Macaulay Culkin is American actor who rose to fame in John Hughes’s 1990 box office hit Home Alone and quickly became one of the most famous child actors of the 1990s.
Although he enjoyed widespread acclaim and success as a boy, his career as an adult was not that fruitful. He puttered with a variety of lucrative, hollow projects, which effectively put him out of showbiz.
Consequently, he never really recaptured the same success that he did as a child. This child prodigy earned the respect of pop-star Michael Jackson, who went on to become his close friend and confidante.
After a brief period of idleness, he re-entered the world of entertainment once again with ‘Party Monster’ and ‘Saved’ but both failed to leave his footprints in the world of entertainment.
There have, however, been a number of personal snares in his life, including his arrest for the possession of controlled substance and being at the epicenter of Jackson’s scandalous molestation trial.
About Macaulay Culkin Parents
Who are Macaulay Culkin’s Parents?
Macaulay Carson Culkin was born on August 26, 1980, in New York City to Christopher Cornelius “Kit” Culkin and Patricia Brentrup.
About Macaulay Culkin father Kit Culkin
Kit Culkin was born in New York City on Dec. 6, 1944. He was one of four siblings to a dad in public relations and a mom who was a “short-story writer and book reviewer” before starting a family.
Macaulay’s father was an actor himself, appearing in the Broadway play Becket in 1961 and the 1964 Broadway production of Hamlet starring Richard Burton. He also played the role of a dancer in the original West Side Story film in 1961.
Kit’s own childhood was far from ideal: His sister, Die Hard and Parenthood actress Bonnie Bedelia, told The Chicago Tribune that their mother died when she and Kit, as well as their brother Terry and sister Candice, were teens. Their father also had health problems that led to them being on their own in their apartment for nearly a full year.
About Macaulay Culkin mother Patricia Brentrup
Patricia Brentrup, a North Dakota native, met Kit in 1974 in Sundance, Wyoming, when she was directing traffic at a construction site, and he stopped his truck.
“It was just instant,” she told The New York Times in 1991 about their relationship, which they “never found the need to formalize” through legal marriage.
Kit and Brentrup began dating almost right away, The guardian reported, and moved to N.Y.C., where they started their family. The couple welcomed Macaulay — the third of their seven children together — on Aug. 26, 1980, naming him after the British historian Thomas Babington Macaulay.
As their children grew up, Kit worked as a taxi driver before landing a job as a sacristan for a Catholic church on the Upper East Side in N.Y.C. Meanwhile, Brentrup was a telephone operator. The family lived nearby in a railroad-style apartment where five kids shared two bunk beds in a single room.
“It was just a hallway, and there were no separating doors, except for the bathroom, which didn’t have a lock,” Kieran recalled to Vanity Fair in 2018. “They raised seven kids in that apartment — for years! They just kept bringing babies home to this little space.”
At their residence, Kit and Brentrup met a neighbor who was a stage manager at Ensemble Studio Theatre, and they were later introduced to casting director Billy Hopkins. He gave Macaulay his first job at 6 years old in the 1988 drama Rocket Gibraltar starring Burt Lancaster.
Hopkins remembered their humbling beginnings, telling New York Magazine in 2001: “They were so poor I had to use my own money to make sure that he got to and from rehearsal. Macaulay would crawl under the bleachers at the theater to look for change that had fallen out of people’s pockets.”
Still, the casting director was hopeful for his success, “He was like a little angel with a tilted halo,” he added. The following year, Macaulay got his breakthrough role in Uncle Buck and landed Home Alone shortly after.
The actor told The Guardian that they continued to live in the apartment for two more years after earning well from his movies, and even after they moved into a larger home, they continued living like they were still in a small space.
Macaulay Culkin siblings
Macaulay Culkin’s Parents gave birth to a total of seven children: Culkin’s siblings include Christian Culkin, Dakota Culkin, Jennifer Adamson, Kieran Culkin, Quinn Culkin, Rory Culkin, Shane Culkin.
Macaulay wasn’t the only family member in the show business. His brother Kieran starred alongside him in Home Alone, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York and Only the Lonely.
After memorable performances in Father of the Bride and Father of the Bride Part II, Kieran appeared in other notable works, like She’s All That and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Today, he’s best known for playing Roman Roy in HBO’s drama Succession.
Macaulay’s youngest brother, Rory, portrayed younger versions of him in several projects, including Richie Rich and Igby Goes Down. He also starred in You Can Count on Me opposite Laura Linney and in Signs with Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix. Since then, Rory’s credits have included Scream 4, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Under the Banner of Heaven.
Their sister Quinn Culkin had a short-lived acting career, only starring in Wish Kid and The Good Son with Macaulay. Similarly, Christian Culkin appeared in My Summer Story with Kieran and Shane Culkin was cast in Our Town on Broadway at Lincoln Center Theater.
The group’s late sister, Dakota Culkin, was an art production assistant before she died in 2008 at the age of 29 when she was struck by a car.
Macaulay Culkin’s parents, Kit Culkin and Patricia Brentrup, separated in 1995 after being together for more than 20 years. They never married and had seven children, four of whom are also actors.
Their separation led to a long and bitter custody battle over their children and Macaulay’s fortune, which was estimated to be between $15 and $20 million at the time.
Macaulay, who was 14 years old then, decided to take his parents’ names off his trust fund and appoint an executor to manage his finances.
He did this to protect his money from his parents’ interference and to avoid choosing sides in the custody dispute. However, many media outlets reported that he had “divorced” his parents, which he later denied and clarified.
Macaulay also had a strained relationship with his father, who was a former actor and his manager. He accused his father of being abusive, jealous, and controlling.
He and his brothers did not want to live with their father after the separation. Macaulay’s father later disowned him and said he did not consider him his son anymore.
Macaulay’s father was a large part of the inspiration for his semi-autobiographical novel Junior, published in 2006. The book featured essays, poetry and open letters to Kit.
Note…Macaulay Culkin’s parents, Kit Culkin and Patricia Brentrup, are both alive as of December 2023. Kit Culkin is 78 years old and Patricia Brentrup is 77 years old.
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