Often referred to as "the littlest Culkin," Rory Culkin came to acting with a family reputation that stands in inverse proportion to his diminutive stature. Born in 1989, as the youngest child of the infamously fractious Kit Culkin and Patricia Bentrup, Rory was only a year old when his eldest brother, Macaulay, found an almost obscene degree of fame and fortune thanks to his starring role in Chris Columbus' blockbuster Home Alone. Most of Rory's earliest screen appearances came courtesy of his resemblance to his famous brother; fans of The Good Son (1993) may recall his appearance as a younger version of Richard, Macaulay's bad seed alter ego. Likewise, Rory also played the more childlike version of his brother's title character in Richie Rich. Unfortunately, any talent the wee Culkin may have exhibited was, for a number of years, largely obscured by his family's various misfortunes. Following the bitter and widely publicized breakup of his parents, Culkin also had to endure the unfavorable publicity surrounding Macaulay's career burnout and a 1998 fire in his family's Manhattan apartment. In 2000, he finally earned recognition as a talented young actor, thanks to his role as Laura Linney's wry, observant son in Kenneth Lonergan's much-acclaimed directorial debut You Can Count on Me, causing both critics and audiences to remark that perhaps big screen bankability had not been limited solely to Culkin the Eldest. After a subsequent appearance in Showtime's made-for-cable film Off Season (2001), Culkin once again appeared as a younger incarnation of an older sibling, this time Kieran, in the art-house comedy Igby Goes Down (2002). As his first major feature role independent of his siblings, Rory appeared as alongside Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix in M. Night Shyamalan's rural alien invasion thriller Signs. Culkin was praised for his work in the independent dramas Igby Goes Down and Mean Creek, and went on to play a supporting role for Down in the Valley (2005), a psychological drama starring Edward Norton and Evan Rachel Wood. Culkin joined the cast of Lymelite in 2008 to portray the 15-year-old neighbor of a man suffering from Lyme disease, and took a supporting role in the less than successful Scream 4 in 2011.
Biography by Rebecca Flint Marx
- Started out playing younger versions of his older brothers: Macaulay Culkin in the films The Good Son (1993) and Richie Rich (1994), and Kieran Culkin in Igby Goes Down (2002).
- Won a Young Artist Award and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for his breakthrough role in You Can Count on Me (2000).
- Received a Special Distinction Independent Spirit Award along with the entire cast of Mean Creek (2004).
- Was cast in Wes Craven's star-studded slasher flick Scream 4 (2011).