Macaulay Culkin Gets a Well-Deserved Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
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When Macaulay Culkin made his cinematic debut in “Uncle Buck,” he wormed his way into the hearts of many as he squared off with the late, great John Candy.

                                           

When John Hughes, the director of “Uncle Buck” and writer/producer of the 1990 film “Home Alone,” tapped Culkin for the role of Kevin McAllister, Culkin’s engaging depiction of a young boy accidentally left behind at Christmas, who hilariously protects his home from hapless burglars, not only cemented Culkin into the annals of Christmas cinematic lore, but made the 10-year old a superstar.

                                        

 

Sadly, this is often where the troubles begin for a child star, and Culkin was no exception. He had other successful roles and the usual perpetual media attention. But after the implosion of Culkin’s nuclear family and a bizarre friendship with the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, Culkin moved in and out of acting, yet the media attention still dogged him. Culkin’s every stumble, fumble, and fall was documented: from his failed romantic relationships with Rachel Miner and Mila Kunis, to his flirtation with drugs, to his quirky foray into music, and the tragic loss of his sister Dakota.

The beauty part: Now 42, Macaulay Culkin is not a failed, tragic, former child actor who once made people laugh and smile, but a functioning adult who, thanks to some smart moves to protect his childhood earnings, acts occasionally on his own terms, and has found love and a family with another child actor named Brenda Song. And just in time for Christmas, Culkin received the ultimate homage to a Hollywood icon: He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

There are “child stars,” and then there are performers that start working during childhood only to become bona fide, beloved screen icons, enjoying long, varied careers throughout their lives. Following in the footsteps of Shirley Temple, Natalie Wood and Mickey Rooney, Macaulay Culkin has — for three decades and counting — been a contemporary standard bearer for that personal and professional journey.

Culkin became a full-fledged cultural phenomenon after the explosive commercial success of his fifth film, 1990’s “Home Alone,” which he made when he was just 10 years old. The film grossed $476 million worldwide, due in direct part to his mischievous-yet-vulnerable performance as Kevin McAllister. But beginning in his teenage years, Culkin began seeking projects that piqued his artistic interests rather than sustaining his immediate and colossal celebrity. Even without any expectation for those subsequent efforts to reach the same stratospheric heights as his early breakthrough, Culkin’s star wattage has barely flickered, and on Dec. 1, his enduring appeal will be cemented — literally — on the sidewalks of Hollywood as he receives a star on the Walk of Fame.

Culkin deserves mad praise and kudos, not just because he embodied an iconic character beloved by generations, but because he survived Hollywood to create a life on his own terms, without stints in rehab and “Where Are They Now?” reality programming. That’s no small feat, and the outpouring of support from his fiancé Song, and actors and friends Seth Green and Natasha Lyonne, as well as his “Home Alone” mom, Catherine O’Hara, was beautifully touching and tear-filled.

“Home Alone” will continue to be counted as one of the quintessential Christmas movies of our time and will be watched for generations to come. What a lovely gift to Culkin that he not only has that to be proud of and has received this honor but that Culkin is experiencing the ultimate success of true love, community, and a life that he embraces and enjoys. 

Merry Christmas, you filthy animals!

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