Freddie Bartholomew

Freddie Bartholomew was one of the most popular child stars in U.S. films of the 1930’s.   He was born in 1924 in Lodon.   He was raised in England and made two films there before going to Hollywood in 1934,    He played the young David in the wonderful 1934 “David Copperfield” which was directed by George Cukor.   His other films included “Anna Karenina” with Greta Garbo, “Little Lord Fauntleroy” with Mickey Rooney and “Captains Courageous” with Spencer Tracy.   He served in the Airforce during World War Two and did not pursue a film career but became an asvertising executive in New York.   He died at the age of 67 in Floria in 1992.

TCM Overview:

Curly-haired Hollywood child star whose earnest presence, refined British diction and angelic looks established him as a boxoffice favorite in the 1930s and 40s. After a few minor roles in British films, the ten-year-old was signed by MGM to star as Dickens’s hero in David O. Selznick’s production of “David Copperfield” (1935). He went on to play Greta Garbo’s son in “Anna Karenina” (1935) and followed up with his two most popular roles: as the American boy who learns he is the heir to a dukedom in “Little Lord Fauntleroy” (1936) and as a pampered rich brat who is rescued and educated by rough fishermen in Rudyard Kipling’s adventure yarn, “Captains Courageous” (1937).

With a salary eclipsed only by that of child superstar Shirley Temple, Bartholomew was earning $2,500 a week by the late 30s, though his career began to wane after numerous court battles between his guardian-aunt and his parents over his earnings. After service in WWII he made a stab at a career in vaudeville and nightclubs before turning to TV, where he hosted a daytime program in the 1950s and then became associate director of a New York TV station. In the mid-1950s he again switched careers, this time joining New York’s Benton and Bowles agency as an advertising executive.

The above TCM overview can also be accessed online here.


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