Arthur Lake - Rotten Tomatoes

Arthur Lake

Highest Rated:   94% Topper (1937)
Lowest Rated:   94% Topper (1937)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Corbin, Kentucky, USA
Truly a single-note man, American actor Arthur Lake spent most of his adult life portraying only one screen role: Dagwood Bumstead. The son of circus acrobats and the brother of character actress Florence Lake (famed for her ongoing portrayal of Mrs. Edgar Kennedy in nearly 100 two-reel comedies), Lake began his professional career as one of the "Fox Kiddies" in a series of silent-film takeoffs of famous fairy tales, featuring casts comprised completely of children. Lake graduated to a succession of collegiate and office boy roles in feature films, gaining a degree of stardom in the late 1920s and early 1930s after appearing in the title role of Harold Teen (1928). The actor's high-pitched voice and Mama's boy features were amusing for a while, but audiences became bored with Lake by 1934, and the actor found himself shunted to supporting parts and bits. An amusing role as a flustered bellboy in Topper (1937) rejuvenated his career, but Lake's comeback wouldn't be complete until Columbia Pictures cast him as woebegone suburbanite Dagwood Bumstead in Blondie (1938), based on Chic Young's internationally popular comic strip. The strip's characterizations were altered to fit the personalities of Lake and his costar Penny Singleton; in the films, Dagwood was the dope and Blondie the brains of the family, precisely the opposite of the comic-strip situation. A few scattered "straight" performances aside, Lake was nothing other than Dagwood in films from 1938 through 1950; he not only starred in 28 "Blondie" pictures, but repeated the role on radio and starred in an unsuccessful 1954 TV series based on the property. Not at all the blithering idiot that he played on screen, Lake was a sagacious businessman in real life, his wise investments increasing the fortune he'd already accumulated by playing Dagwood -- and also bolstering the moneys inherited by his socialite wife, Patricia Van Cleve. Though he often remarked that it would be wonderful to play Dagwood forever, Lake parted company with the role in the mid-1950s; when another Blondie TV series appeared briefly in 1968, it starred Will Hutchins. Appearing publicly only rarely in the 1960s and 1970s (usually in summer theatres and revivals of 1920s musicals like No, No Nanette), Lake retired before his 70th birthday, a far more prosperous and secure man than his alter ego Dagwood Bumstead -- who's still being fired regularly by boss Mr. Dithers in the funny papers - ever would be.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Beware of Blondie
  • Dagwood Bumstead
1950
No Score Yet Blondie's Hero
  • Dagwood Bumstead
1950
No Score Yet Blondie Hits the Jackpot
  • Dagwood Bumstead
1949
No Score Yet 16 Fathoms Deep
  • Pete
1948
No Score Yet Blondie's Reward
  • Dagwood Bumstead
1948
No Score Yet Blondie's Secret
  • Dagwood Bumstead
1948
No Score Yet Blondie in the Dough
  • Dagwood Bumstead
1947
No Score Yet Blondie's Anniversary
  • Dagwood Bumstead
1947
No Score Yet Blondie's Big Moment
  • Dagwood
1947
No Score Yet Blondie's Holiday
  • Dagwood Bumstead
1947
No Score Yet Blondie Knows Best
  • Dagwood Bumstead
1946
No Score Yet Blondie's Lucky Day
  • Dagwood Bumstead
1946
No Score Yet Life with Blondie
  • Dagwood Bumstead
1945
No Score Yet Leave It to Blondie
  • Dagwood Bumstead
1945
No Score Yet The Big Show-Off
  • Sanford 'Sandy'Elliott, Shy Pianist
1945
No Score Yet Sailor's Holiday
  • 'Marblehead' Tomkins
1944
No Score Yet It's a Great Life
  • Dagwood Bumstead
1943
No Score Yet Footlight Glamour
  • Dagwood Bumstead
1943
No Score Yet Blondie for Victory
  • Dagwood Bumstead
1942
No Score Yet Blondie Goes to College
  • Dagwood 'Daggie' Bumstead
1942
No Score Yet Blondie's Blessed Event
  • Dagwood Bumstead
1942
No Score Yet Blondie in Society
  • Dagwood
1941
No Score Yet Blondie Goes Latin
  • Dagwood Bumstead
1941
No Score Yet Blondie Plays Cupid
  • Dagwood Bumstead
1940
No Score Yet Blondie Has Servant Trouble
  • Dagwood Bumstead
1940
No Score Yet Blondie on a Budget
  • Dagwood Bumstead
1940
No Score Yet Blondie
  • Dagwood 'Dag' Bumstead
1939
No Score Yet Blondie Takes a Vacation
  • Dagwood Bumstead
1939
No Score Yet Blondie Meets the Boss
  • Dagwood Bumstead
1939
No Score Yet There Goes My Heart
  • Flash Fisher
1938
No Score Yet Exiled to Shanghai
  • Bud
1937
94% Topper
  • Elevator Boy
1937
No Score Yet True Confession
  • Attendant
1937
No Score Yet The Silver Streak
  • Crawford
1934
No Score Yet Indiscreet
  • Buster Collins
1931
No Score Yet Cheer Up and Smile
  • Eddie Fripp
1930
No Score Yet Tanned Legs
  • Bill
1929
No Score Yet Lilac Time (Love Never Dies)
  • The Unlucky One
1928
No Score Yet Skinner's Dress Suit
  • Tommy
1926

Quotes from Arthur Lake's Characters

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