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Larry Simms

DEAR "BLONDIE'S PAGE" FANS!
I was contacted by Larry Simms on October 4, 2005 and he loves "Blondie's Page"!   He said he'd give us an update sometime, but haven't heard from him again at the time of this writing.  Hopefully soon!  I can tell you that he is living in Thailand with his wife and is doing well.


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Biography
"Hal Erickson" Article
"Lamparski's Whatever Became Of...Giant 2nd Annual" Article
Larry Russell
Photos

Birth Name:  Larry Lee Simms
Born:  October 1, 1934 in Los Angeles, California, USA
Died:  STILL ALIVE




Biography:  Although Larry Simms was in a few other movies, his claim-to-fame is playing "Baby Dumpling/Alexander Bumstead" in all 28 of the Blondie movies.  At age two he started his career as a child model.  A Hollywood talent scout discovered young Mr. Simms when he appeared in a 1937 Saturday Evening Post advertisement.  At three years old, Larry made his very first movie appearance was uncredited in 1937s "The Last Gangster" from MGM Studios in which he played character Joe Krozac, Jr. as a baby opposite Jimmy Stewart and Rose Stradner (father and mother in the movie).  His next role would be the role in which most people associate him with and would come in 1938 with "Blondie".  He was pretty much a Blondie regular throughout childhood save for a few bit parts in now-classic movies "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" in 1939 as a Hopper Boy, "The Gay Sisters" in 1942 as Austin aka Butch, "It's a Wonderful Life" in 1946 as Peter Bailey, "Golden Earrings" in 1947 as Horace the Pageboy (uncredited appearance), "Song of Love" in 1947 as Prince Albert (uncredited appearance), and "Madame Bovary" in 1949 as Justin.  Those mentioned are his only non-Blondie movie roles.  In "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" he is actually credited as Baby Dumpling instead of Larry Simms. 

    Unlike most stories of child movie stars that we hear about all too often, Larry Simms had a pleasant child star experience.  He made 750 dollars a week which, at that time, was extremely good pay for being a child actor.  Despite a promising future in filmwork, Larry Simms dropped out of Hollywood after the last Blondie movie called "Beware of Blondie" in 1950.  He wasn't all that interested in acting; the technical end of moviemaking was more fascinating to him.  It's a shame, because he proved to be a great teenage actor as evidenced in the later Blondie films.  After 1950, Larry joined the U.S. Navy, then studied aeronautical engineering at California Polytech.  He was then later hired as an engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasedena, where he remained until his retirement.

    I'm always looking for more information on Larry Simms.  If you have any, please CONTACT ME.

Hal Erickson Article

    Another contributor who simply calls himself Michael, shortly after I entered in James P. McDonald's information, sent me a bunch of information filling in details of Larry Simm's pre-Blondie childhood and adult life.  I entered it into the biography at top, because it answered a lot of our earlier questions about his life.  Here are the details this individual sent me about Larry Simms.


*  He was a child model since age two.

*  Discovered by Hollywood talent scout when he appeared in 1937 Saturday Evening Post ad.

*  Pleasant child star experience.

*  Made 750 dollars a week.

*  Quit movies because he wasn't interested in acting; more fascinated by technical end of moviemaking.

*  Joined the Navy [which I've already expected and have heard for several years before this entry; now it's confirmed].

*  Studied aeronautical engineering at California Polytech.

    Thank you Michael!  He got his information from the All Movie Guide at the New York Times website in a biography by Hal Erickson.  Thanks also to Hal Erickson himself for sharing this info with the world!

"Lamparski's Whatever Became Of...Giant 2nd Annual" Article:

    Baby Dumpling is one of the great Blondie Movies mysteries, because after Larry Simms appeared in the last Blondie movie (Beware of Blondie in 1950), he dropped completely out of sight in Hollywood.  Despite a promising future in screen or television acting, Larry Simms never again made a movie or TV show.  People all the time ask me:  "Whatever became of Larry Simms?" and "Do you have a more recent picture of what he looked like as an adult?".  Thanks to a fellow Blondie Movies fan by the name of James P. McDonald from Lancaster, California, I am now able to share this information (and yes, a more recent picture of Larry) with all of you!  

    The source of Mr. McDonald's information is "Lamparski's Whatever Became of..." (Giant 2nd Annual) by Richard Lamparski from December, 1977 published by Bantam Books.   The information shared with you on this website about Larry Simms, Arthur Lake, Penny Singleton, and Marjorie Ann Mutchie comes from pages 295-303 of that book.  Thanks again, James!  Here's what it says about Larry Simms, aka Baby Dumpling:

    "Larry Simms retired recently from the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, where he had spent many years as an engineer.  Today, 'Baby Dumpling' is a divorcee; he runs his own boat-repair business in the Los Angeles harbor."

    Another bit of interesting information on Larry Simms comes from the Arthur Lake article from that book which states:

    "Lake hasn't heard from Larry Simms, who played 'Baby Dumpling', in many years.  He ran into the father of Marjorie Kent, who played 'Cookie', not long ago.  'She's got a little Cookie of her own now,' says Arthur."

    Any information any of you Blondie fans have out there regarding Larry Simms or anything about the Blondie movies is greatly appreciated.  Of course, I am always appreciative and give credit (if you'd like to receive credit).  Thanks also goes out to Richard Lamparski for sharing this info with the world!

Larry Russell

    How excited I was to hear from someone who was a friend of Larry Simms!  His name is Larry Russell, and on June 28, 2005, I received this information via e-mail:


    "I worked and lived with Larry [Simms] for a couple of years in Saudi Arabia.  He was my roommate.  We both worked for Fluor Engineers & Contractors.  This was back in 1980/81.  The last I heard he had long since returned to the States and was living in Seattle.  I think he had a brother that had a boat business in Long Beach.  I know that he loved sailing, and once sailed his grandfather's boat to Hawaii where he lived for awhile.  He did go to work for NASA for many years.  He is a great guy, but very private."

    Thank you Larry Russell!  It's thrilling to hear from someone who knew "Baby Dumpling" personally!

Photos:

Go to "Larry Simms Gallery" Page 1

Royal Desserts ad

The above advertisement is a page from the September 1940 issue of "Ladies' Home Journal".  In this ad, Baby Dumpling is promoting Royal Desserts.

Larry Simms 1977
Larry Simms in 1977.  I apologize for the quality of the scan, but it's the best that I could make it come out.  If I come across a better quality picture I'll put it here in the place of this one.  Promise!  James P. McDonald contributed this extremely rare photo.

Click on thumbnail below for larger image.

Larry Simms
From "Blondie" (1938)

Larry Simms with Mali, 2005  Larry Simms, 2005
Larry Simms with wife Mali in 2005.