Haley Joel Osment Biography (1988-)

Haley Joel Osment. Born April 10, 1988, in Los Angeles, California. The son of an , Michael Eugene Osment, and his wife Theresa, a schoolteacher, Osment was spotted by casting agents at the age of five (reportedly in the playroom of an IKEA furniture store) and given a role in a television commercial for Pizza Hut. Just one year later, he made his feature film debut, playing Forrest Gump Jr. in the Oscar-winning smash Forrest Gump, starring Tom Hanks.

By the time he was 10 years old, Osment had racked up an impressive number of TV credits, landing roles on ABC’s Thunder Alley and The Jeff Foxworthy Show and appearing in several TV movies, including Last Stand at Saber River (TNT, 1997), starring Tom Selleck, The Ransom of Red Chief (ABC, 1998), and Cab to Canada (CBS, 1998). From 1997 to 1998, Osment had a recurring role on the popular CBS sitcom Murphy Brown as the son of single mother Brown, played by Candice Bergen. He also had memorable guest appearances in The Pretender (NBC) and in a 1999 episode of Ally McBeal, as a young boy dying of cancer who wants to sue God.

On the big screen, the precociously talented Osment starred with Whoopi Goldberg and Gerard Depardieu in the little-seen 1996 film Bogus, as an orphaned boy who dreams up an imaginary French pal. In 1999, Osment blew audiences away—to the tune of over $600 million worldwide—as the haunted little boy at the center of the supernatural thriller The Sixth Sense, co-starring Bruce Willis and Toni Collette. For his efforts, Osment earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor; the film also scored nods for Best Picture and Best Director, M. Night Shyamalan.

In 2000, Osment appeared alongside Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt in the critically panned Pay It Forward. The following summer, he again lent his precocious acting abilities to Steven Spielberg’s long-awaited science fiction film A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (2001), as a mechanical boy who yearns to be loved by his human parents.

Osment lives in Glendale, California, with his parents and his younger sister, Emily.

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