Born April 10, 1988 in Los Angeles, California, Haley Joel Osment is the son of teacher Theresa and actor Eugene Osment. He was signed with a talent agent at the age of four. At an audition, he was asked to describe the biggest thing he had ever seen; his description of an IMAX theater screen led to his winning a part in a Pizza Hut TV commercial from which his career took off.
Osment’s first on-screen appearance was in the 1994 TV movie, Lies of the Heart: The Story of Laurie Kellogg followed by his big screen portrayal of Tom Hanks’ son in Forrest Gump for which he received world-wide notice. After several minor roles, he had regular roles in the TV series Thunder Alley (1994-1995), The Jeff Foxworthy Show (1995-1997) and Murphy Brown (1997-1998). His performance as the boy who could see dead people in the 1998 megahit The Sixth Sense co-starring Bruce Willis and Toni Collette made him one of the most popular child actors of his day earning him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
Cast in numerous films following his Oscar nomination, he was seen in major roles in numerous other films including 2000’s Pay It Forward with Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt for which he won a Blockbuster award, 2001’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence with Jude Law and Frances O’Connor for which he won a Saturn award, 2001’s Edges of the Lord with Willem Dafoe and Liam Hess and 2003’s Secondhand Lions with Michael Caine and Robert Duvall for which he won a Critics’ Choice award.
Osment provided voiceovers for numerous videos including Chip in 1997’s Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas, Zephyr in 2002’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame II for which he was nominated for a Young Artists award and Mowgli in 2003’s The Jungle Book 2 for which he was again nominated for a Young Artists award.