Freddie Bartholomew; date uniknown
 
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Freddie Bartholomew
Forecourt Ceremony held on Saturday, April 4, 1936
 
Born: March 28, 1924, in London, England
Age at the time of the ceremony: 12
Died: January 23, 1992, in Sarasota, Florida, age 67
 
Freddie Bartholomew and Shirley Temple were the two most famous child-stars of the mid-to-late 1930s. Signed to the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio to play the young David Copperfield in 1935, Bartholomew starred in several classic films before serving in World War II. After the war, Bartholomew undertook a career in television production.

Born to a minor civil servant, young Freddie went to live with his Aunt Cissie in Warminster, where he was a renown reciter by age three (!). Able to recite long Shakesperean passages, Freddie could sing and dance as well. Freddie was immediately placed in British films, where a visiting David O. Selznick chose him to star as the Young David Copperfield in the film he was producing for M-G-M in Hollywood (and which played the Chinese in February, 1935).

David Copperfield was a great success, so M-G-M shoved Bartholomew into a grueling production schedule, beginning with playing Sergei to Garbo's Anna Karenina (which played the Chinese in October, 1935) and Professional Soldier with Victor McLaglen (released in December, 1935).

By the time of Bartholomew's Forecourt ceremony in April of 1936 (for which he had learned to handwrite), he had just finished playing the title character in Little Lord Fauntleroy (which play the Chinese in just the following week in April April, 1936). Bartholomew received top-billing in The Devil is a Sissy over both Jackie Cooper and Mickey Rooney (released in September, 1936) and played a young Tyrone Power in Lloyd's of London (played the Chinese in March, 1937).

Around this time, Bartholomew's birth parents surfaced — attempting to claim Freddie's acting monies for these films. It seems that Bartholomew's finances were permanently damaged in fending off these actions.

Bartholomew's signature role came in 1937's Captains Courageous (which played the Chinese in July, 1937). This amazing film was the perfect fit for Bartholomew's unique blend of English mannerisms, his great emotional intensity, and his ensemble playing abilities. The entire cast bonded during the shoot, and when it was over, Bartholomew said, "We all cried like a bunch of babies."

With the popularity of Captains, and Bartholomew's legal troubles, Aunt Cissie tried to renegotiate a new contract with M-G-M, but Louis B. Mayer wasn't buying. Out of work for a year, Bartholomew went to 20th Century-Fox to co-star with Warner Baxter in Kidnapped (which played the Chinese in May, 1938), Then returned to M-G-M for Lord Jeff with Mickey Rooney (played the Chinese in July, 1938), and Listen Darling with Judy Garland (played the Chinese in November, 1938).

As Barthomew grew to his eventual six foot height, he bounced around the studios, including starring in a tepid version of Swiss Family Robinson for R-K-O in 1940. Freddie enlisted in the Army Air Force in 1943, and served as an aircraft mechanic but suffered a back injury during a fall, and was discragred in 1944.

Bartholomew drifted through the next few years, but then discovered a taste for producing and directing television programming, serving with station WPIX from 1949 to 1954. He married and began a family, living in New Jersey, eventually becoming a vice president of television at ad agency Benton & Bowles. Suffering from emphysema, Bartholomew quit the ad game in 1989, moved to Sarasota, Florida, and died of heart failure in 1992 at the age of 67.
 
 
Caption TK
Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Freddie Bartholomew Forecourt ceremony, Saturday, April 4, 1936. An unknown man assists Freddie Bartholomew in making his footprints with cement artist Jean Klossner.
 
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