Though he’s now well into adulthood, Macaulay Culkin is easily one of the best-known and beloved child actors of all time. With starring roles in memorable films like Home Alone and My Girl, he certainly made an impression on a generation of movie-goers.
Unfortunately, his public persona was marred by some serious personal issues after his acting career ended. He had a tumultuous relationship with his father, and he struggled with rumors of drug abuse and other problems following his initial career highs.
Luckily, plenty of people out there are fans of Culkin and wish him well. Whether you’re still following his career or you just loved him in Richie Rich, you’re bound to be fascinated by these 20 facts about him!
1. Macaulay Culkin was a student of the School of American Ballet: Culkin’s skill and experience as a dancer helped him earn the starring role in the 1993 film version of The Nutcracker, directed by Emile Ardolino.
2. Macaulay Culkin appeared in a music video for Sonic Youth: Culkin took a four-year hiatus from acting after starring in 1994’s Richie Rich, but returned to the screen (alongside Rachel Miner, whom he married later that year) to appear in the video for “Friday” by the noise rock pioneers of the band Sonic Youth.
SonicYouthVevo / YouTube
3. Macaulay Culkin appeared in a number of British television commercials: In 2009, he appeared in a commercial for Aviva Insurance, asking audiences “Remember me?” In 2016, he made another appearance in a commercial for Comparethemarket.com.
Home Cinema Adverts / YouTube
4. Macaulay Culkin made a WWE Raw cameo: In 2009, when wrestler Hornswoggle defeated Chavo Guerrero with a technique that was apparently inspired by Home Alone, Culkin dropped in to say, “That’s not funny.”
5. Macaulay Culkin admitted to forming his band based on a drunk joke: Culkin’s band is called Pizza Underground, which is a silly reference to the legendary 1960s rock band The Velvet Underground. He described it as “one of those good ideas you have when you’re drunk.” They released music and even toured!
6. Macaulay Culkin and his band abruptly left the stage during a Pizza Underground show: During a 2014 gig in Nottingham, United Kingdom, the band was forced to leave the stage after audience members threw beer at them. They even canceled the tour, although the musicians claimed that this incident had nothing to do with that decision.
Will Wong / YouTube
7. Macaulay Culkin became legally emancipated from his parents when he was just 14 years old: Though Culkin’s relationship with his father, Kit, was particularly contentious, both parents fought over the $17 million that their son earned during his short career.
8. Macaulay Culkin’s father no longer considers him his son: Culkin sided with his mother, Patricia Brentrup, during his parents’ custody battle following their divorce, and two years after suffering a stroke, his father revealed in an interview that he no longer considered Culkin his son.
9. Macaulay Culkin’s father allegedly assaulted his mother twice: In the midst of the custody battle, Kit Culkin was accused of threatening to throw his wife off a balcony as well as punching her while she was pregnant. The court granted her custody, which was a verdict that was openly celebrated by their children, who had taken to nicknaming their father “Stinky.”
Culkin Crush / Tumblr
10. Macaulay Culkin’s family was poor when he was a child: Despite becoming a multi-millionaire at such a young age, the Culkin family was previously so poor that Macaulay and his siblings all shared the same bedroom. The future child star would sometimes crawl around movie theaters looking for change that had dropped out of audience members’ pockets.
frankieleon / Flickr
11. Macaulay Culkin and his wife separated when he was 19 years old: Culkin was just 17 when he married actress Rachel Miner in 1998. Unfortunately, they separated in 2000, and by 2002 they had officially filed for divorce.
Tiny Beanie / Flickr
12. Macaulay Culkin reportedly lived with musician Pete Doherty at one point: Culkin had already been dealing with rumors of drug abuse by the time that he started his brief stay in Paris with the Libertines frontman, who had drug issues of his own.
Yeti-Vert / Wikimedia Commons
13. Michael Jackson’s secret locker held an autographed photo of Macaulay Culkin: Culkin insists that his relationship with the King of Pop was purely platonic, despite having his picture in a closet full of headshots of other young boys and girls.
Celebrityabc / Flickr
14. Macaulay Culkin received three Razzie nominations in one year: For his performances in Richie Rich, Getting Even with Dad, and The Pagemaster, young Culkin was nominated for Worst Actor in this race for the least acclaimed performances and films made every year.
15. Macaulay Culkin lost roles many times: Despite being so successful and recognizable, another child actor, Brad Renfro, landed a major role in the 1994 film The Client instead. And five years earlier, all of his scenes in Born on the Fourth of July were cut.
16. Both Macaulay Culkin’s sister and half-sister passed away: Culkin’s half-sister Jennifer died of a drug overdose in 2000 when she was just 29 years old. In 2008, his sister Dakota passed away at the same age after she was struck by a car.
Tony Webster / Wikimedia Commons
17. Macaulay Culkin suffers from agoraphobia: In an interview with Larry King, Culkin explained that his condition was exacerbated by an incident in which he was trapped in his trailer while a legion of fans shook it during a film shoot. He also said that adopting a dog helped him get out more.
Matt Biddulph / Wikimedia Commons
18. Macaulay Culkin’s mother caused a deadly apartment fire by accident: Four people died and 22 more were injured, leading to a number of lawsuits, when Patricia Bentrup’s wall-mounted heater short-circuited and caught fire.
bystk / Pixabay
19. Macaulay Culkin regrets writing his first book: Despite publishing an experimental semi-autobiographical novel called Junior in 2006, Culkin has tried to distance himself from the book, even going so far as to call himself a fraud.
BookaBecca / YouTube
20. There was an Internet hoax that claimed that Macaulay Culkin had died: The web swirled with rumors that Culkin had died in 2014, so he played along on Twitter with a parody of a scene from Weekend at Bernie’s. He even started his next Pizza Underground show by proclaiming “I’m alive!”
Robman94 / Wikimedia Commons
If nothing else, these facts prove that, while Macaulay Culkin had a number of significant challenges throughout his life, he’s doing alright now and he seems to have a sense of humor about himself. Here’s hoping that things continue to get better for him!
Share these fascinating facts with your friends below!