Early lifeOsment was born April 10, 1988 in Los Angeles, California; the son of Theresa Osment (née Seifert), a teacher, and Michael Eugene Osment, a theater and film actor, both natives of Alabama. Osment was raised Roman Catholic. He has one sister, four years younger, actress and singer-songwriter Emily Osment. Osment’s parents described his childhood as a “good old-fashioned Southern upbringing,” and his father said that when Osment was learning to speak, he deliberately avoided using baby talk when communicating with his son.
Osment was a student at Flintridge Preparatory School in La Cañada, California. As a child, he was talented in many sports, including basketball, football, wrestling, and golf.
Osment first achieved major stardom in 1999, when he appeared in the blockbuster film The Sixth Sense, co-starring Bruce Willis. For his portrayal of Cole Sear, a psychic child, Osment won Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor. He was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, becoming the second-youngest performer ever to receive an Academy nomination for a supporting role, but lost the final Oscar vote to Michael Caine (with whom he would later work, appearing together in Secondhand Lions). One of Osment's lines in The Sixth Sense, "I see dead people", became a popular catchphrase and is often repeated or parodied on television programs and in other media. He made three minor (voice-only) guest appearances on the animated TV series Family Guy in 2000.
The 2000 Academy Awards ceremony honored another future co-star, Kevin Spacey, who, along with Helen Hunt, appeared in Osment's next film, Pay It Forward (2000). The following year, he appeared in Steven Spielberg's Artificial Intelligence: A.I., cementing his stature as one of the leading young actors in Hollywood. This role earned him his second Saturn Award for Best Younger Actor, and another critical acclaim. In reviewing the movie, critic Roger Ebert claimed that: "Osment, who is onscreen in almost every scene, is one of the best actors now working". Also in 2001, Osment starred in the Polish film, Edges of the Lord, as Romek. The movie was never released theatrically in the United States.
Osment has lent his voice to animated films such as The Country Bears, The Hunchback of Notre Dame II and The Jungle Book 2. He returned to live action with the 2003 film, Secondhand Lions.
Notably, Osment has also lent his voice to the video game series, Kingdom Hearts, providing the voice of Sora, the series' main character, and also Vanitas, a villain resembling Sora. Osment also voiced the character of Takeshi Jinno, in the English version of the Immortal Grand Prix anime TV series.
He next appeared in Home of the Giants, playing a high school journalist opposite Ryan Merriman and Danielle Panabaker. He subsequently worked on Montana Amazon as both an actor and executive producer. The film co-stars Olympia Dukakis and debuted at the Orlando and Big Apple Film Festivals in November 2010, winning Best Feature Film at the latter.
Osment made his Broadway debut at the Belasco Theatre in November 2008, playing the role of "Bobby", a young heroin addict, in a revival of David Mamet's American Buffalo; co-starring with John Leguizamo and Cedric the Entertainer. The show opened to mixed reviews, and a provisional statement was made on November 20, 2008, that it would close after the first week. Osment was given one sentence in the New York Times review of the production: "Mr. Osment’s facial stubble and slumping posture fail to override the impression that he’s giving a perfect School of Disney juvenile performance." Newsday, however, said "Haley Joel Osment... has a sweet, haunting neediness as a slacker who appears to recognize a kind of death in himself."
In 2010, Osment signed for a leading role in the comedy film Sex Ed from MPCA; he's to play a college graduate who wants to teach algebra, but ends up as a sex education teacher while a virgin himself. In January 2011, Entertainment Weekly reported that Osment had joined the cast of Sassy Pants, a comedy about a homeschooler with an over-bearing mother. Variety reported on June 27, 2011 that Osment will star in Wake the Dead, a modern day retelling of the Frankenstein story, with production to begin the last quarter of 2011.
Personal lifeOsment follows a mostly meat-free diet, though he does eat chicken and fish. Osment plays the guitar and piano. As of 2007, he attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, from which he graduated in 2010.
Osment is an avid golfer who began playing at the age of 7. He played for the U.S. team in the All Star Cup 2005, under team leader Mark O'Meara, and has participated in the Annual Michael Douglas & Friends Celebrity Golf Tournament.