The son of a London bus conductor, Terry Kilburn spent his childhood as a vaudeville performer, doing an act consisting of celebrity imitations. Unlike other professional children cursed with "stage parents," Kilburn talked his mom and dad into bringing him to Hollywood to give movies a try. He made his American debut as a regular on Eddie Cantor's radio show, then made his first film appearance in MGM's Lord Jeff (1938). The best of his early roles included Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol (1938) and four separate roles (representing four generations of boy's-school students) in Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939). After high school, Kilburn decided to give movies second priority and concentrate on stage work. He studied drama at UCLA, then made his Broadway bow in a 1952 revival of Shaw's Candida. Though he would continue to sporadically show up in films like Fiend Without a Face (1958) and Lolita (1962), Terence Kilburn ("Terry" no more) would remain committed to live performances, as both actor and director; for many years, he has been artistic director of Rochester, Michigan's Meadow Brook Theatre.