There were few phrases that were more identifiable in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s than “I see dead people.” Those words were uttered by 11 year-old Haley Joel Osment, in the film The Sixth Sense.
While a great deal of people link Osment with that line and that performance, he’s had a lot of other memorable moments in his acting career, both before and after The Sixth Sense.
The story of Haley Joel Osment begins on April 10, 1988 in Los Angeles, California. He’s the son of Theresa Marie Seifert and Eugene Osment, and has one sister, Emily Osment. It’s probably no coincidence that both Haley and Emily were exposed to acting at a young age, considering that their father had also been in the industry.
Eugene Osment is an actor and producer himself. Some of this most well-known projects have included movies such as Minority Report and A.I. Artificial Intelligence.
Seifert has also been given kudos by Haley over the years. She was a middle school teacher that taught her two kids how to read at an early age, which allowed them to better understand the content they were reading on various scripts.
Early Acting Career
Even though Osment has acting bloodlines, his career was initiated in a random manner. When he was four, he was walking around a Southern California IKEA with his mom, and had his picture unknowingly taken.
While the story starts somewhat sketchily, that individual was employed by an advertising agency, which believed that Osment could be an asset on-screen before starting kindergarten. This eventually led to the little boy getting a chance to audition for a role in a Pizza Hut commercial, which he landed.
As it turned out, it wouldn’t be long before Osment would be cast in more prominent projects. His early acting career proved to be more successful than a lot of adults’ body of work.
It’s a movie that will forever be associated with Tom Hanks, but Forrest Gump also included an appearance from Osment. It was revealed that Gump and his love interest Lucy Curran had a child named Forrest Junior, who was played by Osment.
There’s some neat footage of some behind the scenes moments between a young Osment and Hanks reciting their lines on YouTube.
The Sixth Sense
Of course, this exposure to some of the brightest stars in Hollywood eventually parlayed itself into a role on The Sixth Sense, where Osment played a young boy named Cole Sear. Osment and Bruce Willis(playing Dr. Malcolm Crowe, a child psychologist) work together in order to exorcise both of their demons.
Sear helps Crowe get back together with his wife, and Crowe helps Sear work through emotional and psychological trauma as he meets deceased individuals.
Director M. Night Shyamalan was dazzled by Osment from the first audition, as he couldn’t believe how well the child absorbed and delivered the part.
Osment would win an Academy Award for his performance in The Sixth Sense.
What did he do after The Sixth Sense?
After his breakthrough role in “The Sixth Sense,” Haley Joel Osment continued to have a successful career in both film and television.
In 2000, he appeared in “Pay It Forward” alongside Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt. In 2001, he starred in Steven Spielberg’s science fiction film “A.I. Artificial Intelligence.
Although, he hasn’t been able to land a role that could top The Sixth Sense, he would have a steady career, which spanned a variety of genres, from drama and science fiction to comedy and animation. He would also lean heavy into voice work.
Osment has had a unique opportunity to work on set with family members on a couple of occasions. He and his father were both cast in A.I. Artificial Intelligence, with Haley playing a leading role of a boy named David.
Haley would also have the opportunity to work on The Kominsky Method, a show that his sister Emily had already been a part of.
What is Haley Joel Osment doing now?
Osment has been keeping quite busy in recent years, lending his voice to a lot of different TV series. He can be heard in episodes of We Baby Bears, Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous, Dogs In Space, American Dad!, Young Jedi Adventures and Dragons: The Nine Realms, among other productions.
He’s also taken advantage of the explosion of podcasting in the last decade plus. Osment has been a part of two recent podcast series titled Blood Weed and #Matter, respectively.
Every now and then, Osment has returned to a role in front of the camera as well. He played the role of Mesmer in The Boys and Jeremy in a movie called Somebody I Used To Know.
Now in his mid-thirties, Osment has an interesting relationship with the public. He was quoted as saying that he grew a lush beard in order to camouflage with the rest of society. He’s also not afraid to talk about the experiences he had as a child, which most kids wouldn’t be able to relate to.
While he doesn’t necessarily have an official channel or program to share tips, Osment appears to care about the treatment and development of other child actors, and looks to enjoy sharing anecdotes from his past that will help others maintain a sense of personal peace.
Osment’s romantic relationship status is a bit muddy, but he was involved with actress Mae Whitman within the last couple of years.
The two met on the set of The Jungle Book 2 way back in 2003. The two would seem to have a lot in common, as both actors are Los Angeles natives who have been working in the industry since they were children.