Whatever happened to the Culkins?

It’s almost two decades since Home Alone 2, so just what did happen to Macaulay Culkin and his brothers’ and sisters' careers?

Rory, Macaulay and Kieran Culkin

A famous actor in his own right, Christopher “Kit” Kilkin, brother of Die Hard actor Bonnie Bedelia, is equally notable for siring an entire dynasty of child movie stars. Home Alone star Macaulay Culkin was the most well known, but his six brothers and sisters, Kieran, Rory, Christian, Shane, Quinn and Dakota, all went on to work in the movie industry in some capacity.

With Home Alone 2 remaining Macaulay Culkin’s last high profile role, we find out just what happened to the former child actor and the rest of his siblings…

Macaulay Culkin

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Just nine years old when he landed the role of Kevin McCallister in 1990’s Home Alone, that comedy’s huge success (at the time, it was the highest grossing comedy ever) propelled Macaulay Culkin into Hollywood superstardom.

The 1992 sequel Home Alone 2: Lost In New York marked Macaulay’s last big commercial success. By 1993, he had agreed (reportedly at the insistence of his father) to appear in The Good Son, playing the role of a murderous child who terrorises a young Elijah Wood, kills a dog and causes ten-car pile-ups on motorways.

Roger Ebert awarded the film just half a star, describing it as a “creepy, unpleasant experience, made all the worse because it stars children too young to understand the horrible things we see them doing”. He was right, too.

Given Macaulay’s tween popularity, putting him in an R-rated movie was a risky strategy, and one that ultimately failed to come off. While not an outright box office disaster, The Good Son marked the beginning of a series of financial flops in the following year, including The Pagemaster, a family fantasy adventure starring Christopher Lloyd and Patrick Stewart, the lame paternal revenge comedy Getting Even With Dad, and finally the Joel Silver-produced comedy Richie Rich.

By 1994, aged 14 and growing weary of the Hollywood industry, Macaulay decided to take a break from acting. His earnings from his earlier films, with his role The Good Son reportedly netting him around $5 million, made him wealthy enough to begin turning roles down.

“I was so tired,” Culkin told CBS News in 2004. “I had wanted a break for a long time and no one was listening. When I was in a position where I could walk away, I just did. I had no intention of doing it again.”

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After a hiatus of almost a decade, Macaulay returned to the screen in 2003 for the lead role in Party Monster, a late-80s set comedy based on real life party organiser Michael Alig.

The actor has appeared regularly in television and films since, providing voice work for animated comedy series Robot Chicken, and the lead role in the forgettable 2007 comedy Sex And Breakfast alongside Eliza Dushku.

He’s rumoured to be involved in the “military action comedy drama” Service Man alongside Ray Winstone next year, though this has yet to be confirmed.

Now aged 30, Macaulay Culkin’s the original Home Alone remains his biggest box office success.

Rory Culkin

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Almost ten years younger than his brother Macaulay, Rory appeared as the young Richie in the obnoxious Richie Rich. In 2000, he appeared in the brilliant,  Oscar-nominated You Can Count On Me, a Paramount drama produced by Martin Scorsese and starring Laura Linney and Mark Ruffalo.

Rory then appeared in M Night Shyamalan’s Signs in 2002, and also the excellent drama Igby Goes Down that same year, which starred his older brother, Kieran. Three years later, he appeared in The Zodiac (not to be confused with the David Fincher movie, Zodiac, also based on the 60s San Francisco serial killer).

In 2010, Rory Culkin appeared in Joel Schumacher’s Twelve, a drama starring 50 Cent and Ellen Barkin. The actor also has Scream 4 in the pipeline, which sees Wes Craven return to the franchise for the first time in a decade.

Kieran Culkin

Kieran Culkin appeared as Macaulay Culkin’s brother in Home Alone and its sequel, before going on to appear in Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Nowhere To Run in 1993.

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In 1999, he appeared alongside Tobey Maguire, Charlize Theron and Michael Caine in an adaptation of John Irving’s The Cider House Rules.

Most recently, he’s played the part of Wallace Wells in the forthcoming comedy Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, and is set to appear in The Standford Prison Experiment, a film based on an infamous psychological experiment carried out in 1971, which is due out next year.

More Culkins

Culkin sister Dakota worked behind the camera rather than in front of it. Tragically, Dakota died in a car accident in 2008, at the age of just 29.

Christian Culkin appeared next to his brother Kieran in a 1994 comedy called My Summer Story, his only screen appearance to date.

A television series called Wish Kid featured Quinn Culkin in 1991, and she was also in the dreadful horror movie The Good Son (1993) alongside Macaulay, as his screen sister in that film. Shane Culkin is the least prolific of the Culkin clan with a television drama of Our Town in 1989 his only screen effort to date.

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