What has happened to the adorable child actor from “Home Alone”? Fans were shocked (picture hands on face and mouths wide open) to see a gaunt, scruffy-looking Macaulay Culkin in a photo snapped on the streets of New York recently.
Many showed concern for the star’s health: One wrote, “Dude needs a hug & a cheeseburger.” Others wondered if the look was for a role. One even joked that the former child star looked like he was about to play “Homeless Alone.”
This is what happens when you peak to early and become a celebrity before your balls drop.
Culkin shot to fame as an 8-year-old scene stealer in the “Home Alone” movies. At the height of his stardom, the child actor was considered the most successful young star since Shirley Temple.
In fact, the movie is a perennial hit with fans on the Web. Yahoo! lookups for “Home Alone” shot up over the holidays, along with sentimental searches on “macaulay culkin biography,” “macaulay culkin news,” and “macaulay culkin movies.”
As an adult, Culkin hasn’t seen his career take off. The actor appeared in movies like “Richie Rich” and then moved into TV appearances on shows like “Will and Grace”; Culkin is also a voice on the Seth Green show “Robot Chicken.”
Culkin’s last big-screen effort was the well-received 2004 indie comedy “Saved,” with Mandy Moore. The star also won praise for his role as a murderous club kid in 2003’s “Party Monster.” He is rumored to be in the British military action comedy “Service Man,” which comes out in 2013.
With his having experienced so much success as a kid, perhaps a bumpy transition is no surprise (See: Lindsay Lohan). The actor grabbed headlines in the past for his childhood friendship with the late Michael Jackson, whom he defended during the singer’s trial. Culkin had slept over at the pop icon’s home many times, and he called charges against the megastar “absolutely ridiculous.”
As a kid, Culkin successfully “divorced” his parents, whom he accused of mismanaging his funds, assigning instead a family accountant to take charge of his fortune until he turned 18. In 1998, he married fellow child star Rachel Miner. The two divorced four years later. In 2004, Culkin was arrested for marijuana possession and for possessing pills for which he had no prescription. He was given a one-year deferred substance sentence on each charge and ordered to pay $540.
A rep for the star assured Entertainment Tonight: “Macaulay Culkin is in perfectly good health.” So perhaps the look is to mourn his latest lost love: Last year, the 31-year-old broke off a longtime romance with A-lister Mila Kunis after a reported eight-year relationship. A publicist for the actress released a statement saying, “The split was amicable, and they remain close friends.”
Fans will be watching for the New Yorker’s next move — and movie.