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Freddie Bartholomew

Freddie Bartholomew

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Also Known As: Frederick Llewellyn, Fred C Bartholomew Died: January 23, 1992
Born: March 28, 1924 Cause of Death: emphysema and heart failure
Birth Place: London, England, GB Profession: actor, director, advertising

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

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...

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.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 St. Benny the Dip (1951) Rev. Wilbur
3.
 Sepia Cinderella (1947)
4.
 The Town Went Wild (1944) David Conway
5.
 A Yank at Eton (1942) Peter Carlton
6.
 Junior Army (1942) Freddie Hewlett
7.
 Cadets on Parade (1942) Austin Shannon
8.
 Naval Academy (1941) Steve Kendall
9.
 Swiss Family Robinson (1940) Jack Robinson
10.
 Tom Brown's School Days (1940) East
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Farmed out by parents to live with grandparents and aunt, Mylicent Mary Bartholomew, who raised him in Westminister, southern England; changed surname to his aunt's
:
Made performing debut at age four, reciting a poem at a church social; aunt took him on rounds of British film studios and helped him get bit parts
:
Aunt arranged contractual agreement whereby any money Bartholomew earned was divided between herself, his grandparents and a trust fund for him; parents were induced to sign the agreement
1930:
Film debut in "Toyland" shorts series (Great Britain)
1930:
Film acting debut in "Fascination" (Great Britain)
1934:
David O. Selznick, Louis B. Mayer's son-in-law, sent director George Cukor to England to cast title role of "David Copperfield" (Mayer wanted Jackie Cooper to star); Bartholomew's teacher Italia Conti recommended Bartholomew to Cukor; traveled with aunt to Hollywood; signed seven-year contract with MGM starting at $175 a week, with increases to $500 a week
1935:
Hollywood debut in title role of "David Copperfield"
1935:
Salary upped to $1000 after boxoffice success in Selnick's "Anna Karenina"
1937:
Aunt waged a court battle to wrest Bartholomew from MGM contract
:
Subject to a drawn-out court battle between his parents and aunt over his earnings; final court settlement allocated his earnings as follows: 10% to his parents, 5% to each of his two sisters, 10% to his aunt and the remainder set aside in a trust fund for Bartholomew (ates approximate)
:
Inducted into the US Air Force; served as a maintenance worker for a group of B-17 bombers in WWII
1945:
Formed a little theater group on the West Coast and toured with it as an actor-director
:
Appeared in vaudeville and nightclub shows and performed in summer theater after WWII
1949:
TV debut in "Outward Bound"
1951:
Made final film appearance in "St. Benny the Dip"
:
Turned to directing TV shows in USA
:
Became associate director of WPIX TV station in NYC in the early 1950s
1954:
Joined Benton & Bowles advertising agency in NYC; rose to position of vice president; handled the company's involvement in "The Andy Griffith Show" and other show accounts
1991:
Made final onscreen appearance, an interview for TNT's six-hour history of MGM
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Italia Conti School: -

Notes

"At times he was quite effective, although some critics found Bartholomew's screen work shrill, stiff, and verging on the emetic. But any chance of maturing as an actor was thwarted by a combination of his pretty face, his English background, and the whole "Fauntleroy" business which so sissified his screen image that he was turned down as a possible costar with Mickey Rooney in "Boys Town" (1938). Studio executives considered him too much the gentleman to be believable as a tough orphan. However, such a role would have been the change of pace that Bartholomew needed to catapult him into a credible teenage performer." --James Robert Parish and Ronald L. Bowers ("The MGM Stock Company", Arlington House, 1973)

"Little Lord Fauntleroy" typed Bartholomew as a dandy and made little boys across the country detest him when their mothers insisted they emulate him." --James Robert Parish and Ronald L. Bowers ("The MGM Stock Company", Arlington House, 1973)

Various sources say that Bartholomew was born Frederick Llewellyn and that he borrowed his aunt Millicent (or Mylicent) Bartholomew's surname.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Maely Daniele. Publicist. Married in 1946; divorced in 1953; publicity director of little theater group Bartholomew founded in 1945.
wife:
Eileen Paul. Married in 1953; employee of WPIX-TV in New York when Bartholomew worked there as associate director.
wife:
Elizabeth Bartholomew.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Cecil Llewellyn. Minor government employee. With wife, fought to regain custody of son in 1936; awarded allowances for their living expenses instead; had one leg shot off during WWI.
mother:
Lillian Mae Llewellyn.
aunt:
Mylicent Mary Bartholomew. Raised Bartholomew; won custody battle with parents in 1936; was his guardian and adopted him by 1939; died in 1970.
step-daughter:
Celia Paul.
step-daughter:
Beth Theuret.
daughter:
Katie Bartholomew.
son:
Frederick Bartholomew. Born in 1954; mother, Eileen Paul.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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