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|Also Known As:||Died:|
|Born:||August 26, 1980||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||New York City, New York, USA||Profession:||actor, dancer|
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ory around a child star who would inevitably attract a youthful audience. For the first time, Culkinâ¿¿s performance had few supporters, with many objecting to his very adult dialogue that they argued was used for shock value. Kit made no bones about how completely he controlled Culkin, and when Michael Jackson was first accused of child molestation in 1993, Kit prevented his son from speaking out in the singerâ¿¿s defense. Culkinâ¿¿s titular appearance in the strange, stage-taped "The Nutcracker" (1993) seemed like an innocuous, classy project, but Kitâ¿¿s involvement tipped the scales into professional nightmare. Kit commanded that the narration by Kevin Kline be deleted from the film, as well as specific demands related to technical aspects of various scenes. When filmmakers refused to acquiesce, Kit pulled Culkin from all promotional duties, and the movie disappeared silently.Culkin asked his father for a break or for more of a say in the film roles he took, but Kit pressed on relentlessly, and Culkin was forced into a string of movies that not only bombed with critics and audiences, but also reflected how thoroughly extinguished his own spark was. His performances in "Getting Even with Dad"...
ory around a child star who would inevitably attract a youthful audience. For the first time, Culkinâ¿¿s performance had few supporters, with many objecting to his very adult dialogue that they argued was used for shock value. Kit made no bones about how completely he controlled Culkin, and when Michael Jackson was first accused of child molestation in 1993, Kit prevented his son from speaking out in the singerâ¿¿s defense. Culkinâ¿¿s titular appearance in the strange, stage-taped "The Nutcracker" (1993) seemed like an innocuous, classy project, but Kitâ¿¿s involvement tipped the scales into professional nightmare. Kit commanded that the narration by Kevin Kline be deleted from the film, as well as specific demands related to technical aspects of various scenes. When filmmakers refused to acquiesce, Kit pulled Culkin from all promotional duties, and the movie disappeared silently.
Culkin asked his father for a break or for more of a say in the film roles he took, but Kit pressed on relentlessly, and Culkin was forced into a string of movies that not only bombed with critics and audiences, but also reflected how thoroughly extinguished his own spark was. His performances in "Getting Even with Dad" (1994), "The Pagemaster" (1994) and "RiÂ¢hie RiÂ¢h" (1994) showed not only Culkinâ¿¿s ascent out of childhood and into adolescence, but also his weariness from the toll of being the meal ticket for his impossible-to-please father. Although Culkin benefited financially â¿¿ he earned record-breaking paydays for these movies thanks to Kitâ¿¿s acumen â¿¿ emotionally, the pace was devastating. Kitâ¿¿s reputation was well known across America, and few of Culkinâ¿¿s fans were surprised to hear that his parents were separating that year. The couple began a lengthy and expensive court battle over the custody of their seven children, many of whom were now working actors, with the right to the 14-year-old Culkinâ¿¿s sizable fortune the ultimate prize.
The cost of lawyers drained his mother Brentrupâ¿¿s resources, and the family found themselves in the strange position of living in poverty while Culkin himself had a fortune. The young actor decided to quit show business and took his parents to court to gain control of his money, estranging himself from his father. In 1997, Kit relinquished control to Brentrup, and Culkin paid off his motherâ¿¿s debt and moved out with two of his brothers. Culkin married his high school sweetheart, Rachel Miner, that same year. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the young couple soon divorced in 2000. After briefly attempting college, Culkin decided to make a tentative return to acting that year, and landed a role in the London production of "Madame Melville." His father sent a telegram wishing him luck, but Culkin reportedly had no desire to reconcile.
In 2002, Culkin began dating actress Mila Kunis and plotting a more public comeback. He appeared on an episode of "Will & Grace" (NBC, 1998-2006) as Karenâ¿¿s baby-faced divorce attorney to good reviews, and then dove headfirst into a challenging, controversial role in the flashy indie "Party Monster"(2003) as a flamboyantly gay murderer. Based on the real-life story of killer club kid Michael Alig, the movie saw Culkin wearing outrageous outfits and embracing an onscreen lifestyle of hedonism and drug use â¿¿ a far cry from the wholesome fare which had made his fortune. While Culkin earned positive notices for his brave turn, the film itself was little seen. He continued his cred-building momentum with a winning turn in the hit hypocrisy-of-religion comedy, "Saved!" (2004). Following a group of teenagers attending a devoutly Christian high school, the film poked fun at the ultra-religious-yet-self-righteous, like Hilary Faye (Mandy Moore), while also revealing a reverence for true piety, and featured a top-notch cast, including Moore, Jena Malone, Eva Amurri, Culkin and Mary-Louise Parker. Culkin played Mooreâ¿¿s wheelchair-bound brother, and his earnest performance earned him another round of good reviews. His momentum hit a speed bump, however, when he was arrested on Sept. 17, 2004 and briefly jailed in Oklahoma City for possession of marijuana and two controlled substances.
Regardless of his legal issues and still riding an upswing in the second wave of his career, Culkin reunited with his "Party Monster" co-star Seth Green to provide voices for a handful of episodes of the stop-motion cult hit "Robot Chicken" (Adult Swim, 2005- ), increasing his cache as a member of smart, young indie Hollywood. In 2005, he took the stand to defend longtime friend Michael Jackson from another round of molestation charges and remained steadfast in his support for the singer, even appearing in a Santa Barbara County courtroom to testify. The next year, Culkin publicly examined his past in a strange book called Junior, a collection of drawings and reflections on a variety of subjects, under the overarching theme of a powerful but abusive and distant father. Steadfast in his estrangement from his father, Culkin next appeared in the little-seen indie "Sex and Breakfast" (2007), and suffered the tragedy of his sister Dakota dying from being struck by a car in 2008. (A half-sister had died from an overdose in 2000 as well.) The following year, he paid his respects at the funeral for Michael Jackson seen â¿¿round the world and appeared in a supporting role in the short-lived fantasy-tinged drama, "Kings" (NBC, 2009).
In 2010, Culkin found himself saluting another deceased friend and mentor, when he participated in the Oscar-night tribute to director John Hughes, who had been so pivotal to his initial success. Meanwhile, the actorâ¿¿s career again began to slow down, as he appeared more frequently in tabloid headlines than he did on screen. In early 2011, Culkinâ¿¿s long relationship with Mila Kunis came to an official end when it was reported that the two had split. Though Kunisâ¿¿ publicist claimed the two had remained friends, Culkin was allegedly devastated by the break up. The following year, rumors began to swirl that he had fallen prey to a serious drug addiction when photos of an emaciated Culkin emerged in an issue of The National Enquirer. The accompanying article claimed that he had become addicted to heroin and prescription painkillers, and had only six months to live. Culkinâ¿¿s representatives immediately lashed out at the report, stating that the accusations were "ridiculously fictitious" and that their client was in good health. Culkin subsequently made an appearance at the wedding of Natalie Portman in August 2012 and was later photographed leaving the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood in somewhat better physical shape. York â¿¿ with his fatherâ¿¿s credit cards and his old burglar nemeses in hot pursuit. While the movie was an enormous success, more critics complained about the thinly-stretched premise, and the amplified focus on the comical violence dished out by Kevin. The filmâ¿¿s financial success assured Culkinâ¿¿s catbird seat in Hollywood for another round of profitable projects, but increasing reports about the controlling, iron-fisted managerial techniques used by his father Kit began to damage his career. In a town famous for ambition and ruthlessness, Kit became one of its most notorious stage parents, brokering Culkinâ¿¿s power to give his other children acting careers as well as making outrageous demands. He strong-armed the studios into giving Culkin the lead as a killer in the dark thriller "The Good Son" (1993), casting his daughter Quinn as the characterâ¿¿s sibling, and paying his son a then-jaw-dropping $5 million.
The film could not have been more of a departure for Culkinâ¿¿s sunny image, and the writer, Ian McEwan, complained that the original script and concept had been heavily changed to accommodate Kitâ¿¿s demands. Even the original director was fired over clashes with the strong-willed father. While it performed moderately well financially, critics hated it and attacked the filmmakers for anchoring such a dark and violent st
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CAST: (feature film)
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"As the star of 'Home Alone', the $18.2 million movie that has grossed more than $281 million, the third-largest gross in history ... Macaulay and Kit Culkin, his father and manager, have some of the most powerful leverage in Hollywood. And they're using it."---Bernard Weinraub in The New York Times November 4, 1991
Culkin shared a Winnebago dressing room with Michael ('King of Pop') Jackson for the Presidential Gala in honor of President Clinton's inauguration.
"I've done 14 films and never looked at one script. I was just a machine. My father would go over what I was doing next day, I'd go on the set, do it, come home, go over what we were going to do the next morning. I had really no sense of the actual film. After a while I did not care any more. I had been wanting to stop since I was about 11."---Culkin on why he decided to stop acting to Peter Lennon of Guardian Unlimited October 9, 2000
"We had very similar experiences in childhood. We're both going to be 8 years old forever in some place because we never had a chance to be 8 when we actually were."---Culkin on his long-time friendship with Michael Jackson to New York Magazine April 30, 2001
"I wouldn't trade any of my experiences for anything in the world. I'm very happy with who I am, and where I've ended up and I wouldn't change one thing. Because if you change one thing in the past, everything else is different."---Culkin to Barbara Walters on ABC News 20/20 September 5, 2004
On September 18, 2004 Culkin was arrested in Oklahoma City on suspicion of possessing marijuana and a controlled substance. Culkin was released on $4,000 bail after police said they found 17.3 grams of marijuana and prescription drugs which he had no prescription for.
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