Sixth Sense’s Haley Joel Osment now — acting career, beard and famous sister
The kid who said the famous line “I see dead people” is back on TV screens as Channel 5 treats us to another showing of supernatural thriller The Sixth Sense on Saturday.
But the Oscar-nominated film is now almost 25 years-old and its lead child actor, Haley Joel Osment, is now in his mid-30s.
Child stars can often struggle with having the limelight at such a young age — take Home Alone’s Macaulay Culkin, The Parent Trap’s Lindsay Lohan and Jackson 5 lead singer Michael Jackson as cases in point.
Being cast alongside Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense — as dead-seeing boy Cole Sear — saw Osment’s popularity soar and he was cast in some of the biggest films of the early 21st century as a result.
He is still acting today but is rocking a very different look now.
Is Haley Joel Osment still acting?
Yes, he is, although more of his recent acting gigs have tended to be voiceovers.
He has voiced characters in animated comedy series Family Guy, American Dad! And Dogs In Space.
The 34-year-old has also appeared in a slew of US TV shows, although few that have garnered name recognition in the UK.
The last film he featured in was 2020’s Death of a Telemarketer, but that only received a score of 4.8 out of 10 on IMDB.
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The former child superstar has been in a number of films that are still in production or due for release, including Somebody I Used To Know, scheduled for release this year.
He had a few short-lived stints on Broadway, and has been doing voice acting roles for computer games, including that of Sora in Kingdom Hearts since 2002, and Vanitas since 2010.
Other roles include appearing in the TV series Comedy Bang! Bang! and Silicon Valley, and Osment was also in the Ted Bundy biopic, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, with Zac Efron and Lily Collins.
What was Haley Joel Osment in as a kid?
His latest work is a far cry from the blockbusters that Osment used to be in during his youthful heyday.
He first appeared in Forrest Gump when he was aged only six, playing Tom Hank's character's son (also called Forrest).
He was only 10 years-old when he landed his breakthrough role, playing unwilling medium Cole Seer who could infamously see the dead in M Night Shyamalan's The Sixth Sense.
The role earned him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, but he lost out to British veteran Michael Caine (who he later starred with in another film.)
Upon losing, Caine said in his speech: "Haley, when I saw you I thought: well, that's me out of it."
Osment responded later: "That was probably a better outcome than me winning."
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He went on to star in Steven Spielberg's A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Pay It Forward, and Secondhand Lions.
The Californian actor also played Davis Cable in Last Stand at Saber River.
There were even reports that, when it was considered making the Harry Potter films as animations, that the decorated Hollywood director wanted Osment to voice the orphaned wizard.
Osment is said to have earned $150,000 (£130,000) from his Sixth Sense role — seen as paltry against box office takings of $672m.
But his salary ballooned after that starring role, with CelebrityNetWorth reporting that he was paid $1m (£865,000) to act alongside Kevin Spacey in Pay It Forward and double that for AI.
These days, Haley Joel Osment can be seen sporting a large bushy beard — a world away from his cherubic look that he is most famed for.
He told The Guardian in 2020 that he tried to escape the public eye by growing a beard "to try and hide” but conceded that it “didn't really work at all".
However, nowadays he is proud of his role and success.
Osment told the paper: "I feel like I'm always building on it."
Haley Joel Osment’s sister is Emily Jordan Osment.
Four years younger, she entered the limelight when playing Miley Cyrus’s best friend, Lilly, on the Disney Channel’s Hannah Montana.
Despite his frighteningly early start to stardom, he feels his sister has had it tougher.
“That show was squarely aimed towards creating a mania in that age group,” he told The Guardian.
“She had to deal with a lot more strange invasions of privacy, not being able to have a normal school life.
“And what exacerbated all of that was she had to be on social media. I resisted until I was, like, 27.”
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