Who Is Freddie Highmore?
Born in London on Feb. 14, 1992, Freddie Highmore has been an actor since at least the age of seven. While he is best known for starring in two consecutive American TV series – Bates Motel on A&E and The Good Doctor on ABC – he first gained fame as a child and young teen in movies such as Finding Neverland (2004), the story of Peter Pan creator J.M. Barrie, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), based on the Roald Dahl novel.
Movies & TV Shows
Before making his big screen breakthrough in Finding Neverland in 2004, Highmore appeared in various film and television shows such as the comedy Women Talking Dirty (1999), a young King Arthur on TNT's The Mists of Avalon (2001), and the films Two Brothers (2004) and Five Children and It (2004).
But Highmore had his star turn beginning with Finding Neverland (2004), directed by Marc Forster. Highmore played Peter Llewelyn Davies and had the opportunity to work opposite Johnny Depp (who played Barrie) and Kate Winslet (who played his mother Sylvia.) The young actor developed a kinship with Depp and to this day, the two keep in touch.
'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'
A year later, Highmore worked with Depp again in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), which was directed by Tim Burton. Depp had reportedly requested that Highmore be cast as the young Charlie Bucket, while he played the eccentric owner of the chocolate factory, Willy Wonka.
Starting in 2013, Highmore starred in Bates Motel playing Norman Bates, the homicidal lead character of the classic Alfred Hitchcock film Psycho from 1960. Highmore’s Bates was a younger version than the character played in the movie by Anthony Perkins. Bates Motel was conceived as a “prequel” to the movie. The show also starred Vera Farmiga as Norman’s mother, who had already been long dead in the famous movie.
After Bates Motel ended its run in 2017 after five seasons, Highmore leapt almost directly into The Good Doctor after reading a script just three days after the final episode of Bates Motel.
‘The Good Doctor’
In The Good Doctor, which premiered in September 2017, Highmore drew praise for his portrayal of a young doctor on the autism scale who struggled in his relationships with other people – both patients and co-workers – in the show’s fictional hospital.
But the character – Dr. Shaun Murphy – also happens to be a genius who is highly skilled at making diagnoses that others miss and, in the process, saves lives. His genius also encompasses an ability to perform complicated procedures that seem to far exceed his young age and relative lack of experience.
For his roles in Finding Neverland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Highmore won consecutive Critics' Choice Movie Awards for Best Young Performer. When he began working on Bates Motel, Highmore did not go unnoticed, either, ultimately taking home a People's Choice Award.
The actor continued to wow audiences amid his new role on ABC's The Good Doctor. Before the show’s first season was half over, Highmore was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by a Television Actor - Drama, although he lost to Sterling K. Brown that year in This Is Us.
Early Life & Education
Highmore was born in the Camden Town section of London. His father, Edward Highmore, is also an actor whose credits are primarily in British television, including Doctor Who and an English soap, Howard’s Way.
Though he came from an acting and theatrical family, Highmore doesn’t seem to have taken any special instruction in acting. He says he attended a “regular” school in his North London neighborhood. “I’d work in L.A., then return home to normality,” he told The Telegraph. “Acting was a hobby, not an end game.”
Highmore was still a student at England’s Cambridge University close to completing a degree in both Arabic and Spanish when he started filming the first season of Bates Motel in 2013.
British Actor Has No Problem with ‘American’ Accents
Highmore is one of a growing number of British actors starring in leading roles in American TV. He says he has no particular problem adopting an “American” accent for U.S. television. “I’ve done it a few times,” he told The Daily Mail. “But there’s no generic American accent that fits all. You have to sit and think, ‘How would Norman [Bates] speak American?’ You find a way of speaking which suits the character.”
Daniel Radcliffe, Famous Family Friend
Highmore is also friends with Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, who is three years older. Highmore refers to Radcliffe as a family friend. Highmore’s mother, Sue Latimer, is Highmore and Radcliffe’s agent.
A Star on TV, But Not on Social Media
Unlike many stars, Highmore has no presence on social media (as of Jan. 2018), although there is an Instagram account established in his name. However, the landing page carries this notation: “This is the official Freddie Highmore account. Freddie is not currently active on this or any other social media platform.” He has no Twitter account either.
He has said that staying away from social media helps him stay grounded and maintain his privacy. “I guess I stayed off the social media and stuff like that,” he said in an interview with the Evening Standard. “Not that you don’t appreciate people who like the work that you’ve been doing and the things that you’re in. I just feel like it’s always helped me maintain a clear difference between your private life at home and then when you’re working and that side of things.”
Highmore’s Private Life Remains Private
Perhaps owing at least in part to his lack of activity on social media, Highmore’s private life has indeed remained that way. At various times, he has been rumored to be dating actresses close to his own age, including Abigail Breslin, Dakota Fanning and Emma Roberts (with whom he co-starred in a 2011 movie, The Art of Getting By). But no information, other than unfounded speculation, can be found to confirm that any of these relationships were serious.
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