The current movie scene is littered with long-time veterans of the business, aging actors and actresses with years of experience under their belt. Greats like Anthony Hopkins, Robert Duvall, and Keanu Reeves Kevin Costner, to name a few, are still turning out pictures at a steady rate. However, it's rare that an extraordinary child actor grabs the eye of the media. Sure, there was Macaulay Culkin during the Home Alone heyday, Mara Wilson of Mrs. Doubtfire and Matilda fame, and that Pepsi girl, but there are few current child stars. In fact, the only one that comes to mind is Haley Joel Osment.

Haley Joel Osment was born on April 10th, 1988 in Los Angeles, California. From his resume, you might assume that from a very young age he was groomed for a life of acting. However, Haley’s first brush with stardom came in 1992, when he was four. He and his mother were walking through their local mall, when they noticed auditions for a Pizza Hut TV ad. Surprisingly enough, it was Haley that suggested that he give it a shot. Needless to say, he got the part, and his career seemed to snowball from there.

In the years that followed, Haley’s talent was recognized within the movie and TV industry circles, allowing him to add to his resume. However, the common viewer knew little of who he was. Granted, he did appear in some pretty significant pictures and shows. Who could forget him as little Forrest Gump in, well, Forrest Gump? He even appeared in an episode of Murphy Brown, as Avery Brown. It wasn't until The Sixth Sense, though that "Haley Joel Osment" became a household name.

After that huge breakthrough in his career, Haley starred in more movies, alongside big name talent like Kevin Spacey, Jude Law, and Helen Hunt. Most recently he can be seen in the movie Secondhand Lions, with Robert Duvall and Michael Caine. Recently, Haley has started to broaden the spectrum of his talent, having voiced a character in the Buzz Lightyear cartoon, and in Nickelodeon's Hey Arnold. He even lent his voice to the main character of the Disney/Square game Kingdom Hearts.

Personally, I had mixed feeling about this actor at first. I mean I was too young to remember his face from Forrest Gump, and I didn't watch Murphy Brown, so my first memories of him are from The Sixth Sense. Actually, I didn't really have strong feelings either way about him, until I heard what the media had to say about him. All that talk of him being some kind of acting prodigy only made me more skeptical of his talent. It almost got to the point to where I didn't like him just because everyone else did. The next movie I saw with him in it was A.I.. His performance in that movie didn't do much to help his reputation in my eye. Then I heard that he would be doing a voice in Kingdom Hearts. I was already unsure of how I would like the game, on account of Disney's involvement, but it turned out that to be a pretty good game by my standards, and I even liked his voice. Just tonight I watched Secondhand Lions, and tried my hardest to criticize his performance in it, but I couldn't. That's not to say that he was amazing, but rather that he didn't suck. So, I guess that about sums up my feelings about him: he's not great, but he's not awful.

At this point, it would seem that Haley Joel Osment might just do what all of those other child actors couldn't do - maintain a successful career past his teen years. Only time will tell.

Random and potentially creepy facts:

Filmography: Movies:

TV: Awards:
  • Saturn Award Winner, Best Young Actor (A.I.) (2002)
  • Blockbuster Award, Favorite Supporting Actor in a Drama/Romance (Pay It Forward) (2001)
  • Sho West, Supporting Actor of the Year (2001)
  • Golden Satellite Award, Outstanding New Talent (The Sixth Sense) (2000)
  • MTV Movie Award Winner, Male Breakthrough Performance (The Sixth Sense) (2000)
  • Saturn Award Winner, Best Young Actor (The Sixth Sense) (2000)
  • Young Artist Awards Winner, Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actor (The Sixth Sense) (2000)
  • Broadcast Film Critics Association Award Winner, Best Child Performer (1999)
  • Young Star Award '99 (Cab To Canada)
  • Young Star Award '97 (Last Stand at Saber River)
  • Youth in Film Award '95 (Forrest Gump)

Sources: http://www.kidactors.com/haley/default.asp www.imdb.com

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