What ever happened to.. the kid from Dennis The Menace?

Todya I shall answer the question eternally humming at your brain’s core – ‘What ever happened to Mason Gamble – that little kid from the film Dennis The Menace?’

First up we must clear up why there’s an american comic book character called Dennis The Menace and a British boy called Dennis The Menace.

Well they are entirely unrelated but by coincidence both comic strips began in 1951. The american is a blonde, mischievous but lovable five year old who accidentally annoys his elderly neighbour – the British Dennis a heroic bully and future career criminal.

The american version started on March 12th and the British version on March 17th so technically the US version is the original.  It was adapted into a live-action and cartoon TV series, this film version arrived in 1993.

Where is that child now?  Find out after the jump!

6 year old Mason Gamble beat 20,000 other children to land the part with this audition. He just happened to turn up that day wearing Dennis’ outfit with worms in his pocket..


(I’m in a cynical mood.)

Though that’s the role Mason is best known for he has popped up in other hit films. He spoofed Home Alone with Leslie Nielson in Spy Hard.

He played Jason Schwartzman’s best friend in Rushmore, and spat on Bill Murray’s car – not something you do lightly.

Aged 13 played the neighbour’s son in the terrorist thriller Arlington Road with Jeff Bridges and Tim Robbins.  (This is a disturbing scene)

More recently Mason’s appeared in TV shows like CSI Miami and this 2010 film called Golf In The Kingdom. 

Now 26 years old Mason graduated in dentistry in 2009 from UCLA and is now studying marine biology.  He said in a recent interview

” I am majoring in Marine Biology. My love will always be acting, to me it is a job unlike any other job. The studying of Marine Biology and the continuing of education is something I have always been very passionate about.”

What about the other Dennis stars?

Walter Matthau is best known for his films ‘The Odd Couple’ and ‘Grumpy Old Men’ with his frequen co-star and friend Jack Lemmon.   He died in 2000 aged 79.  He had been married twice and had three children.

Dame Joan Plowright is a respected English stage actress she has also appeared in Tea With Mussolini and 101 Dalmatians. After her first marriage broke up she married Sir Laurence Olivier (he had been married to Vivien Leigh for 20 years).  They had three children together, he died in 1989.   She is now 83.

Christopher Lloyd does not look like himself at all in this film – he also starred in Back To The Future and The Addams Family – check out a full catch-up with him here.

Lea Thompson played Dennis’ mum in the film but you’ll know her better as Marty McFly’s mum in the Back to the Future films. Over the last twenty years she has featured in lots of made-for-tv films and more recently starred in the series Switched At Birth. She is married with two daughters.

Robert Stanton – played Dennis’ dad.  He’s also popped up in ‘A League of their Own’ and ‘Confessions of a Shopaholic’.

Amy Sakasitz – played Margaret.  Doesn’t seem to have acted in any other major films.  Her Twitter describes her as “Ex-actress, epicurean, culinarian, nerd.”

Mason Gamble and the cast of Dennis The Menace, we salute you!

Check out more ‘What Ever Happened To..’ articles HERE

6 thoughts on “What ever happened to.. the kid from Dennis The Menace?

  1. Thank you for sharing this updated info. I love this move and have watched it hundreds of times to get me through tough times, and fill my life with laughter and whimsy! I know the music, the lines and the moral of this fantastic movie so well; even today when I am facing new ills THIS loveable story and all the amazing actors makes me smile! This is a snapshot in time that will forever keep me laughing. Thank you again for all the great pictures and especially the educational update on Mason! I am a retired history and I am very proud of all his achievements! “Hey, Mr. Gamble!” Best wishes to all!

  2. Mason is currently a grad student studying parasitology at UCLA! Funny story, he was actually my T.A. for a parasitology class I took. Didn’t know he had an acting career until I googled his name. Very intelligent and cool guy!

  3. Pingback: Dennis The Menace Is A Studly Marine Biologist Now | OK Fashion

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  5. The origins of the two Dennises are a little tighter. British comics are published with a weekending date, so The Beano dated March 17 would have hit newsagent counters on March 10, a two day lead.

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