Adored ‘Home Alone’ Star Unexpectedly Diagnosed with Cancer, GoFundMe Launched

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Credit: 20th Century Fox

One of the actors from Disney’s iconic and beloved Home Alone franchise has been diagnosed with cancer, and now, a GoFundMe has been launched to help.

Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) doing the iconic scream in 'Home Alone'
Credit: 20th Century Studios

The Home Alone franchise is a series of holiday films centered around the theme of a child being accidentally left behind when the family goes on vacation or faces a crisis. While the plot never changes, audiences do not seem to mind, as the movies are Christmas classics for millions. The main focus is on the child’s resourcefulness in dealing with unexpected situations and thwarting burglars who seem to have nine lives like a cat, because the attacks they endure from each respective child are pretty intense.

Home alone buglers
Credit: 20th Century Studios

The first film, Home Alone (1990), introduces Kevin McCallister, played by Macaulay Culkin, who defends his home from burglars using booby traps while his mom, played by the illustrious Catherine O’Hara races back home. The film was a massive success, becoming the highest-grossing live-action comedy film in the United States at the time. The film made $476.7 million, which is astonishing considering it had an $18 million budget.

The sequel, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), follows Kevin in New York City, setting up traps to capture the same burglars portrayed by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern. While not as critically acclaimed as the first, it was still a box-office hit.

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Home Alone 3 (1997) features a new cast and storyline, with a different child defending his home from international criminals. This time, a different child, Alex Pruitt (played by Alex D. Linz), is left home alone.

While Disney likely thought the film would be a hit due to it being attached to the Home Alone name, it seems that the new cast ruined the nostalgia for many, as the film only made $79.1 million. Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House (2002) brings back Kevin McCallister but with a new actor, Mike Weinberg. That film was also not beloved by fans of the franchise.

Home Alone: The Holiday Heist (2012), another made-for-television instalment, features a new family protecting a valuable painting from thieves during the holiday season. This too was not a hit. Most recently, Home Sweet Home Alone (2021) debuted on Disney+, which again was not as smashing a hit as Disney had hoped. Rumors pointed at Culkin returning in the film, which developed some initial buzz, however, those ended up being proven false.

Ken Hudson Campbell with Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone
Credit: 20th Century Fox

Related: Macaulay Culkin Returns to ‘Home Alone’ in Tears, Catherine O’Hara Joins

Now, Ken Hudson Campbell, who played Santa Claus in Home Alone is fighting cancer, and his GoFundMe has launched with over $100,000 donated at the time of this article’s publishing, which was the overall goal of the campaign.

The GoFundMe reads: 

“You may know Ken from his roles as Santa in Home Alone, the guy Bill Murray kisses in Groundhog’s Day, or in Armageddon where his character loses his life saving the world from a giant asteroid. Now, we need the world’s help to save Ken.

Ken Hudson Campbell is an accomplished film, TV, and voice-over actor & improvisational comedian who has been a card-carrying union member for upwards of 35 years. On October 27th, 2023, Ken was diagnosed with cancer, a tumor had elusively grown on the bottom of his mouth and it began encroaching on his teeth. On December 7th, he is scheduled for a 10-hour surgery, during which a large part of his jawbone will be removed, along with his lymph nodes, and part of his leg bone. Surgeons plan to reconstruct a new jaw for Ken from this leg bone, install it, and treat him with radiation. He will have a 6-month recovery period & Chemo may be needed afterwards as well.

In January of 2022, following the COVID-19 pandemic, Ken lost the SAG-AFTRA health insurance that he had used for his whole career. Since then he has switched to Kaiser, & has great faith in his new team. Regardless, he’s looking at a week in the hospital, dealing with a feeding tube, skin grafts, and a Tracheotomy, and we are looking at further recovery possibilities like nursing homes . Even though physical therapy and speech therapy are covered, we are anticipating huge out-of-pocket costs for caregivers/skilled nursing, insurance premiums, medical equipment, transportation, dental implants, dentures and who knows what else. Our entire immediate family, Kathleen, Richard, and Michaela, are planning on taking care of him as much as we can during this long journey.

Ken Campbell is a family man. A loving father of two children with an admirable lust for life, and a passion for acting, writing, & sports. It is possible that this procedure will affect his ability to work as an actor in the future. We are asking for your help so that Kenny can use the time ahead to return to health, and spend more time with family & friends. Every prayer, positive thought, dollar, or gesture of support means the world to our family.”

Kevin played my Macaulay Culkin
Credit: 20th Century Studios

Related: ‘Home Alone’ Star Arrested After Allegedly Attacking Girlfriend

The GoFundMe is flooded with fans of Ken who have been recalling previous roles that the actor has played, with donations and well wishes attached. Now, the GoFundMe has also been updating to reveal that “Ken’s Surgery Was a Success!”

The post states, “On Thursday December 7th, the day of the surgery. My Dad, Ken Hudson Campbell, went into the OR at 8am and was finished at 6pm. The cancer was removed successfully, and his jaw bone has been reconstructed from his fibula and attached. Despite the swelling and incisions, he looks great.”

So, it appears that thanks to the generosity of Ken’s fans, and perhaps, the magic of Christmas, his story will end happily after all!

If you would like to donate to Ken’s GoFundMe, you can do so here. 

We at Inside the Magic wish Ken a speedy recovery! 

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