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Haley Joel Osment

Osment outside American Buffalo, November 21, 2008
Born Haley Joel Osment
April 10, 1988 (1988-04-10) (age 21)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1994–present
Official website

Haley Joel Osment (born April 10, 1988) is an American actor. After a series of roles in television and film during the 1990s, including a small part in Forrest Gump playing the title character’s son, Osment rose to fame with his performance as Cole Sear in M. Night Shyamalan’s thriller film The Sixth Sense that earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He subsequently appeared in leading roles in several high-profile Hollywood films including Pay It Forward and A.I. He made his Broadway debut in 2008 in a revival of American Buffalo, co-starring with John Leguizamo, and Cedric the Entertainer.[1]


Early life

Osment was born in Los Angeles, California;[2] the son of Theresa Osment (née Seifert), a teacher, and Michael Eugene Osment,[3] a theater and film actor, both natives of Alabama. He has one sister, four years younger, actress and singer-songwriter Emily Osment. Osment’s parents described his childhood as a “good old-fashioned Southern upbringing,” and his father said that when Osment was learning to speak, he deliberately avoided using baby talk when communicating with his son.[4]

Raised as a Catholic,[5] Osment was a straight-A student at Flintridge Preparatory School in La Cañada, California.[6] As a child, he was talented in many sports, including basketball, football, wrestling, and golf.[7]


Osment in 2001

Osment's acting career began at the age of four, when his mother took him to a new Ikea store; a talent scout was there looking for new actors, and Osment put his name down. He got called back for an audition, and was asked to describe the biggest thing he had ever seen; Osment described an IMAX theater screen, and won the part in a Pizza Hut TV commercial, advertising their "Big Foot" pizza.[4] The commercial launched his career; later that year he starred in the ABC TV sitcom Thunder Alley, his first role in series television.[8] His first feature film role was as Forrest Gump's son, also named Forrest Gump, in the 1994 movie of the same name.[9] He also had a small part in another 1994 film, Mixed Nuts. Throughout the rest of 1990s, Osment played regular and/or recurring roles in various TV series; including The Jeff Foxworthy Show and the final season of Murphy Brown, where he replaced Dylan Christopher as Murphy's son, Avery. In addition, he made numerous guest appearances on shows including The Larry Sanders Show, Walker, Texas Ranger (as a child dying from AIDS),[10] Touched by an Angel, Chicago Hope, The Pretender, and an emotional episode of Ally Mcbeal; "Angels and Blimps", in which he played a child dying from leukemia. He starred in the 1996 film Bogus, alongside Whoopi Goldberg and Gérard Depardieu, and appeared in the 1998 made-for-TV movie The Lake, with Yasmine Bleeth, as well as I'll Remember April (1999), with future The Sixth Sense co-star Trevor Morgan.

Osment first achieved major stardom in 1999, when he appeared in the blockbuster film The Sixth Sense, co-starring Bruce Willis. For his portrayal of Cole Sear, a psychic child, Osment won Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor. He was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, becoming the second-youngest performer ever to receive an Academy nomination for a supporting role, but lost the final Oscar vote to Michael Caine (with whom he would later work, appearing together in Secondhand Lions). One of Osment's lines in The Sixth Sense, "I see dead people", became a popular catchphrase and is often repeated or parodied on television programs and in other media. He made three minor (voice-only) guest appearances on the animated TV series Family Guy in 2000.

The 2000 Academy Awards ceremony honored another future co-star, Kevin Spacey, who, along with Helen Hunt, appeared in Osment's next film, Pay It Forward (2000). The following year, he appeared in Steven Spielberg's Artificial Intelligence: A.I., cementing his stature as one of the leading young actors in Hollywood. This role earned him his second Saturn Award for Best Younger Actor, and another critical acclaim. In reviewing the movie, critic Roger Ebert claimed that: "Osment, who is onscreen in almost every scene, is one of the best actors now working".[11] Also in 2001, Osment starred in the Polish film, Edges of the Lord, as Romek. The movie was never released theatrically in the United States.

Osment has lent his voice to animated films such as The Country Bears, The Hunchback of Notre Dame II and The Jungle Book 2. He returned to live action with the 2003 film, Secondhand Lions.

More recently, Osment was the voice of Sora, the main protagonist of the Kingdom Hearts video game series (English-language edition). Osment also voiced the character of Takeshi Jinno, in the English version of the Immortal Grand Prix anime TV series.

He next appeared in Home of the Giants, playing a high school journalist opposite Ryan Merriman and Danielle Panabaker. He is currently working on Montana Amazon as both an actor and executive producer. The film co-stars Olympia Dukakis and is expected to be released in 2010.

Osment made his Broadway debut at the Belasco Theatre in November 2008, playing the role of "Bobby", a young heroin addict, in a revival of David Mamet's American Buffalo; co-starring with John Leguizamo and Cedric the Entertainer.[12][13] The show opened to mixed reviews, and a provisional statement was made on November 20, 2008, that it would close after the first week.[14] Osment was given one sentence in the New York Times review of the production: "Mr. Osment’s facial stubble and slumping posture fail to override the impression that he’s giving a perfect School of Disney juvenile performance."[15] Newsday, however, said "Haley Joel Osment... has a sweet, haunting neediness as a slacker who appears to recognize a kind of death in himself."[citation needed]

Personal life

According to Osment's official website, he follows a mostly vegetarian diet (though he does like chicken and fish),[16] and in an interview with Daniel Robert Epstein, Osment mentioned that he plays the guitar and piano.[17] He currently attends New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.[18]

Osment is an avid golfer who began playing at the age of 7.[19] He played for the U.S. team in the All-Star Cup 2005, under team leader Mark O'Meara,[19] and has participated in the Annual Michael Douglas & Friends Celebrity Golf Tournament.

Osment was involved in a single-driver automobile accident on July 20, 2006, in which he struck a brick mailbox and overturned his car while driving near his home. The accident resulted in injuries including a broken rib, fractured right shoulder blade, cuts and abrasions.[20][21] In connection with this incident, Osment pleaded no contest to one count each of misdemeanor driving under the influence of alcohol and drug possession on October 19, 2006.[21] He was sentenced to three years probation, 60 hours in an alcohol rehabilitation and education program, a fine of $1500, and a minimum requirement of 26 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings over a six-month period.[21][22]


Year Film Role Notes
1994 Forrest Gump Forrest Gump, Jr.
Mixed Nuts Little Boy
1996 Bogus Albert Franklin
For Better or Worse Danny
1997 Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas Chip Voice (direct-to-video)
1998 Ransom of Red Chief Andy Dorset (TV movie)
1999 The Sixth Sense Cole Sear Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor
Nominated – Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
I'll Remember April Peewee Clayton
2000 Pay It Forward Trevor McKinney
Discover Spot Spot the Dog Voice
2001 A.I. Artificial Intelligence David Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor
Edges of the Lord Romek
2002 The Hunchback of Notre Dame II Zephyr Voice
The Country Bears Beary Barrington Voice
2003 Secondhand Lions Walter
The Jungle Book 2 Mowgli Voice
2005 Immortal Grand Prix Takeshi Jinno Anime TV series; Voice (English-language)
2008 Home of the Giants Robert "Gar" Gartland
2009 Montana Amazon Womple
Truth & Treason Helmuth Hübener


  1. ^ Playbill 19 Aug 2008
  2. ^ "Haley Joel Osment Biography (1988-)". Retrieved 2008-10-01. 
  3. ^ Navarro, Mireya (2007-09-23). "When Childhood Is a Tough Role". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-03. 
  4. ^ a b Copelan, Libby (2001-07-02). "Acting Older Than His Age". Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-10-01. 
  5. ^ Duke, Paul F. (2000-04-25). "Osment, Dafoe honing 'Edges'". Variety. Retrieved 2008-10-01. 
  6. ^ "'Sixth Sense' Star Charged With DUI". (Tribune Media Services). 2006-08-18.,0,2747359.story. Retrieved 2008-10-01. 
  7. ^ "Haley and the ego problem". The Daily Telegraph. 1999-11-04. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  8. ^ King, Susan (1999-09-02). "Young actor receives rave reviews". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  9. ^ "'Something Special' About Haley Joel Osment". St. Petersburg Times. 2001-06-30. 
  10. ^ "Walker told me I have aids". YouTube. 2006-04-05. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  11. ^ "A.I. Artificial Intelligence". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  12. ^ Playbill, 26 August 2008
  13. ^ Carlson, Erin Haley Joel makes B'way debut in "American Buffalo", Associated Press, 2008-11-20
  14. ^ 'American Buffalo' Goes the Way of the Buffalo, New York Times, 2008-11-20
  15. ^ A Junk Shop Breeding Best-Laid Plans, New York Times, 2008-11-18
  16. ^ "The Official Haley Joel Osment Web Site : FAQs and Facts". Retrieved 2008-10-01. 
  17. ^ "Haley Joel Osment Interview". UGO Networks. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  18. ^ Navarro, Mireya (2007-09-23). "When Childhood Is a Tough Role". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  19. ^ a b "All-Star Cup 2005". Retrieved 2009-02-21. 
  20. ^ "StarPulse". Police Suspect Alcohol Was a Factor in Haley Joel Osment's Crash. 2006-07-21. Retrieved 2006-07-21. 
  21. ^ a b c "". Osment pleads no contest to misdemeanor charges.,5143,650200193,00.html. Retrieved October 20, 2006. 
  22. ^ No Contest for Haley Joel from E! News

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