Born: 27 June 1975
Where: Santa Monica, California, USA
Height: 5' 8"
Awards: Nominated for 1 Golden Globe
For a while back there, it wasn't looking too good for Tobey Maguire. Crazily ambitious, having chosen to leave school and forge an acting career at the tender age of 13, he had conspicuously failed to become the new De Niro. Beyond that, his best buddy, Leonardo DiCaprio had hit massively with Titanic and was one of the biggest stars in the world. So Tobey - sensitive, struggling Tobey - was better known as a member of DiCaprio's posse. All feelings of loyalty apart, it must have hurt.
And then it all changed. After a string of classy, award-winning productions - Pleasantville, The Cider House Rules, Ride With The Devil and Wonder Boys - suddenly Maguire was hot. And then came Spider-Man. Taking $114 million in its first weekend, it slaughtered many of cinema's proudest records. Seabiscuit followed, another smash. Maguire was hotter than hot, certainly hotter than DiCaprio. And, his family having been dirt-poor for so many years, he was very rich, taking $17 million for Spider-Man 2. Tobey's certainly enjoyed some major ups and pitiable downs. Here's how he did it.
Tobias Vincent Maguire was born on the 27th of June, 1975, in Santa Monica, California, to very young parents. His father, Vincent, a chef and sometime construction worker, was just 20. His mother, Wendy, a secretary, was even younger, at 18. The couple would marry some two years after, but separate the same year. Later, Tobey would be presented with a half-sister, Sara, and a half-brother, Timothy, to add to half-brother Vincent, born in '72.
It was an extremely tough time for Tobey. Shuttling between his mum and dad, his aunts, uncles and grandparents, he moved up and down the coast of California constantly, and on up to Oregon and Washington. Never settling anywhere, he made no real friends, and was an outsider - if not downright unpopular - wherever he went. One good thing about having no friends, says Tobey, was that he spent his time watching people, wondering what made them tick. This was partly because he had no one to talk to, partly to see if he could trust the watchee. In the future, it would make it easier for him to inhabit a character's skin.
Worse still, with his parents struggling to make ends meet, the family was always poor. His mother worked hard but still they spent time on Welfare, using food stamps and Medi-Cal. Tobey recalls running from a store when his mother paid with stamps (he's sorry now, recognising that his actions added to his mother's own humiliation). For father Vincent, the situation never got any better. In 1993, he robbed a bank in his hometown, Reseda and, caught just one hour later, was jailed for two years. It was taken into account that he was desperate, and this was a first offence.