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Freddie Bartholomew was born Frederick Llwellyn in London, England (or was it Dublin, Ireland?) in 1924. He was abandoned by his parents as a baby, and was raised in London by his aunt, and she gave him her last name. He had minor film and stage roles as a child, but when he was ten, his aunt took him to the U.S. where he was met by David O. Selznick, who offered him the lead in David Copperfield (full name: The Personal History, Adventures, Experience, and Observation of David Copperfield the Younger!). He was a huge hit, and he was instantly the second most popular child film star (after Shirley Temple). He made appearances in Anna Karenina and Professional Soldier, and then he played the lead in Little Lord Fauntleroy. He became SO popular that in 1936, he was top billed over Madeleine Carroll and Tyrone Power Jr. in Lloyd's of London, even though he had a relatively small part! In 1937, he had his best role ever, opposite Spencer Tracy in Captains Courageous, as the spoiled rich boy who learns of life from a simple Portuguese fisherman. But sadly, his great success caused his parents to re-surface, and they launched a court fight to regain custody of him (and his earnings). Ironically, that lengthy battle ended up eating up almost all he had earned! He made a dozen more movies by 1942, and he joined the Air Force. He was no longer a cute little boy, and his film career was basically over. In 1947 he bizarrely had a cameo in an all-black movie, Sepia Cinderella (perhaps that was all he was offered). He made one more film in 1951, St. Benny, the Dip. He went to work in advertising, and later was successful as a producer for several shows, including TV's "The Andy Griffith Show" and "As The World Turns". He was understandably bitter about the events in his life, and did not publicly talk about them, but in 1991, he gave an interview for a TV documentary, and died soon after, at the age of 67. But for several years in the mid 1930s, he had been one of the biggest stars in Hollywood!
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