Terry Kilburn

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Terry Kilburn
1938-xmas-tiny-tim.jpg
Terry Kilburn (as Tiny Tim) and Gene Lockhart in A Christmas Carol (1938)
Born Terence E. Kilburn[1]
(1926-11-25) 25 November 1926 (age 90)
London, England, UK
Occupation Actor
Years active 1937–1969 (screen actor)
Partner(s) Charles Nolte

Terence E. Kilburn[1] (born 25 November 1926), known for his acting work prior to 1953 as Terry Kilburn, is an English-American actor. Born in London, he moved to Hollywood in the U.S. at the age of 10, and is best known for his roles as a child actor, in films such as A Christmas Carol (1938) and Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939) in the late 1930s and the early 1940s.

Early life[edit]

Kilburn was born in London in 1926, to working-class parents. He did some unpaid acting as a young child, and an agent encouraged him to go to Hollywood. Kilburn and his mother immigrated to the U.S. in 1937, and his father arrived the following year. A talent scout for MGM discovered him rehearsing for Eddie Cantor's radio show, and he was cast in the British-set film Lord Jeff (1938).[2]

Screen career[edit]

Known for his innocent, dreamy, doe-eyed look, Kilburn achieved fame at the age of 11 portraying Tiny Tim in the 1938 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film version of A Christmas Carol, and also as four generations of the Colley family in Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939). He also played leading roles in two films which starred Freddie Bartholomew: Lord Jeff (1938) and Swiss Family Robinson (1940). He was featured in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939) with Basil Rathbone.

Kilburn had a supporting role in National Velvet (1944). In 1944, he also worked in The Keys of the Kingdom, starring Gregory Peck, but his scenes were cut.[3] In addition to Lord Jeff (1938) and National Velvet (1944), he worked alongside Mickey Rooney in Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever (1939) and A Yank at Eton (1942). In 1946 he was in Black Beauty, and in 1947–1948 he was in four back-to-back Bulldog Drummond films, as Seymour, a reporter.

After 1952 he was credited on screen as Terence Kilburn. His final feature film role was a small part in Lolita (1962). Between 1951 and 1969, he was also in nearly a dozen teleplays, television movies, and television series episodes.

Life after Hollywood[edit]

From 1970–1994, Kilburn was artistic director of Oakland University's Meadow Brook Theatre in Rochester, Michigan.[4][5] Meadow Brook Theatre is Michigan's only LORT theatre. It presents classic plays, comedies and musicals, and is known for its annual production of Dickens' A Christmas Carol, adapted by Kilburn's partner Charles Nolte.[6]

Kilburn resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His partner of over 50 years, actor Charles Nolte, died in January 2010.[7]

Major filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1938 Lord Jeff Albert Baker
A Christmas Carol Tiny Tim
Sweethearts Sweethearts
1939 The Great Man Votes Student
Goodbye, Mr. Chips John Colley/Peter Colley
Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever 'Stickin' Plaster
They Shall Have Music Limey
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Billy
1940 Swiss Family Robinson Ernest Robinson
1941 Mercy Island Wiccy
1942 A Yank at Eton Hilspeth (uncredited)
1944 National Velvet Ted
1946 Black Beauty Joe
1947 Song of Scheherazade Midshipman Lorin
Bulldog Drummond at Bay Seymour
Bulldog Drummond Strikes Back Seymour
1948 The Challenge Seymour
13 Lead Soldiers Seymour
1950 Tyrant of the Sea Dick Savage
Fortunes of Captain Blood Kenny Jensen
1951 Hill Number One: A Story of Faith and Inspiration Stephen Teleplay, Family Theatre
Only the Valiant Trooper Saxton
1953 Slater's Dream Samuel Slater Teleplay, Cavalcade of America
Slaves of Babylon King Cyrus
1954 King Richard II Harry Percy TV movie
Night Must Fall Dan Ponds Theater
You Touched Me! Kraft Theatre
1956 The Honor Code Cadet Eddie Garley Teleplay, West Point
Miss Mabel Peter Lux Video Theatre
1957 The New Adventures of Martin Kane Bill Wright TV series, episode "The Railroad Story"
The Long Christmas Dinner Sam TV adaptation of play
1958 Fiend Without a Face Capt. Al Chester
The New Adventures of Charlie Chan Col. Arthur Ross TV series, episode "Safe Deposit"
1962 Lolita Man
1969 Get Smart Shirtsinger TV series, episode "Hurray for Hollywood"

References[edit]

External links[edit]