Born in June 1978, Dakota Culkin was part of the large and famous Culkin family. Sadly, she passed away in December 2008, at only 30 years of age. She passed away in Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, California.
Born to Kit Culkin and Patricia Brentrup, she was part of a large family. Her siblings include Shane Culkin, Quinn Culkin, Rory Culkin, Kieran Culkin, Christian Culkin, Jennifer Adamson, and of course, the most famous among them, Macaulay Culkin.
Who is her famous brother?
Born Macaulay Carson Culkin in August 1980, he was Dakota’s younger brother. Macaulay is an American actor, often regarded as one of the most successful child actors of the 1990s. VH1 placed him in second place on their list of 100 Greatest Kid Stars.
Culkin rose to prominence as a child actor portraying Kevin McCallister in the Home Alone film series. The first one was published in 1990, and the second in 1992. He was not part of the third sequel. Those movies earned him a Golden Globe Award nomination. He also appeared in My Girl in 1991, The Good Son in 1993, Getting Even with Dad in 1994, and Richie Rich in 1994.
Born in August 1980 in New York City to Christopher Cornelius Kit Culkin, a former stage actor, and Patricia Brentrup, he had seven siblings. His father was a stage actor, while his mother a native of North Dakota.
During his early childhood, the family lived in a small apartment in the Yorkville neighborhood of Manhattan. They struggled financially, with his mother working as a telephone operator and his father as a sacristan at a local Catholic Church. He was raised as Roman Catholic.
Things changed when Macaulay was cast as Kevin McCallister in the Home Alone film series. The family’s finances went up.
Culkin began acting at the age of four, including stage production of Bach Babies in the New York Philharmonic.
He made his film debut as Cy Blue Black in the drama Rocket Gibraltar. He then played the role of Billy Livingston in the romantic comedy movie See You in the Morning in 1989. That movie starred Farrah Fawcett, Drew Barrymore, and Jeff Bridges.
In 1990, he got his big break by appearing in the blockbuster comedy film Home Alone. The film reunited him with Uncle Buck writer and director John Hughes and co-star John Candy. For the original, he was paid only $110,000.
But because of his increased popularity, he was paid $4.5 million for Home Alone 2 Lost in New York.
Following Richie Rich in 1994, he got tired of acting and wanted a normal life. He went to a private school in Manhattan and took a break from acting.
During that period, there were conspiracy theories and reports of alcohol abuse and drug abuse. In 2003, he returned to acting with a guest appearance on the television show Will & Grace.
In the 2020s, he had a resurgence with American Horror Story. He was part of the tenth season, Double Feature. His role was critically praised.
Now let’s talk about Macaulay’s older sister, Dakota Culkin. Her siblings called her Cody, but she didn’t grow up in the spotlight like other family members.
She is the second oldest Culkin sibling, and has only one credit on IMDB, working in the art department on Lost Soul, a horror movie released in 2009.
She was only 29 years when she passed away, in what many people describe as a “freak accident”. According to the report, she’d just moved to Los Angeles trying to pursue a career in the film industry. She wasn’t after acting credits like her siblings Kieran Culkin and Macaulay. She wanted to make a name in film production.
The director of Lost Soul said that Dakota “was humble and didn’t want to get in front of the cameras, she wanted to work behind the scenes”. Her co-worker and friend, Andrea Poe, described Dakota as “actually quite hilarious, witty, and down to earth”.
How did Dakota die?
According to the reports of the accident, at the time of her death, Dakota was walking on Lincoln Boulevard on the west side of Los Angeles, in Marina del Ray. She had just left the Irish bar, Brennan’s, when the car struck her.
She survived for long enough to be taken to UCLA Hospital. But there, she died shortly after due to severe head trauma.
According to the report, “The driver stopped, rendered aid, and identified himself as required by law”. The stamen of the Los Angeles Police Department read, “She was taken to UCLA hospital with massive head trauma and passed away on Dec. 10th at 12:45 PM”.
The report continues, “The driver stopped, rendered aid, and identified himself as required by law. Detectives have determined that the driver was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, so no crime was committed”.
At the time, Macaulay had a statement, saying her death was a terrible tragic accident and that the family has no further comment. It came eight years after Macaulay’s half-sister, Jennifer Adamson, passed away from a drug overdose.
The Tragic Story of the Culkin Family
The Culkin family name might be one of the most recognizable in Hollywood. But the family has endured its fair share of tragic history.
Macaulay, for example, said that his father Kit was cruel and violent in his childhood. In his words, “his father was jealous because everything he tried to do in his life I excelled at before I was 10 years old”.
His parents never married and split when Culkin was in his teens. His mother filed for custody, and he took to court to block them from controlling his trust fund. At the time, his trust fund was worth between $15 and $20 million.
In May 2000, his half-sister Jennifer Adamson passed away from a drug overdose. She was the first member of the family to have a tragic end. Dakota followed.
In September 2004, Macaulay was arrested in Oklahoma City for possession of 17.3g of marijuana and two controlled substances.
In December 2018, he announced that he would legally change his name to Macaulay Macaulay Culkin Culkin after holding a vote on his website for a middle name.
In August 2020, on his 40th birthday, he tweeted, “Hey guys, wanna feel old? I am 40. You’re welcome”. That tweet has since become one of the most-liked tweets of all time.
Her legacy lives on
Dakota might have passed away in 2008, but she is not forgotten. Her brother, actor Kieran Culkin, talked to Hollywood Reporter about her. He said, “Cody was funny, man. She was the funniest person in the family. Her death was the worst thing that’s ever happened. It’s never going to be fine. It’s always going to be devastating. I still weep about it out of nowhere”.
To carry on his legacy, he says there is a bit of Cody in Shif, his character’s sister in the HBO hit show, Succession.
In the third season of the show, there is a scene in which he mocks his on-screen sister Shiv, played by Sarah Snook, during an argument. He says “Dur-dur-dur-dur-durr” with a silly face. Kieran says that is a card his late sister used to play.
Macaulay also honored Cody by naming his first child, his son, Dakota after his late sister. He has poignant memories of the night of Dakota’s death.
He says that it is BS she was intoxicated at the time of the death. In one interview, he said, “Dakota had just watched Party Monster with her roommate and after that, she called him to congratulate him on his performance”.
And Macaulay was “Thanks, go to sleep. And then she went out to get some Gatorade and cigarettes, and she got hit by a car”.