TheDC investigates: What ever happened to Haley Joel Osment?

Taylor Bigler Entertainment Editor
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Aww! Remember Haley Joel Osment, Forrest Gump’s adorable son and seer of dead people?

He was so precious back in the mid-to-late nineties when he played precocious little boys who were wise beyond their years. But, as many child actors do, his career suffered from a little thing called puberty. Damn you, biology!

US actor Hayley Joel Osment, star of the film "The

It became strange to see Osment looking like a teenager when he was supposed to be a cute little thing — a lá Macaulay Culkin and Dakota Fanning — and people didn’t really care to see a normal-looking teenager act in movies. (Average people are so boring.)

Osment went from beloved, Oscar-nominated kid actor to disposable adult actor in just one decade. Let’s see what he’s up to now, shall we?

As we all know, Osment played Forrest Gump’s son in 1994’s “Forrest Gump,” and appeared in several very nineties TV shows like “Chicago Hope” and “Ally McBeal.” In 1999, he starred as the sad kid who could see dead people in 1999’s “The Sixth Sense,” for which he was nominated for an Oscar. He didn’t win. Things started to go downhill from there.

After appearing with Helen Hunt and Kevin Spacey in that bullshit heartstring-puller “Pay It Forward” the next year and Steven Spielberg’s 82-hour robot-boy tearjerker “A.I.: Artificial Intelligence” in 2001, Osment started to do movies with extremely dubious titles like “Edges of the Lord,” and “The Country Bears,” in addition to providing the voice for Mowgli in the totally unnecessary “The Jungle Book 2.”

Apparently, Hollywood just couldn’t forgive Osment for growing up and — truth bomb! — getting kind of fat, so he got relegated to doing voices for video games.

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In the meantime, Osment broke his a rib and a shoulder blade when he flipped his car in Los Angeles because he was driving drunk, as an 18-year-old former child star often does. He was ordered to go to 26 AA meetings, three years probation and  $1,500 fine. The saddest part of the story is that he was driving a 1995 Saturn station wagon in 2006.

However! Things could potentially be looking up for Haley Joel. According to his IMDB profile, he has six projects in various stages of production, including a TV pilot and six movies that sound really promising!

One stars Osment as a young scientist who disappears! Another features Osment as a sex ed teacher who hasn’t had very much experience with sex! Oh, Hollywood, what will you think up next?

Bottom line: Haley Joel Osment enjoyed a semi-fruitful career as a cute kid actor who then grew up to drive drunk, get kinda chubby and make a living off of doing menial work. So basically, he’s just like every other adult on the planet.

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Taylor Bigler