The late 20th century's answer to the juggernaut child star success of Shirley Temple, Macaulay Culkin ruled Hollywood as a preteen, but had difficulty sustaining a second act. Acting almost since infancy, Culkin stood out as a precocious, charming child in "Rocket Gibraltar" (1988) and "Uncle Buck" (1989), where he first captured writer-director John Hughes's imagination. Hughes wrote the massively influential and successful "Home Alone" (1990) for him, which crystallized Culkin as the star of the era. Its sequel (1992) as well as the bittersweet "My Girl" (1991) and dark, troubling "The Good Son" (1993) continued his golden track record, but Culkin's merciless stage father Kit pushed him into a string of lucrative but hollow projects like "The Pagemaster" (1994) and "Ri¢hie Ri¢h" (1994), effectively pushing the youngster out of the business. As his family imploded and adolescence loomed, Culkin bitterly retired. The public's fascination with the blond phenomenon never quite subsided, however, fueled in part by his close friendship with pop superstar Michael Jackson, and later, as he staged a semi-successful indie comeback with "Party Monster" (2003) and "Saved!" (2004). While the chances of him recapturing the level of power and success he once enjoyed as a child were slim, the adult Culkin seemed more interested in carving out a more modest career on his own terms.