20 Macaulay Culkin Facts That Reveal What The Home Alone Star Is Really Like

Thanks to roles in Home Alone, Uncle Buck and My Girl, Macaulay Culkin was a household name before he’d even entered his teens. But he’s largely kept a low profile in the two decades since his heyday. Here are 20 things that you may not know about one of Hollywood’s biggest ever child stars.

20. He studied at the School of American Ballet

Culkin attended New York’s Professional Children’s School and also studied at the city’s prestigious School of American Ballet. The star’s pirouetting prowess helped him to land the lead role in Peter Martins’ 1993 big-screen adaptation of The Nutcracker.

19. He appeared in a Sonic Youth music video

After a four-year hiatus following his role in Richie Rich, Culkin returned to the limelight in unlikely circumstances. The star appeared in the video for “Friday,” the 1998 single by cult alt-rockers Sonic Youth. Culkin was joined in the promo by actress Rachel Miner, whom he married that same year.

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18. He’s appeared in several British TV commercials

Culkin has made a number of unlikely appearances on U.K. television. In 2009 he was chosen to help promote Aviva Insurance’s rebranding in a TV advert that saw him ask audiences, “Remember me?” And seven years later he appeared alongside popular characters Sergei and Aleksandr in a commercial for price comparison website comparethemarket.com.

17. He made a cameo in WWE Raw

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Culkin also surprised US audiences in 2009 when he briefly showed up at a WWE Raw match. The encounter saw Hornswoggle defeat Chavo Guerrero by using the swinging paint tin tactic seen in Home Alone. After Guerrero fell to the floor, Culkin emerged from the doorway to utter the line, “That’s not funny.”

16. He admits his band was a drunk joke

One of Culkin’s most bizarre side projects is Pizza Underground, a food-themed parody of the Velvet Underground. The star admits that it was “one of those good ideas you have when you’re drunk.” However, Culkin and co. took it to the next level by releasing music and heading out on tour.

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15. He once stormed off stage during a Pizza Underground gig

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Of course, not everyone got the joke. In 2014 booing fans disrupted a show in Nottingham, U.K., by throwing beer onto the stage. Culkin and the band subsequently left the stage, and the rest of the tour was canceled. However, the group claim the two incidents were completely unrelated.

14. He became legally emancipated from his parents at 14

Culkin had a notoriously difficult relationship with his father Kit. As a result, he got a legal emancipation from his parents at the age of just 14. Both of his parents had previously attempted to wrestle control of the $17m Culkin had earned in his Hollywood career.

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13. His father no longer considers him a son

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And Culkin’s relationship with his father didn’t get any better as they got older. Two years after suffering a stroke, an ailing Kit Culkin revealed that he no longer considered the star his son. Culkin had previously taken his mother Patricia Brentrup’s side during his parents’ acrimonious split and subsequent custody battle.

12. His father allegedly twice assaulted his mother

During this bitter custody battle Kit was accused of threatening to throw Patricia off a balcony and of punching her while she was pregnant. Unsurprisingly, the court ruled that the children should reside with their mother. Macaulay and his siblings, who had nicknamed their father “Stinky,” celebrated the verdict.

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11. He grew up poor

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Culkin had to adapt to his multi-million-dollar lifestyle as he actually grew up in relative poverty. As children, he and his six siblings shared the same room and slept on bunk beds. Apparently, Culkin also used to slide under theater seats to search for spare change that had dropped out of cinemagoers’ pockets.

10. He separated from his wife at 19

Culkin certainly grew up fast. Although actress Rachel Miner initially thought the star a bit of a jerk, the pair ended up marrying in 1998 when Culkin was just 17. However, the relationship didn’t last long. The couple separated in 2000 and filed for divorce two years later.

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9. He apparently once lived with Pete Doherty

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Culkin exacerbated rumors linking him to drug use when he reportedly moved in with an infamous junkie rock star. In 2013 the star briefly shared a Paris apartment with Pete Doherty, The Libertines’ drug-addled frontman. The odd couple first struck up a friendship while filming a bizarre movie inspired by ketamine.

8. An autographed photo of him was found in Michael Jackson’s secret closet

Culkin’s friendship with Michael Jackson was scrutinized again in 2016 when footage of the raid on the King of Pop’s house was made public. A signed picture of Macaulay was found in the same secret closet that contained headshots of young girls and boys. Culkin always denied that their relationship was anything but platonic.

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7. He received three Razzie nominations in the same year

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The Razzie awards panel certainly had it in for Culkin in 1994. The star received three Worst Actor nominations at the same ceremony for his performances in Getting Even with Dad, The Pagemaster and Richie Rich. Culkin was also “recognized” in the exact same categories at the Stinkers Bad Movie Awards.

6. He’s missed out on several big films

Culkin lost out to another child star, Brad Renfro, for a part in 1994’s The Client. Five years previously his small role in Born on the Fourth of July was left on the cutting room floor. Culkin also appeared in Foster Hall, a failed sitcom pilot executive produced by Conan O’Brien.

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5. He’s lost both a sister and a half-sister

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Culkin has experienced several family tragedies since the turn of the century. In 2000 his half-sister Jennifer died from a drug overdose aged 29. Eight years later his sister Dakota passed away at the same age after being struck by a vehicle in Los Angeles.

4. He suffers from agoraphobia

Culkin admitted he suffered from agoraphobia in an interview with Larry King. The star’s condition wasn’t exactly helped by an incident in which an army of fans shook his trailer, with him inside it, during a film shoot. However, Culkin has forced himself to venture outside more regularly by getting a dog.

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3. His mother accidentally caused a fatal apartment fire

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In 1998 Culkin’s mother Patricia accidentally caused a fire which resulted in the death of four people and led to multiple lawsuits. The tragedy happened after a wall-mounted heater she turned on in her apartment short-circuited and started a blaze. As many as 22 others were also injured in the incident.

2. He thinks he’s a writing fraud

Culkin published his first book, Junior, in 2006, but he doesn’t appear to be confident about his own writing abilities. The star has since tried to dissociate himself from the experimental memoir, which explores his turbulent family life and features seven distinct endings. In fact, Culkin has even described himself as a fraud.

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1. He’s been the victim of a death hoax

In 2014 rumors began spreading online that Culkin had died. But instead of getting angry about being the victim of a death hoax, the star responded by posting a comical re-enactment of a Weekend at Bernie’s scene on Twitter. On tour with Pizza Underground at the time, he also began the band’s next show by screaming, “I’m alive!”

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