Life Of Marv's Actor From 'Home Alone' Seriously Changed Since The Movie
When the name Daniel Stern comes to mind, the hilarious movie Home Alone pops. Daniel started his acting career on the New York theater circuit, but in the late 70s, he stumbled into a dramedy called Breaking Away, and this is where his career into Hollywood began.
In the family comedy Home Alone, where he performed as a hapless burglar named Marv Merchants, he made his fame and its 1992 sequel Lost in New York, was thoroughly enjoyed by all celebrating the Yuletide season. He never honestly stopped acting, so why don't we see him anymore? Let's take a closer look at what Stern has been up to.
He took a shot at directing but sadly, his debut didn't go as planned
Did you know that Stern was a narrator on The Wonder Years between 1988 and 1993? He directed a handful of episodes along the way as well. After Home Alone 2: Lost in New York finally wrapped, he decided he wanted to dip his hands into the directing chair and take on this career path.
The family-friendly baseball comedy Rookie of the Year was a story based around a 12-year-old pitcher who led the Chicago Cubs to glory after discovering his recently broken arm had miraculously healed with super strength. It's a kids movie, so there is no need for logic, but when grown-ups criticize and review these films, they were indeed harder to satisfy.
The Independent's Quentin Curtis wrote the following in 1994:
"Juicy satirical targets like sporting commercialism are passed by, and the action scenes are full of fumbles. As the wonder-kid, the relentlessly uncharismatic Thomas Ian Nicholas confirms the adage that you should never hire a leading man with three first names. If you don't know baseball, you won't understand the climax. If you do, you'll find it preposterous."
He was typecasted as a goofball
The problem with some actors and actresses is that they get typecasted as a particular character, such as those who became renowned for their roles in the Harry Potter franchise. Sadly, this was the case for Stern after he became known for the Home Alone movies, coupled with the overwhelming response to Rookie of the Year.
This meant that Stern had little to no choice but to carry on acting as the wacky character he'd been directed to portray. He reprised his City Slickers role in the 1994 sequel The Legen of Curly's Gold, and spent the remainder of the mid-90s acting in comedies like Bushwacked and the disastrously bad Celtic Pride.
The end of the decade was fast approaching, and the threat of being permanently typecasted was looming more than ever, so Stern took radical action and signed on for Peter Berg's controversial 1988 comedy Very Bad Things. The film was aimed to be edgy, but for the majority of critics, it boarded over into a tasteless production.
Roger Ebert, a veteran film critic, mentioned that Very Bad Things was "reprehensible" in his embarrassing one-star review. He stated: "It presents as comedy things that are not amusing," he said. "If you think this movie is funny, that tells me things about you I don't want to know."
We've heard Stern but never seen him
Strange how Stern's career went downhill after the ironic title Very Bad Things. He not only did a cameo in the comedy-drama How to Kill Your Neighbor's Dog, but he was also in a little-known crime caper called Viva Las Nowhere back in 2001. This, of course, failed to open new doors for him in his acting career.
Funny enough, Stern was actually prospering more in his voice-acting career and recalled: "After The Wonder Years, I ended up having a voiceover career, which was something I never even knew was possible," Stern did everything from Burger King and 7 Up commercials to Primetime Emmy-winning shows.
He also voiced the title character in the TV adaption of the Dilbert comic strip between 1999 and 2000. He said: "I think my voice kind of fit for that. It was a good learning experience. The scripts were funny, and it was an iconic character." Stern's other celebrated voice credits include Nickelodeon kids show Hey Arnold! and Seth MacFarlane's Family Guy.
He is pre-occupied with his Malibu
Stern became somewhat adventurous in 1999 when opening a club in Malibu, though this is not the kind of club that many actors tend to venture in when occupying their spare time. The Boys and Girls Club of Malibu was founded in the wake of the Columbine High School shooting.
A group of parents in the local community then realized that they needed a way to give the teens an outlet to avoid such tragedies. One of those parents was none other than Daniel, who called in favors from his former partner in crime, Joe Pesci, of course! The two ventured into making this club and going into business together.
Stern stated: "He's a genius and a great actor. Joe did some golf tournaments to raise money." The club went on to be a success and helped kids from all backgrounds receive higher education. "Because of the club, I will go to college," a 17-year-old Mariarely Cruz said at the club's 2013 gala via Variety.
"I will become an educated woman, and I will start a new life." she continued. Then Stern stated the following: "The people in this town—all of you—live very extraordinary lives. This town is filled with the most talent, the most wealth, the most creativity. You see the kind of fantastic elegance we can provide here. Our job is to raise this family within this community."
He volunteered 500 hours of work in a single year
Stern relocated to New York from Maryland to pursue his acting dream. After he got married and settled down with kids, he decided his family needed more space and moved them across the country to Malibu, where the Stern name is now well-known.
According to The Malibu Times, the neighborhood hero was praised on a national level in 2010 when he became a recipient of the President's Volunteer Service Award, which is said to "celebrates the impact we can all make in bettering our communities and our world" and has a "shared mission of inspiring more to answer the call to service."
So, the reason this didn't make huge headlines was because those who want a PVSA, proof is needed and a specific amount of hours are required when volunteering. Even so, he received a prize for the 500 hours he put in and was really well-deserved.
"My success as an actor. It has afforded me the unique opportunity to give back to my community, putting my vision of creating a strong and sensitive society into practice."
He loves making bronze sculptures
While the club was running smoothly, Stern felt that he had a lot of free time and decided to test his artistic side. He then pursued the arts, specifically bronze sculpting. So, he set up a workshop in Malibu, and before long, local galleries began showing up at his doorstep with offers about his work. He said:
"It is a basic human need to tell stories. I am a storyteller at heart and my sculptural work allows me to give a literal and visceral dimension to my characters."
Stern took part in San Diego's Urban Trees exhibition in 2013, where he contributed in an eight-foot bronze statue of a man doing a handstand. This was one of 30 pieces erected along the waterfront. In 2016 the actor-turned-artist unveiled an installation in Monrovia which was a three-part sculpture in front of the Krikorian Theatre.
This was meant to pay tribute to the area's contribution to the film industry. The bronze piece entitled "Action!", consists of a windswept director, an old-time camera and a director's chair, which is a very sturdy piece which can support filmgoers queuing outside.
Stern has not made a movie since 2012
It's pretty simple when you come to think of it. We have not actually seen stern in a film because, well, he simply has not been in one for a long time. While his schedule becomes increasingly busy, his movie career seems to have reached a standstill, leaving his last credit in 2012 when he agreed to return to the festive comedy A Christmas Story 2.
Home Alone, however, was far from it because it went straight to DVD and was released just days before a musical version of the original was set to debut on Broadway, with Warner Bros. So we fully understand why no one even got the chance to give him the credit he deserved for that little festive blooper.
Unfortunately for the studio, hardly anyone noticed, and the few critics that did were not even bothered to review it with any level of enthusiasm. "Shamelessly derivative and plasticized," Blu-ray.com said in their brutal review. "A Christmas Story 2 will only have you wondering why you're not watching the original picture again."
Not many saw his dramatic TV comeback
When falling out of favor in the film industry, you'd think that the next fallback would be television, right? In 2014, Stern attempted to take this path, winning the part of mentor and scientist Dr. Glen Babbit in WGN America's Manhattan, which was a show about the real-life project of the same name that literally gave birth to the first nuclear weapons.
Despite the overwhelmingly positive reviews the show received, there were not enough viewers, which left WGNA with a "very difficult decision" to make. Once again, things were not looking too great for Stern. As WGNA stated below:
"We are proud of this critically acclaimed series, an extraordinary original drama, and are deeply disappointed that such a wonderful show could not find a larger audience. We thank the immensely talented [executive producers] Sam Shaw and Thomas Schlamme, along with the exceptional cast and crew and our great partners at Lionsgate and Skydance, for crafting a masterful series. We are equally grateful to the dedicated fans for their support over the last two seasons."
He was a very supportive father
Stern may not have signed a certificate of recognition from Barack Obama, but he certainly did something to be proud of by helping his son become the youngest California State Senator in history! In 2016, 34-year-old Henry Stern won the honor of representing the 27th District, which stretches from Malibu to the Santa Clarita Valley.
The Democrat is a graduate of Harvard and UC-Berkeley Law School, and is the first millennial to make the Senate. He plans on representing that demographic during his term. Henry then stated:
"They are sick of the old kind of political leadership. They want it unvarnished, no talking points. I brought Facebook live into my swearing-in ceremony, and I don't think anybody's done that before.”
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Everyone knows Daniel as his character, Marv
Stern started preparing his son to be a reliable and competent citizen from a young age, which included taking him to Iraq to visit the U.S. troops who were stationed there in 2003. They were safely guarded while they shopped for souvenirs to take home to the family.
"I went with my son Henry at Christmas time to thank those incredible men and women for their service and to see for myself what the heck was going on there. We drove into town and pulled up in a couple of armed Humvees to the front of a small shopping area. Henry and I were a little scared but got out and were starting to get our bearings. A couple of kids were playing in the street and looked up at me. I had seen that look before, their brains recognizing my face, computing how they know me, making the Home Alone connection and then out of their mouths popping the word 'Marv!'"
Stern was swamped by local kids who recognized him as the eccentric burglar from the movies. While he appreciated the attention he got from his Home alone fans, the fact that we never hear about Daniel is evident. Everyone recognizes him as Marv, and that will never change.
What are your thoughts on the strange and peculiar actor who is mainly renowned the comedic burglar named Marv? Did you know that he was so creative and involved in the media? Share your thoughts below in the comments section. Remember to show this to your friends and family and keep up-to-date with us for more exciting news your favorite actors.