How the “Home Alone” Cast Has Changed Through the Years

6 months ago

As the year wraps up, the holiday spirit of Christmas brings back memories of a movie that’s been spreading joy for over 3 decades, filling our hearts with laughter. Even after 33 years, it’s a treasured pick during this festive time. Some actors from the film continued acting, while others chose different paths. But their roles in that movie remain close to us, adding warmth to our holiday memories. Let’s visit some of the Home Alone cast members and learn what they’ve accomplished since its release.

Warning, the article has spoilers!

1. Kevin McCallister

© Home Alone / Twentieth Century Fox and co-producer, Star Shooter / MediaPunch/EAST NEWS, Jordan Strauss/Invision/East News

Macaulay Culkin became famous as Kevin in the popular Christmas movie, which was released in 1990. Kevin lives with his family in Winnetka, Illinois. He often gets teased by them, especially during family trips. Frustrated, he wishes for a life alone. But when his family leaves for Paris without him, he believes his wish finally has come true. He enjoys his freedom, watching movies and eating treats, until he’s forced to face 2 robbers who try to break into the house.

As these burglars plan to rob the house, Kevin outsmarts them with traps. Along the way, he meets a neighbor, Mr. Marley, and helps reunite him with his son.

When the burglars finally catch Kevin, Marley saves Kevin, and the bad guys get caught. On Christmas morning, Kevin’s mom returns, apologizing for leaving him. They reconcile and the family reunites, but they never learn of Kevin’s secret adventure. He spots Marley reuniting with his son, feeling happy for them, until his brother yells at him about his messy room. Kevin simply grins and dashes away.

After performing in another movie called My Girl, Culkin starred in the sequel to the Christmas film in 1992. He got married at the age of 18 but divorced in 2002, then dated Mila Kunis for 8 years until they split up in 2011.

Culkin fell in love with Brenda Song in 2017, and they have 2 kids together. He runs the Bunny Ears podcast and makes jokes about older people on Twitter. In the year 2021, he appeared in season 10 of American Horror Story.

2. Harry Lime

Joe Pesci, who was already a big star, brought laughs as Harry Lime in Home Alone, teaming up with Marv to rob the McCallister house. Just before performing in this comedy, he portrayed mobster Tommy DeVito in Goodfellas, winning an Academy Award in 1991 for Best Supporting Actor.

In 1992, after My Cousin Vinny, Pesci returned as Harry in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. He also played roles in Casino (1995), Gone Fishin’ (1997), and Lethal Weapon 4 (1998) before taking a break from Hollywood in 1999. He briefly appeared in Love Ranch in 2010 but was coaxed out of retirement by director Martin Scorsese for Netflix’s The Irishman in 2019.

Today, he’s set to portray a fictionalized version of Pete Davidson’s grandfather in the Peacock comedy series, Bupkis.

3. Marv Murchins

© Home Alone / Twentieth Century Fox and co-producer, Crash / imageSPACE / MPI / Capital Pic / East News

Daniel Stern joined the cast as Marv Merchants, Harry’s partner in crime in the movie. He entered the scene after a decade in the industry, with previous roles in films like Diner (1982), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), and D.O.A. (1988).

In the 1992 sequel, Stern reunited with his co-stars while also voicing the adult version of Kevin Arnold in the TV series, The Wonder Years. He appeared in Whip It (2009), episodes of Workaholics, and Getting On in 2013. Before his stint on Hulu’s Shrill from 2019 to 2021, he had a regular role on WGN’s Manhattan.

4. Kate McCallister

Kevin’s mom, Kate, was portrayed by the iconic Catherine O’Hara. The messy start at the movie and the majority of the obligations to prepare for the trip and pack the kids were placed on her back. As a mom of 5, Kate panics on the morning of the trip, realizing everyone overslept. Rushing to the airport, the family barely catches their flight. During the trip, she suddenly remembers they left Kevin home alone. Kate gets a ride home with a music band that missed their flight. With the roller coaster of events following the incident, she safely finds Kevin at home.

O’Hara was already known in Hollywood for her supporting roles in the 1980s, especially for her part in Beetlejuice in 1988. Following her role as the mom in the McCallister family, she kept busy with movie and TV roles. She appeared on shows like Glenn Martin DDS and Skylanders Academy, but her standout role came as Moira Rose, a funny has-been soap star on Schitt’s Creek. Her performance won her an Emmy for Best Lead Actress in 2020, and the show ended that same year. The actress got married to a production designer named Bo Welch in 1992, and they share 2 children.

5. Peter McCallister

Kevin’s dad, Peter, was portrayed by John Heard. In the film, before the family goes on their trip, Peter speaks with Harry, who pretends to be a cop. Harry mentions that during Christmas, there are lots of break-ins and advises that the McCallisters be careful. Peter assures him that they have locks and timers for lights. And before Harry can ask about their trip, a buzz from the pizza delivery interrupts them.

An electrical problem caused the family to oversleep, leading them to leave Kevin behind accidentally. After the storm of events passes and the family makes it home, Peter finds a strange tooth and wonders what it is.

After his role as Kevin’s dad, Heard went on to star in several movies and TV shows, including Radio Flyer, Gladiator, and The Pelican Brief. He appeared in TV series like The Client, The Sopranos, and Prison Break, and guest-starred on NCIS: Los Angeles.

Heard passed away from a heart attack due to heart disease in July 2017 at age 71, leaving behind 3 children.

6. Fuller McCallister

Fuller McCallister was the youngest and only boy of the Frank and Leslie McCallister family. He was 5 and had to share a bed with Kevin before their Christmas trip to France. Kevin wasn’t happy about it because Fuller often wet the bed.

Kieran Culkin, Fuller, is Macaulay Culkin’s real-life younger brother and appeared in a few movies after Home Alone, often playing annoying younger siblings. He was in She’s All That in 1999.

In 2003, Kieran got a Golden Globe nomination for Igby Goes Down, but he took a break until 2008, like his brother did. Since 2018, he’s starred in HBO’s Succession, getting nominations for Best Supporting Actor at the Emmys and Golden Globe Awards. Kieran is a dad to 2 kids, Wilder Wolf and Kinsey Sioux, who she shares with his wife, Jazz Charton.

7. Buzz McCallister

© Home Alone / Twentieth Century Fox and co-producer, Jason Mendez/Everett Collection/ East News

Kevin’s older brother, Buzz, was brought to life by Devin Ratray. The relationship between the 2 brothers at this age was perfectly explained by Buzz and Kevin.

After Buzz refuses Kevin’s request to share his room and scares him with tales about a neighbor, he makes sure to guarantee Kevin a punishment from their mom, which is the reason behind the spilled milk. This is the reason why Kevin was upstairs in the attic, which later makes him late for the trip. Buzz isn’t even surprised by the fact that they forget his younger brother at home, saying that their street is too safe.

Back home, Buzz finds that Kevin didn’t wreak havoc and is amazed he went shopping. He later finds his room a mess, yelling at Kevin.

After portraying Kevin’s bullying big brother, Buzz, and being a part of the Home Alone cast for the first 2 films, Ratray appeared in Dennis the Menace, Strong Island Boys, The Prince and Me, Breaking Point, Nebraska, Masterminds, and Rough Night. Had has also appeared on Mosaic, Chicago Med, and The Tick.

8. Linnie McCallister

Angela Goethals portrayed Kevin’s sister, Linnie, in the holiday movie. Later, she acted in films like Jerry Maguire, Changing Lanes, and Spanglish. She starred in TV shows like Phenom, The Brotherhood of Poland, New Hampshire, and Do Over, and had a role in 24.

In addition to acting in front of cameras, she’s been part of theater productions and has narrated audiobooks like Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and the Lucy & Harris Novella series. In 2005, she married Russell Soder, with whom she has 3 kids.

9. Gus Polinski

John Candy, a comedy legend, landed the role of Gus Polinski in Home Alone. At the airport, Gus and his band, the Kenosha Kickers, get stuck when their flight gets canceled. Kate McCallister also becomes stranded, trying to get to Chicago. Gus offers her a ride with his band, which she agrees to.

Gus tries to make her feel better by sharing stories about his bandmates, who were also not around for their kids much. He mentions a time when he left his child at a funeral home once, but his son got over it, proving how resilient kids can be.

Before that, he was a familiar face thanks to his work on The David Steinberg Show and SCTV in the ’70s. He made a splash on the big screen in the ’80s, starring in iconic films like The Blues Brothers, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Spaceballs, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, and Uncle Buck.

Post-Home Alone, Candy continued his acting career with movies like Only the Lonely (1991), JFK (1991), Once Upon a Crime... (1992), and Cool Runnings (1993). His last movie, Wagons East, came out in 1994, the same year he passed away at the age of 43.

10. Megan McCallister

Hillary Wolf, known for her role as Megan in Home Alone, began her acting career with appearances in American Playhouse, The Magical World of Disney, and I’ll Take Manhattan in the ’80s. Transitioning from acting, Wolf starred in Big Girls Don’t Cry... They Get Even in 1991 and returned for Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.

However, her main focus shifted toward martial arts, particularly judo. Her achievements are remarkable — she claimed the Junior World title in 1994 in Cairo, marking the first American to do so. With 5 American Championship victories, she qualified for the 1996 (Atlanta) and 2000 (Sydney) Olympics. Wolf excelled in international judo, triumphing in the World Cup in Leonding, competing across various European World Cups, and securing gold in the U52kg category at the 1999 Pan American championships. Her judo journey was guided by coach Ed Liddie.

In 2002, she tied the knot with Chris Saba, with whom she shares 2 sons born in 2007 and 2010. In 2004, Wolf and Saba co-founded the Rocky Mountain Wrestling Club, based in Colorado Springs.

11. Jeff McCallister

Michael C. Maronna started his acting career as Jeff McCallister in Home Alone. He continued in Home Alone 2 the next year. After that, he joined Nickelodeon’s The Adventures of Pete & Pete. He then took on smaller roles on shows like Law & Order and Gilmore Girls. He also worked behind the scenes, doing electrical work for big projects, like the Sex and the City movie, and more recent films, like Your Place or Mine.

He’s been involved in various TV shows, including Marvel’s Luke Cage, and Iron Fist, The Plot Against America, Dickinson, and Fleishman Is in Trouble, handling electrical work and other roles. In 2013, he got married and has one son.

12. Uncle Frank

Gerry Bamman portrayed Uncle Frank alongside Culkin’s Kevin. Before that, he had roles on various TV shows, like American Playhouse (1984), Crime Story (1987), and The Equalizer (1987).

After reprising his role as Uncle Frank in Home Alone 2, Bamman continued acting in movies like The Bodyguard (1992), Lorenzo’s Oil (1992), Great Expectations (1998), Superstar (1999), and Runaway Jury (2003). He also took on TV roles, appearing in a 2014 episode of The Good Wife and joining The Following in 2015. Eventually, Bamman shifted toward theater and starred in the Off-Broadway play, Imaging Madoff, centered around Bernie Madoff’s downfall, in 2019.

13. Officer Balzak

© Home Alone / Twentieth Century Fox and co-producer, JEAN-BAPTISTE LACROIX/AFP/East News

Officer Larry Balzak, a family crisis intervention officer, spoke with Kate McCallister when she sought help regarding her son Kevin, who was left behind during the family’s vacation. He was portrayed by Larry Hankin.

Hankin took on significant roles throughout his career, like Charley Butts in Escape from Alcatraz (1979), Ace in Running Scared (1986), and Carl Alphonse in Billy Madison (1995). Hankin also had smaller parts like Doobie in Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Mr. Heckles on Friends, and Joe on Breaking Bad and in El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie. One of his earliest gigs was playing Farley in the 1964 educational film, Too Tough to Care. Additionally, he appeared on Friends: The Reunion in 2021.

14. Marley

Roberts Blossom, an experienced actor, portrayed the McCallister family’s neighbor, “Old Man” Marley, in Home Alone. Marley was rumored to be a killer known as the South Bend Shovel Slayer. Before the McCallisters left, Buzz would tell scary stories about Marley to Kevin and his cousin Rod. They peek at Marley outside but get scared and hide when he looks up.

When Kevin gets left home alone, burglars try to break in. Kevin scares them off but gets scared himself when he sees Marley. On Christmas Eve, at a church, Kevin meets Marley again. They talk, and Marley explains his family problems and how he lost touch with them because of an argument with his son. Kevin encourages him to call his son, saying it’s important for his granddaughter.

When burglars capture Kevin, Marley saves him with a snow shovel. The next day, Marley makes up with his son. They hug, and Marley waves to Kevin before going inside with his family. Before 1990, Blossom acted in movies like Slaughterhouse-Five (1972), The Great Gatsby (1974), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), and Escape From Alcatraz (1979).

After Home Alone, Blossom kept acting for a few more years, appearing in movies, like Doc Hollywood and Death Falls in 1991. He also had roles on TV shows, like Northern Exposure and Chicago Hope, in the ’90s. Sadly, he passed away at age 87 in 2011 after having a stroke.

15. Brooke McCallister

Brooke McCallister, played by Anna Rebecca Slotky, was the youngest daughter in the McCallister family. You might remember her as Ruth Ann from The Torkelsons.

After her role in Home Alone and its sequel, she showed up on shows like Sister, Sister, 3rd Rock from the Sun, and Step by Step. Her last acting part was in a guest spot on the show, Get Real, in 2000.

She decided to switch paths and stopped acting since then, getting involved in the field of law as an attorney. She married animator James Reitano in 2011, and they welcomed a son in 2012.

16. Sondra McCallister

Diana Rein, formerly known as Daiana Campeanu, is an American actress recognized for her role as Kevin’s cousin, Sondra, being part of the Home Alone cast for the first 2 movies: Home Alone (1990), Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), and Dennis the Menace (1993). After moving to Los Angeles, she continued acting in short films, TV shows, and commercials. She also ventured into writing, producing, and acting in her film, Gypsy Gift.

Around 2007, Rein ventured into music, focusing on songwriting, guitar playing, and recording. Since then, she has released 4 albums and several singles, transitioning into a career as a musician.

While the icy air freezes our breath and thick socks keep our feet toasty, nothing warms the heart quite like a Christmas movie combined with a steaming cup of hot chocolate during this holiday season.

Preview photo credit Home Alone / Twentieth Century Fox and co-producer, Invision/Invision/East News


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