25 November 1926
London, England, UK
Kilburn was born in London in 1926. Known for his innocent, dreamy, doe-eyed look, he 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 Freddie Bartholomew films, Lord Jeff (1938) and Swiss Family Robinson (1940). He was featured in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939) with Basil Rathbone.
Kilburn had a small role in National Velvet (1944). In 1944, he also worked in The Keys of the Kingdom, starring Gregory Peck, but his scenes were cut. His final film role was a small part in Lolita (1962).
Life after Hollywood
From 1970–94, Kilburn was artistic director of Oakland University's Meadow Brook Theatre in Rochester, Michigan. 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.
- No Greater Glory (1934) (uncredited)
- Lord Jeff (1938)
- A Christmas Carol (1938)
- Sweethearts (1938)
- Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939)
- Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever (1939)
- They Shall Have Music (1939)
- The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939)
- Swiss Family Robinson (1940)
- Mercy Island (1941)
- National Velvet (1944)
- Black Beauty (1946)
- Bulldog Drummond at Bay (1947)
- Song of Scheherazade (1947)
- Fortunes of Captain Blood (1950)
- Only the Valiant (1951)
- Fiend Without a Face (1958)
- Boatner, E.B. (December 12, 2013). "He Spun the Globe-It Stopped at Hollywood". Lavender Magazine. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
- The Unkindest Cuts: The Scissors and the Cinema.
- Rohan Preston (15 Jan 2010). "Actor, director, mentor Charles Nolte dies". Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota Star-Tribune. Retrieved 13 February 2010.