Family & Companions
As a child performer, Rachel Miner amassed an impressive resume and worked with such distinguished directors as Woody Allen and Hal Hartley. In addition, soap aficionados knew her as Michelle Bauer, the troubled young heroine of CBS' long-running "Guiding Light." But, the general public, however, probably knew of the actress from her highly publicized 1998 marriage to -- and 2000 separation from -- fellow actor and kid star Macauley Culkin. Few, however, were prepared for the actress' star-making turn (complete with full frontal nudity) in Larry Clark's dark and disturbing drama "Bully" (2001). In the film inspired by real events (although there was much debate over just how factual the motion picture was), Miner portrayed Lisa Connelly, a troubled Florida teen who goads her boyfriend (Brad Renfro) into murdering his abusive best friend (Nick Stahl).
Born and raised in NYC, Miner was the daughter of a TV director father (best known for his work on the ABC soap "One Life to Live") and a writer mother. By age nine, she had decided to pursue an acting career. While her parents did not discourage her, they warned her of the difficulties, but Miner appeared to lead a charmed life. She nailed her first-ever audition and was cast as the young version of Mia Farrow's title character in "Alice" (1990). Before the film was released, Miner landed the role of Michelle on "Guiding Light" and began her five-year stint on the show in November 1990. Over the course of that time, the young actress more than held her own with veteran players and amassed viewer support and several accolades, including a Daytime Emmy nomination. She was essentially fired when the producers decided to "age" the character a bit. Undaunted, Miner landed small roles in Hal Hartley's "Henry Fool" (1997) and Frank Whaley's directorial debut "Joe the King" (1999). She also appeared in the Broadway revival of "The Diary of Anne Frank," portraying the title character's older sister Margot. (During the show's Boston tryout, Miner was struck by a car and broke her ankle, causing her to miss the NYC opening night.)
But it was the March 1998 announcement of her engagement to Culkin (whom she met at the Professional Children's School) that catapulted her into the public eye. Both she and her intended were only 17, sparking many to predict that the union wouldn't last. Unfortunately, the naysayers were proven correct when Miner and Culkin announced their separation barely two years later in August 2000.
Cast (Feature Film)
Film debut, playing a 12-year-old incarnation of the title character in Woody Allen's "Alice"
Portrayed troubled teen Michelle Bauer on the CBS daytime drama "Guiding Light"
Broadway debut, as Margot Frank, opposite Natalie Portman in "The Diary of Anne Frank"
Had a small role in the Hal Hartley directed, "Henry Fool"
Appeared in Frank Whaley's directorial debut "Joe the King"
Guest-starred as Lauren on the HBO series, "Sex and the City"
Breakthrough role as Lisa Connelly, a young teenager who convinces her boyfriend to murder his best friend in the fact based film, "Bully"; directed by Larry Clark
Co-starred as Sandy in Rebecca Gilman's "Blue Surge" at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago
Reprised role for the NYC production of Rebecca Gilman's "Blue Surge"
Played a small role in Frank E. Flowers' drama, "Haven"
Starred in the thriller, "Circadian Rhythm"
Had a small role in Brian De Palma's "The Black Dahlia"
Co-starred with Mimi Rogers, as a young woman traumatized by a childhood auto accident in the indie horror "Penny Dreadful"
Cast as Charlie's naughty secretary, Dani on the Showtime series, "Californication"
Co-starred with Mark Webber in the independent, "The Memory Thief"