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.
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;
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
Thank you Michael! He got his
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
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
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
"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."
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!
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
Thank you Larry Russell! It's
thrilling to hear from someone who
knew "Baby Dumpling" personally!
above advertisement is a page from the September 1940 issue of "Ladies'
Home Journal". In this ad, Baby Dumpling is promoting Royal
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
From "Blondie" (1938)
Larry Simms with wife Mali in