Freddie Bartholomew

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Frederick Cecil Bartholomew

Birthplace: Harlesden, Municipal Borough of Willesden, London, Middlesex, England, United Kingdom
Death: January 23, 1992 (67)
Sarasota Memorial Hospital, Sarasota, Sarasota County, Florida, United States (complications of emphysema and heart failure)
Place of Burial: 1850 Marietta Avenue, Lancaster, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Cecil Llewellyn Bartholomew and Lillian Mae Bartholomew
Husband of Private
Ex-husband of Maely Daniele and Aileen Paul
Father of Private and Private

Occupation: Actor, film producer
Managed by: Amy Nordahl Cote
Last Updated:

About Freddie Bartholomew

Per Cliff Aliperti:

Child star Freddie Bartholomew was born Frederick Cecil Bartholomew on March 28, 1924 in Harlesden, Middlesex, London, England to parents Cecil Llewellyn and Lillian Mae Bartholomew. They would soon put him under the care of his aunt, Millicent, his father's sister, who had the talented young Freddie reciting on the stage as early as age 3 before he was eventually cast in some small parts in early 1930s British film productions.

Freddie's rise to fame came as Millicent, called Cissie by Freddie and soon the worldwide press, ushered him off to America to star in David O. Selznick's production of David Copperfield (1935) at MGM. Freddie's instant success led to his parents regaining interest in his custody and several Bartholomew vs. Bartholomew court battles primarily over money for many years afterward.

Meanwhile, Freddie Bartholomew solidified his box office standing as second to only Shirley Temple among child stars starring in classics such as Anna Karenina (1935) with Greta Garbo, Little Lord Fauntleroy (1936), Captains Courageous (1937) with Spencer Tracy, and several other minor classics of the 1930's.

After the success of Captains Courageous, Freddie tried to get an increase in salary from MGM but this action just led to suspension and a critical year away from film. Freddie's screen popularity dwindled as the young man grew taller and it would take a major hit when World War II saw him take another extended absence from the screen. Bartholomew only served a year before being discharged due to a back injury, returning to Hollywood in January 1944 as an American citizen.

Freddie's screen career was all but over and he spent the remainder of the 1940's on small stages across America and, briefly, in Australia. One such early project led to the first of three eventual marriages, but that first union would cause a split with Aunt Cissie who soon returned to England. By 1949 he had returned to America and began a new career in television, not in front of the camera, but behind it as TV director at WPIX in New York.

By 1954 Bartholomew was working for the Benton & Bowles advertising agency where he would eventually rise to Vice-President. Fred C. Bartholomew last gained some mention in the press in the early 80's as executive producer of a few of the more popular soap operas on network TV. He'd soon retire to Florida where he'd live out his final years before succumbing to emphysema at age 67, January 23, 1992.

[See extensive biography at Cliff Aliperti's at his site, Immortal Ephemera]

Per IMDb:

Actor. Born in London, the son of Lilian May Clarke and Cecil Bartholomew. As an infant he was handed into the care of his aunt, Millicent Bartholomew, by his disinterested parents. By the age of three, he had made his film debut, appearing in the British productions "Fascination" in 1930 and "Lily Christine" in 1932. In 1934, he and his aunt traveled to Hollywood, California where he made his American motion picture debut in "David Copperfield" in 1935. He was then immediately cast in a series of vehicles including "Anna Karenina" (1935), "Little Lord Fauntleroy" (1936), "Lloyd's of London" and "Captains Courageous" (1937), and "Kidnapped" (1938), becoming the second most popular child star of the era. At the peak of his career, his estranged parents reappeared and attempted to gain custody of their money-making son. Bartholomew, however, preferred to remain with his aunt and fought a protracted legal battle against them. He saw much of his wealth spent on legal fees. He appeared in "Tom Brown's Schooldays" in 1940, but with the advent of World War II, his appeal began to dwindle. In 1944 he was drafted and served in the United States Army Air Force as an aircraft mechanic. While working on a bomber engine, he fell from a scaffold and broke his back. After a year in hospital he was discharged in 1945. He attempted a return to movies, and released the low budget "The Town Went Wild" (1946) and his final feature film appearance in "St. Benny the Dip" (1949). He then gave up films and began a career in advertising in New York City, producing product sponsored soap operas. He retired in 1991. Shortly thereafter, he did a segment for the documentary "MGM: When the Lion Roared." He succumbed to emphysema the following year. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6667 Hollywood Boulevard. His ashes were interred at the Congregational United Church of Christ in Bradenton, Manatee County, Florida. When his widow moved back to Pennsylvania, she had his urn removed and moved to Pennsylvania. His name still appears on the plaque in Florida.


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Freddie Bartholomew's Timeline

March 28, 1924
Harlesden, Municipal Borough of Willesden, London, Middlesex, England, United Kingdom
January 23, 1992
Age 67
Sarasota Memorial Hospital, Sarasota, Sarasota County, Florida, United States
Apostles UCC Memorial Garden, 1850 Marietta Avenue, Lancaster, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States