned to the UK to pop up rather randomly in those ads for Aviva Insurance, in which he stared lifelessly into the camera mumbling the phrase "Remember me".
Oh, we do Macaulay, but we kind of wish you were still that cheeky little boy making former gangsters fall down the stairs on rollerskates, rather than a terrifying, wet-lipped heroin-chic manchild trying to convince us to part with our cash during an economic meltdown.
Lastly, Macaulay is also the godfather of Jackson's oldest son Prince Michael Jackson I so he’s probably got a bit of work cut out for him from now on.
However if he does impart one piece of paternal advice to the young lad it’s probably not to be left home alone. After all, look what happened to Jackson senior…