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Freddie Highmore and Antonia Thomas in 'The Good Doctor'. Image Credit: Supplied

British actor Freddie Highmore is a notoriously private person, despite audiences having seen him grow up on the big and small screen. He's not known for having a flashy lifestyle, nor is he known for any off-screen antics. More than anything, he's an actor who is know for his subtle and emotive work.

The 30-year-old star has gained prominence in the last few years because of his Golden Globe-nominated TV show ‘The Good Doctor’, where he plays Dr Shaun Murphy, a gifted surgical resident who is on the autism spectrum.

While the show has gotten mixed reviews, Highmore has receive a lot of praise for his sensitive and realistic portrayal of someone with the developmental disorder. He was so convincing in his portrayal that audiences thought he too was autistic — but he isn’t.

“[Highmore] anchors the show, and his performance prevents its portrayal of an autistic man from being patronizing or stereotypically emotionless,” read a 2017 article from Vanity Fair. “‘The Good Doctor’s’ huge success this fall has been nothing short of astounding — and Highmore has always been the central key to it. Although reviews were middling when the series premiered, most still praised Highmore for his performance as an aspiring doctor with autism.”

At an event called Series Mania in 2019, Highmore reiterated his humble background and his disinterest in having a big, movie-star life.

“I’ve been lucky to have had the distance from a Hollywood upbringing, being able to go back [to London] and wanting to be a footballer and play for Arsenal back in the UK,” he said at Series Mania

He added: “I’ve been very lucky to have kept a normal life, a reality. I would definitely recommend not deciding [acting] is the only thing you want to do, keep going to school.”

Here’s what to know about the actor:

Who is Freddie Highmore?

The actor was born on February 14, 1992, as Alfred Thomas Highmore in Camden Town, London. His parents are Sue Latimer, a talent agent, and Edward Thomas Highmore, a former actor. Freddie Highmore got a double-first degree in Spanish and Arabic from Cambridge University’s Emmanuel College.

He also worked at Gulf Bank in Kuwait as an intern in 2012.

Apart from official interviews related to his work, Highmore has kept a low profile in his personal life. There aren’t any controversial hiccups associated with his name, nor does he disclose much about himself.

However, amid his career's upwards streak, he recently mentioned that his family life has seen some new milestones. In a September 2021 interview, he revealed to TV show host Jimmy Kimmel that he had recently gotten married. He didn’t mention who he was married to, but multiple internet sources say his wife is Klarissa Munz, a web developer.

"I'm not going to jump up and down on the couch on the talk show and express my excitement that way," Highmore told Kimmel. "I know that you do that in America. But I'm as happy as a Brit can be and I'm married to a very wonderful woman now. So yes, I feel very happy."

When did he start acting?

Highmore got an early start in the film and TV industry. He had small roles in shows starting from when he was seven, and then made his movie debut in the 1999 comedy ‘Women Talking Dirty’ that starred Helena Bonham Carter and Gina McKee.

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Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore and David Kelly in 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'. Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

He got his big break when he played the lead star Charlie Bucket in 2005 movie ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, directed by famed filmmaker Tim Burton and also starring Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka. The popular movie was based on the much-loved book of the same name by Roald Dahl.

Biggest roles so far

Highmore went onto get more roles in movies such as ‘August Rush’ (2007), ‘The Spiderwick Chronicles’ (2008) and ‘The Art of Getting By’ (2011), among others.

One of his most high-profile projects was ‘Bates Motel’, which ran from 2013 to 2017. In the prequel to Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 film ‘Psycho’, Highmore played a young Norman Bates alongside Vera Farmiga, who played his mother Norma.

Highmore and Vera Farmiga in the poster for 'Bates Motel'
Highmore and Vera Farmiga in the poster for 'Bates Motel' Image Credit: Supplied

The actor told Collider in a 2013 interview that he was intrigued by the character, who would go onto become a serial killer in the legendary movie.

“He’s such an iconic character. To be able to play him, I’m very lucky. But, it wasn’t just the character. It was also the people involved with it... Everyone seemed to have so much confidence in it and willingness to back it, that it just made me think that it would be a fantastic thing to do,” Highmore said.

His next big project would be ‘The Good Doctor’, which started airing in 2017 and has been renewed for a sixth season that’s set to premiere in October 3.

The show was based on a 2013 South Korean series of the same name.

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A still from 'The Good Doctor'. Image Credit: Supplied

In ‘The Good Doctor’, Highmore’s character showcases his skill as a doctor while also coping with autism. In fact, it’s his autism that heightens his abilities.

On the podcast Popcorn With Peter Travers, Highmore talked about how he prepared for the role as the autistic doctor.

“David Shore, our wonderful main writer and showrunner, and I sat down before the pilot — and also between the pilot and making the show — with the consultant that we still have on-board. And [we] also just traded back and forth books and pieces of literature and documentaries that we thought were useful or gave us some sort of insight into building this one, very particular character,” the actor said.

What’s next for him?

On the work front, he’ll next have a role in ‘The Canterville Ghost’ and ‘Sinner V Saints’.

He's also going to keep stealing hearts with his emotional role on 'The Good Doctor'

‘The Good Doctor’ streams on Netflix and OSN+.