The Tragic Story Of The Death Of Macaulay Culkin's Sister

Macaulay Culkin is one of the most recognizable actors in Hollywood, but he isn't the only famous one in his family. The former child star actually has six siblings and one half-sister (via Hollywood Life), including "Succession" star Kieran Culkin. The two brothers have taken Hollywood by storm, although Macaulay has become more of a recluse throughout the years. In addition to starring in "Succession," Kieran has also made appearances in "The Mighty," "She's All That," "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World," and more, according to IMDb.

While some of the Culkin siblings have made a name for themselves in Hollywood, they've also dealt with their fair share of personal loss and tragedies in their lives. Macaulay and Kieran first dealt with the tragic death of his half-sister, Jennifer Adamson, in 2000 (via The Sun). Eight years later, they suffered another tragedy when their sister, Dakota, died. 

Though Dakota did not grow up in the spotlight like her brothers and sisters, they continue to keep her memory alive.

Dakota Culkin wanted to work in film production

Dakota — affectionately referred to as "Cody" by her siblings — Culkin was 29 years old at the time of her death. According to TMZ, Dakota was struck by a car while she was walking on the west side of Los Angeles. She later died of her injuries sustained during the accident, which ABC News cited the LAPD as saying caused her "massive head trauma." Prior to her death, People noted, Dakota had just moved to Los Angeles and was interested in pursuing a career in film production.

Although it's been nearly 13 years since Dakota's death, her memory lives on with her brothers. Macaulay is in a long-term relationship with former Disney star Brenda Song, and they named their baby boy in her honor. The baby was born on April 5, 2021 in Los Angeles. At the time, Macaulay and Song released a statement to Esquire that simply said, "We're overjoyed."

Macaulay previously told Esquire that he has bittersweet memories about his sister on the night of her death because she had watched one of his movies and praised him for his performance. "I was like, 'Thanks ... Go to sleep,'" he recalled. "And then she went out to go get some Gatorade and cigarettes, and she got hit by a car."

Kieran Culkin wishes his sister could see his life now

Macaulay Culkin is not the only sibling who misses his sister, as Kieran Culkin has also opened up about the grief of losing Dakota. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter published on October 6, the "Succession" star admitted that his sister's death was hard to process. "That's the worst thing that's ever happened, and there's no sugarcoating that one. Each one of us handled it very differently," he said. "I think everyone was just torn up inside."

While time has passed since her death, Kieran told the outlet that the grieving process is never ending, especially when memories with Dakota pop up in his head or the realization that she will never meet her nieces and nephews, Kinsey and Kieran Jr.

"I accepted at the time that this is going to be forever, and it's never going to be fine. It's always going to be devastating. I still weep about it out of nowhere. Something funny she did will pop in the head and make me laugh, and then I'm weeping," he said, adding, "Sometimes it's knowing that she's not going to meet my kids and they don't get to have her, and it's hard to describe what she was like."

Kieran Culkin called Dakota 'the funniest person in the family'

It seems like Dakota Culkin's down-to-earth personality left a lasting impression on those who knew her. While many people aiming to get their start in the film industry would take advantage of having a well-known last name, Dakota seemingly preferred to get by on her own merits. Speaking to People, her close friend and co-worker, Andrea Poe, stated that while she was "proud of her siblings," Dakota remained "low-key" about her famous family. This sentiment was echoed by Dana Schroeder, a director who worked with her on the indie film "Lost Soul": "Dakota was very humble. She didn't want to get in front of the cameras, she wanted to work behind the scenes."

Dakota is also remembered fondly for her great sense of humor. Poe added that once she would get over her initial shyness, her friend could be "hilarious." In his interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Kieran Culkin described her as the "funniest person in the family," noting her love of physical comedy and her "really dark sense of humor."

While nothing can ever quite take away the pain of losing a beloved family member and friend, it's heartening to see Dakota's legacy live on through her loved ones.