A young actor noted for his intense, older-than-his-years demeanor, Edward Furlong was 12 years old when he was picked for the role of John Connor in Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991). Discovered in a Boys Club in his native Pasadena, California, Furlong shot to stardom with his film debut, managing to impress both critics and audiences with his ability to hold his own against Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Despite this auspicious breakthrough, Furlong's subsequent films, though generally well-received by the critics, went virtually unseen by audiences. Such was the case with American Heart, in which Furlong gave an affecting performance as the son of a hardened ex-con (Jeff Bridges) (1993); Little Odessa (1994), in which he played the younger brother of a hitman for the Russian Mafia (Tim Roth); and The Grass Harp, a touching adaptation of Truman Capote's novel about a young orphan (Furlong) who comes of age in the company of some eccentric relatives.
Furlong gave another strong performance in Barbet Schroeder's Before and After (1996), playing a young man accused of murdering his girlfriend. Unfortunately, as with many of his previous films, the favorable critical response it received failed to translate to commercial success. It was not until John Waters cast Furlong as the titular hero of Pecker two years later that his career began to rebound; one of Waters' most popular films to date, it allowed Furlong to demonstrate his ability to play quirky satire as well as serious drama. He earned additional acclaim later that year for his portrayal of the impressionable younger brother of a neo-Nazi (Edward Norton) in American History X; combined with the success of his role in Pecker, the film seemed to point the way toward steady work for Furlong in the future. Furlong would spend the next several years would find Furlong playing roles in movies like The Crow: Wicked Prayer and The Green Hornet.
Although Furlong's acting career has been varied, anyone familiar with Japanese pop culture will know that thanks to his love of music, Furlong has enjoyed huge success in Japan. Following the Japanese release of his first album, Hold on Tight, he garnered a reputation as one of the country's most popular singers. ~ Rebecca Flint Marx, Rovi