Arthur Lake: American actor (1905 - 1987)
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Arthur Lake
American actor

Arthur Lake

Arthur Lake
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American actor
Was Actor Television actor Film actor
From United States of America
Field Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender male
Birth 17 April 1905, Kentucky
Death 9 January 1987, Indian Wells (aged 81 years)
Star sign Aries
Spouse: Patricia Lake
The details (from wikipedia)


Arthur Lake (born Arthur Silverlake Jr., April 17, 1905 – January 9, 1987) was an American actor known best for bringing Dagwood Bumstead, the bumbling husband of Blondie, to life in film, radio and television.

Early life and career

Lake was born in 1905, when his father and uncle were touring with a circus in an aerial act known as "The Flying Silverlakes". His mother, Edith Goodwin, was an actress. His parents later appeared in vaudeville in a skit "Family Affair", traveling throughout the South and Southwest United States. Arthur first appeared on stage as a baby in Uncle Tom's Cabin and he and his sister, Florence, became part of the act in 1910. Their mother brought the children to Hollywood to get into films, and Arthur made his screen debut in the silent Jack and the Beanstalk (1917). Florence became a successful actress, achieving a degree of fame as one of the screen wives of comedian Edgar Kennedy.

Universal Pictures signed him to a contract, where he acted in westerns as an adolescent character actor. Shortly after the formation of RKO Pictures in 1928, he signed with that studio, where he made Dance Hall (1929) and Cheer Up and Smile (1930).

Moviegoers first heard Lake speak when he appeared as usher Harold Astor in the 1929 production On with the Show!, notable as the first all-talking feature film (using the Vitaphone process) and Warner Bros.' first all-color film (shot in two-strip Technicolor). In the early sound film era, he typically played light romantic roles, usually with a comic "Mama's Boy" tone to them, in films such as Indiscreet (1931), which starred Gloria Swanson. He also had a substantial part as the bellhop in the 1937 film Topper.

As Dagwood in Blondie

Arthur Lake is best known for portraying the Blondie comic strip character of Dagwood Bumstead in twenty-eight Blondie films produced by Columbia Pictures from 1938 to 1950. He was also the voice of Dagwood on the radio series, which ran from 1938 to 1950, earning him a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6646 Hollywood Blvd. Many of the actors on the radio show noted Lake's commitment to the program, stating that on the day of the broadcast, Lake was Dagwood Bumstead.

Far from being upset about being typecast, Lake continued to embrace the role of Dagwood in a short-lived 1957 Blondie TV series, then even into the 1960s and beyond; he would often give speeches to Rotary clubs and other civic organizations, eagerly posing for pictures with a Dagwood sandwich.


Year Title Role Notes
1917 Jack and the Beanstalk
1922 The Bride's Play Boy Throwing Roses
1925 California Straight Ahead Camper Uncredited
1925 Sporting Life Peggy's Admirer in Audience
1926 Skinner's Dress Suit Tommy
1927 Cradle Snatchers Oscar
1927 The Irresistible Lover Jack Kennedy
1928 The Count of Ten Betty's Brother
1928 Stop That Man! Tommy O'Brien
1928 Harold Teen Harold Teen
1928 Lilac Time The Unlucky One
1928 The Air Circus Speed Doolittle
1929 On with the Show! Harold Astor
1929 Tanned Legs Bill
1929 Dance Hall Tommy Flynn
1930 Cheer Up and Smile Eddie Fripp
1930 She's My Weakness Tommy Mills
1931 Indiscreet Buster Collins
1933 Midshipman Jack Allen Williams
1934 The Winnah! Arthur Short
1934 Girl o' My Dreams Bobby Barnes
1934 The Silver Streak Crawford
1935 Women Must Dress Janet's Friend
1935 Orchids to You Joe
1936 New Shoes Boy Short, Uncredited
1936 I Cover Chinatown Insurance Salesman
1937 23 1/2 Hours Leave Sgt. Turner
1937 Topper Elevator boy / bell hop
1937 Annapolis Salute Tex Clemens
1937 Exiled to Shanghai Bud
1937 True Confession Attendant Uncredited
1938 Everybody's Doing It Waldo
1938 Double Danger Roy West
1938 There Goes My Heart Flash Fisher
1938 Blondie Dagwood Bumstead
1939 Blondie Meets the Boss
1939 Blondie Takes a Vacation
1939 Blondie Brings Up Baby
1940 Blondie on a Budget
1940 Blondie Has Servant Trouble
1940 Blondie Plays Cupid
1941 Blondie Goes Latin
1941 Blondie in Society
1942 Blondie Goes to College
1942 Blondie's Blessed Event
1942 Blondie for Victory
1942 Daring Young Man
1943 It's a Great Life
1943 Footlight Glamour
1944 The Ghost That Walks Alone Eddie Grant
1944 Sailor's Holiday 'Marblehead' Tomkins
1944 Three Is a Family Archie Whittaker
1945 The Big Show-Off Sanford 'Sandy' Elliott
1945 Leave It to Blondie Dagwood Bumstead
1945 Life with Blondie
1946 Blondie's Lucky Day
1946 Blondie Knows Best
1947 Blondie's Big Moment
1947 Blondie's Holiday
1947 Blondie in the Dough
1947 Blondie's Anniversary
1948 Blondie's Reward
1948 16 Fathoms Deep Pete
1948 Blondie's Secret Dagwood Bumstead
1949 Blondie's Big Deal
1949 Blondie Hits the Jackpot
1950 Blondie's Hero
1950 Beware of Blondie

Personal life

Lake became very friendly with newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst and his mistress Marion Davies. He was a frequent guest at the beach house of Davies, where he met Patricia Van Cleeve. They were married at San Simeon in 1937.

The parentage of Patricia Van Cleeve is unclear, but at the time of her death, she is reported to have claimed to be the daughter of Davies and Hearst.

In his book about the Black Dahlia murder case, author Donald H. Wolfe asserts that Arthur Lake was questioned by the Los Angeles Police Department as a suspect, having been acquainted with the victim through her volunteer work at the Hollywood Canteen. No charges were filed and Lake was one of many suspects in a case that remains unsolved.

Lake died of a heart attack in Indian Wells, California, on January 9, 1987, and was interred in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, in the Douras family mausoleum, along with actress Marion Davies and her husband, Horace G. Brown. Lake's widow Patricia was interred there upon her death in 1993.

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 05 Aug 2019. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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