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Caleb Reginald McLaughlin (born October 13, 2001) is an American actor. He gained recognition for playing Lucas Sinclair in the Netflix series Stranger Things, for which he has won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. He has previously performed on the Broadway stage as Young Simba in the musical The Lion King. McLaughlin made his feature film debut in 2020, starring in Concrete Cowboy.

His acting career was launched in 2012 when the short film Noah Dreams of Origami Fortunes was released. He starred in this film as the main character Noah.

He also appeared in the television mini-series New Edition: The Movie as Ricky Bell, which was released in 2017.

Biography

Early Life

McLaughlin grew up in Carmel, New York. He attended Kent Primary School and later attended George Fischer Middle School for one year. He studied dance for a year at Happy Feet Dance School in Carmel, New York and then at The Harlem School of the Arts under Aubrey Lynch, former The Lion King producer.

Career

Caleb began his career when he appeared in an opera called Lost in the Stars in Cooperstown, New York at the Glimmerglass Opera House. He trained in ballet, tap, and jazz.

His first appeared in the short film Noah Dreams of Origami Fortunes in 2012. The same year, he was cast as Young Simba in the Broadway musical The Lion King. This play was staged at the Minskoff Theatre from 2012 to 2014.

During this time, McLaughlin also appeared in an episode each of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Unforgettable and Forever. After this, he was featured in an episode of What Would You Do?.

In 2015, he was cast as Lucas Sinclair in the Netflix series Stranger Things. That year, he also had small roles in the TV programs Shades of Blue and Blue Bloods. In 2017, McLaughlin played Ricky Bell in the miniseries The New Edition Story. Also in 2017, he was in two music videos.

He voiced young Gary in an episode of another Netflix TV series Final Space and voiced Ghost in an episode of Cartoon Network TV series Summer Camp Island.

In 2019, he played Darius in a Netflix sports drama, High Flying Bird.

Caleb graduated high school in 2019. He has plans to continue his education, although not in an on-campus classroom. He went to college in fall 2019 but he was doing it online because he was filming Stranger Things and other projects.

In 2021, Netflix released Concrete Cowboys which starred Caleb and Idris Elba.

Personal Life

He has been home-schooled since the fifth grade. In 2019, he graduated from high school and began taking online college courses.

Influences

His acting influences are Ludacris, Emma Stone, Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, Lupita Nyong'o, Jamie Foxx, Will Smith, Tom Hanks, Mahershala Ali, Chris Rock, Maya Rudolph and Cameron Boyce.

His music influences are Drake, Jaden Smith, SZA, Childish Gambino, the Migos, Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, Mary J. Blige, Prince, H.E.R., Michael Jackson, Winnie Harlow, Gary Clark Jr. and Ludacris.

Beside of acting, singing and dancing, he loves basketball and his basketball role models are Stephen Curry, Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan.

His favorite movies are Black Panther (2018), Pretty in Pink (1986), Spider Man movies, Stand by Me (1986), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) and The Matrix (1999).

His favorite TV shows beside Stranger Things are Black Mirror (2011-2019) and Black Lightning (2018- ).

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role
2012 Noah Dreams of Origami Fortunes Noah
2019 High Flying Bird Darius
2020 Concrete Cowboys Cole
2023 Shooting Star Dru Joyce III
2024 The Book of Clarence TBA
TBA The Deliverance TBA

Television

Year Title Role
2013 Law and Order: Special Victims Unit Boy
Unforgettable Older Brother
2014 Forever Alejandro
2015 What Would You Do? Caleb
2016 Shades of Blue Jay-Jay
2016- Stranger Things Lucas Sinclair
2016 Blue Bloods Tone Lane
2017 The New Edition Story Ricky Bell (age 10-15)
Lip Sync Battle Himself
2018 Final Space Young Gary (voice)
2018-2021 Summer Camp Island Ghost (voice)
2021 Ultra City Smiths Trevor Johnson (voice)
2022 The Boys Presents: Diabolical Mo-Slo (voice)

Music Videos

Year Artist Title
2012 Pharoahe Monch “Still Standing”
2017 Jimmy Fallon "Jimmy Fallon's Golden Globes 2017 Opening"
Sia "Santa's Coming For Us"
2021 Caleb McLaughlin "Neighborhood"
2022 "Soul Travel"

Stage

Year Title Role Location
2012, 2016 Lost in the Stars Alex Glimmerglass Festival, Washington National Opera
2012–2014 The Lion King Young Simba Minskoff Theatre, Broadway
2015 The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek Bokkie Pershing Square Signature Center

Awards & Nominations

Year Award Category Nominated Work Result
2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Stranger Things Won
Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a Digital TV Series or Film – Young Actor Nominated
BET Awards YoungStars Award Nominated
2018 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Performance by a Youth (Series, Special, Television Movie or Limited Series) Won
MTV Movie & TV Awards Best On-Screen Team Nominated
2019 Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Male TV Actor Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Summer TV Actor Nominated
2020 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
2021 Black Reel Awards Outstanding Male Breakthrough Performance Concrete Cowboy Nominated

External Links

Gallery

Trivia

  • He played Young Simba in The Lion King on Broadway in 2012.
  • He studied dance at the Harlem School of the Arts in New York City, New York.
  • He first met Stranger Things co-stars Gaten Matarazzo and Sadie Sink at a playground when they were on Broadway.
  • He is left handed.
  • When the Duffer Brothers called Caleb to tell him he got the part of Lucas, they actually pretended like he didn't get to be Lucas, just to mess with him.
  • He is a germaphobe.
  • His first kiss was with Sadie Sink during the Snow Ball scene in Season 2.[2]
  • He believes Billy Hargrove is a worse person than Jason Carver; Caleb argued that Jason was obnoxious and arrogant, but wasn't racist and genuinely tried to show Lucas the ropes. In contrast, Caleb alongside Dacre Montgomery, have said that Billy hated Lucas for his race.

References

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