Pamela Britton on the evolution of Blondie: From comic strip to TV

You may know Blondie as the popular TV series from the 1950s, but before it was a TV show it was a popular American comic strip, a radio show, and a film series. 

Blondie has been remade in many different mediums since the 1930s and has stayed successful both on the page and on the TV screen.

The Blondie comic strip is where it all began. Chic Young created the characters, who first appeared in newspapers all across the country in 1930. The comic strip, which had great success, was about the life of Blondie and her husband Dagwood Bumstead. 

The movie series included 28 films from 1938 to 1950, in which Penny Singleton and Arthur Lake played Blondie and Dagwood. It wasn't until 1957 that Pamela Britton got her chance at playing Dagwood's girl.

Although the Blondie character carried the same name throughout multiple decades, Britton's version was different in both looks and personality.

According to a 1957 interview with Sunday News, the fact that Britton replaced Singleton didn't even begin to cover the other changes that came with the series on NBC.

"Blondie originally played comedy herself," Britton said. "But in the TV version, it was decided to let Dagwood, Arthur Lake, be the clown."

"Blondie is now the girl who loves him and watches over him - and plays straight to him," Britton continued. "Personally, I think it's a good idea."

Before Britton stepped into her role, many people around the country had previously only associated Penny Singleton with the part. According to the interview, Britton was constantly being compared to Singleton, but she didn't mind. 

"I feel that we're playing to a brand new audience," Britton said. "The first Blondie picture was made in 1930. The kids who loved it then have all grown up, and there's a brand new generation to see it now."

The series featured comedic storylines consistent with the comic strip, however, it struggled to rise to the top in the ratings. Despite the challenge, Britton loved Blondie and was willing to give up pieces of herself to play the iconic part.

"Blondie is such a familiar characterization," Britton said. "I wouldn't care a bit, I'd be perfectly happy to sign autographs 'Blondie.'" 

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