Culkin, Macauley 1980-
CULKIN, Macauley 1980-
(Macauley Carson Culkin)
Born August 26, 1980, in New York, NY; son of Christopher and Patricia Culkin; married Rachel Miner, June 21, 1998 (divorced August 5, 2000). Education: Attended St. Joseph's School of Yorkville, New York, NY, and School of American Ballet, New York, NY.
Home—New York, NY. Agent—William Morris Agency, 1325 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10019.
Actor and writer. Appeared in TV commercials; films include Rocket Gibraltar, 1988, Uncle Buck, 1989, See You in the Morning, 1989, Jacob's Ladder, 1990, Home Alone, 1990, My Girl, 1991, Onlythe Lonely, 1991, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, 1992, The Good Son, 1993, George Balanchine's The Nutcracker, 1993, Getting Even with Dad, 1994, The Pagemaster, 1994, Richie Rich, 1994, Party Monster, 2003, and Saved!, 2004; appeared in Michael Jackson's "Black or White" video, 1991. Television appearances include voice of Nicholas McClary on Wishkid (animated), 1991-92; Frasier, National Broadcasting Company (NBC), 1994; Will and Grace, NBC, 2003; and Robot Chicken, 2005. Has appeared on stage and as a guest on various television talk shows.
Funniest actor (leading role) in a motion picture, American Comedy Awards, 1991, for Home Alone; most promising actor award, Chicago Film Critics Association, 1991, for Home Alone; best young actor starring in a motion picture award, Young Artist Awards, 1991, for Home Alone; MTV Movie Award for best kiss, 1992, for My Girl.
Junior (novel), Miramax Books (New York, NY), 2006.
Macauley Culkin is best known as the child actor who starred in the popular "Home Alone" film series and in such works as My Girl, The Good Son, and Richie Rich. These films made him a millionaire by the age of ten. Culkin's tumultuous childhood became tabloid fodder when he was forced to sue his parents in order to block them from accessing his fortune when he was only fourteen; questions also arose as to the way his father, Christopher Culkin, controlled his family. Culkin went on to marry young, at the age of seventeen, and was divorced by the age of twenty. During his late teen years he all but vanished from the film world, returning in his twenties when he was no longer young enough for the child roles that had made him famous, so he made the transition to more adult roles. He also wrote his first novel, Junior, a fictional work that is heavily rooted in his own experiences growing up. The book tells the story of a child star and a boy with a difficult relationship with his father. Entertainment Weekly reviewer Margeaux Watson observed that "everything about it suggests that this is as close to a memoir as we're likely to get from Culkin." Culkin refuses to comment on what portions of the novel are true to life, leaving readers to question whether the more uncomfortable father/son moments in the book are based on personal experience.
The volume is formatted as a collection of diary entries, poetry, and so on, with a quiz at the start that purports to qualify readers to continue with the rest of the book. David Amsden remarked in a profile for New York that "Junior turns out to be oddly, unwittingly … compelling. A postmodern mishmash filled with drawings, epistolary fragments, personal manifestos, and public diatribes, the book is best appreciated as a piece of conceptual art rather than a legitimate novel." He went on to note that "for all its tangents, the book continually circles back to a single subject: Junior's relationship with his father, a figure who has much in common with Kit Culkin." Culkin himself told Amsden: "I have my father, and I have the one in my head. The real one is gone and should be gone. But I think I was looking to put the one in my head to rest." Tenley Woodman, writing in the Boston Herald, noted that the book is "far more interesting and respectable than much of the other celebrity babble out there," and concluded that Junior "isn't anything groundbreaking, but the author is far smarter than he lets on."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television, Volume 47, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), 2003.
Newsmakers 1991, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), 1991.
Artforum International, January, 2000, Dennis Cooper, review of Home Alone, p. 22.
Boston Herald, March 29, 2006, Tenley Woodman, "The Good Son?: Ex-child Star Culkin Rants about Life, Fight with Dad in 'Fictional Memoir.'"
Entertainment Weekly, May 29, 1992, Jill Rachlin, review of My Girl, p. 74; December 16, 1994, Glenn Kenny, review of Home Alone, p. 80; September 12, 2003, Owen Gleiberman, "Party Monster: A Club-Kid Murder Tale Gets into the Rhythm of the Nightlife," p. 131; September 19, 2003, Lisa Schwartzbaum and Owen Gleiberman, review of Party Monster, p. 67; March 17, 2006, Margeaux Watson, "Tome Alone: Macauley Culkin's Junior Gets Cut Down to Size," p. 118.
Globe and Mail (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), March 21, 2006, John Allemang, review of Junior, p. R3.
Hollywood Reporter, January 26, 2004, Duane Byrge, review of Saved!, p. 15.
Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2006, review of Junior, p. 146.
New York, March 13, 2006, David Amsden, "Young Adult Fiction: Macaulay Culkin on His First Novel, Michael Jackson, and the Self-Consciousness of Fame," includes review of Junior, p. 148.
Time International, October 30, 2000, "He's Back and He's Not Alone: Macauley Culkin Comes Out of Retirement in a Tender but Flawed Take on the Art of Seduction," p. 91.
Variety, October 30, 2000, Matt Wolf, "Madame Melville," p. 35; February 3, 2003, Dennis Harvey, review of Party Monster, p. 39.
Internet Movie Database Web site,http://www.imdb.com/ (July 24, 2006), list of credits for Macauley Culkin.*