Arthur Lake said playing the role of Dagwood Bumstead ruined his career

One of America's favorite comic strips, Blondie, came to our TV screens in 1957 and featured Arthur Lake as Dagwood Bumstead and Pamela Britton as Blondie. 

The series, much like the comic strip, followed the daily adventures of the Bumstead family. At the center of the story was Dagwood, who Lake portrayed as loveable, good-natured, and often involved in some kind of antics.

At the time, Blondie was considered to be one of the most successful family series in film history with around 38 features that had been made between 1938 and 1950.

According to a 1957 interview with St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Blondie's nearest rival was Andy Hardy, which had only produced 12 films. 

Success of the movie version of Chic Young's famed comic strip was credited to Lake who made Dagwood come alive based on his interpretation of the original comic strip. 

Despite the success of the films, it left Lake in a hard position. With his slicked-back hair, goofy antics and many mishaps, Lake found himself typecast and struggled to break away from the iconic role that defined much of his career. 

"My career as an actor was ruined by Bumstead," Lake said. "After I got started in the Blondie movies I never got another job. I'd go into a producer's office and he'd say, 'Sure I'd like to hire you for a part in my picture, but who needs Dagwood in a serious movie?'"

According to the interview, Lake was the son of a famous circus clown, Arthur Silverlake, and began his film career in a series of campus-life comedies. He then found Blondie and from 1938 to 1950, Lake became the face of Dagwood. 

When asked what he did during the six years after the movie series was discontinued, Lake said "I just waited for it to start up again."

Despite the talent of its cast, the 1957 Blondie series faced challenges with ratings and was short-lived, running for only one season. However, Lake's portrayal of Dagwood contributed to the legacy of the Blondie franchise as well as gave him a steady gig.

"It may seem hard to believe, but I really am Dagwood Bumstead," Lake said. "Things happen to me just like they do to Bumstead. Even my family is like his. My son, Arthur, is 13 and my daughter, Marion, is about the same age as Cookie."

You can take Bumstead off TV, but you can't take the Dagwood out of Arthur Lake.

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