November 24, 2005
October 13, 2011
Claim to fame:
Arthur Lake starred in the movies during the silent period, setting the groundwork for what would become his greatest success by playing a string of dim bulbs. In 1938 he achieved movie immortality with his iconic portrayal of his greatest dimwit ever, Dagwood Bumstead, whom he played opposite Penny Singleton’s Blondiein highly successful series of films until 1950. In addition to the films, he and Singleton also appeared in their roles on a half-hour radio show during the time span as the movies. Lake’s performance as Blondie’s perpetually-late, perpetually-fired husband is the standard by which all future performances will be judged.
Where are they now?
After the movie series ended, Lake’s brilliantly realized characterization of Dagwood pretty much typecast him out of roles. The advent of television offered him one last chance to play his greatest character in a 1957 series. His work as Dagwood earned Lake a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Lake died as the result of a heart attack in 1987.