Alfred Thomas Highmore, known popularly as Freddie Highmore, is a well-known English actor and screenwriter. Born into a family with a background in films, he made his film debut when he was only seven years of age, playing a role in the Scottish comedy film 'Women Talking Dirty.' His role was appreciated, and over the years, he became widely known in British television and cinema. His most significant work on television so far is his role of Norman Bates in the American psychological horror drama television series 'Bates Motel'. He played a psychotic character who develops multiple personality disorder because of the intense abuse he suffered at the hands of his mother in his childhood. His brilliant performance in the series earned him nominations for many awards and won him the 'People's Choice Award'. The other important works he is known for include his role in the film 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' where he starred alongside Hollywood star Johnny Depp. The film was a huge commercial success. It got the young actor nominated for four awards out of which he won two. He has also played voice roles in animated movies such as 'Arthur and the Invisibles' and 'Astroboy'.
Childhood & Early Life
Alfred Thomas “Freddie” Highmore was born on 14th February 1992, in Camden Town, London, England, to Edward Highmore, an actor, and Sue Latimer, a talent agent. Her clients include renowned actors such as Daniel Radcliffe and Imelda Staunton. He also has a younger brother named Albert Highmore.
He started appearing in small roles on TV from the age of seven. He made his film debut in the 1999 comedy film ‘Women Talking Dirty.’ He played the son of the lead actress, who becomes estranged from her lover due to his commitment phobic nature.
The following year, he played a role in the BBC TV film ‘Happy Birthday Shakespeare’. He next portrayed a young King Arthur in the TV miniseries ‘The Mists of Avalon.’
Highmore studied in a primary school in the Hampstead Garden Suburb in North London, and later at an independent school named Highgate School. He later went to Emmanuel College at the University of Cambridge to pursue his higher studies.
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In the 2000s, Freddie Highmore appeared in a few films such as ‘Finding Neverland’ (2004) and ‘Five Children and It’ (2004). He earned popularity for his portrayal of Charlie Bucket in the 2005 film ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’. The film, which was directed by Tim Burton, starred him alongside the well-known Hollywood actor Johnny Depp. The film was a huge commercial success.
He played a supporting role in the 2006 British-American comedy drama film ‘A Good Year’. Directed and produced by Ridley Scott, the film was loosely based on a 2004 novel of the same name written by Peter Mayle.
Highmore’s works in the next years include ‘The Golden Compass’ (2007), ‘The Spiderwick Chronicles’ (2008), ‘Astro Boy’ (2009), ‘Master Harold… and the Boss’, (2010) and ‘Justin and the Knights of Valour’ (2013).
In 2013, he was cast in the lead role in the American psychological horror drama series ‘Bates Motel.’ The series was a prequel to the 1960 film ‘Psycho’, by Alfred Hitchcock. However, opposed to the film, the series takes place in a modern day setting. The series aired till 2017 and was a huge success. Highmore received appreciation for his portrayal of the psychotic murderer Norman Bates.
Some of Highmore’s latest works include the film ‘Hiding Patterns’ (2016), where he played the lead role. He also played an important role in the British miniseries ‘Close to the Enemy’ (2016) and a supporting role in the TV movie ‘Tour de Pharmacy’ (2017). Since 2017, he is also playing the lead role in the medical drama TV series ‘The Good Doctor’.
’Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, one of the most important works in Freddie Highmore’s career, is a 2005 musical fantasy film directed by Tim Burton. With Highmore playing one of the main roles, the film also starred actors Johnny Depp, David Kelly, Helena Bonham Carter, Noah Taylor and Missi Pyle.
The film was a commercial success, earning more than three times its budget. It mostly received positive reviews from the critics. The film was also nominated for an Oscar.
Highmore played the lead role in the 2008 American fantasy adventure film ‘The Spiderwick Chronicles’. Directed by Mark Waters, the film is based on a bestselling book of the same name by Holly Black. The movie was about the adventures undertaken by Jared Grace and his family, after they discover a guide to a land of magical creatures.
With Highmore in the lead role, the film also starred Sarah Bolger, Mary-Louis Parker, Nick Nolte and Ron Perlman. The film was a commercial success and was met with favorable reviews.
Highmore’s role of a psychopath, Norman Bates, in the TV series ‘Bates Motel’, is undoubtedly the most significant work in his TV career so far. The series was made as a prequel to Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 film ‘Pyscho’, which itself was based on a novel of the same name by Robert Bloch. The series received mostly favorable reviews from the critics. It also won multiple awards.
Freddie Highmore is currently single. He was previously in relationship with actresses Dakota Fanning and Sarah Bolger.