Then and Now: Mason Gamble from 'Dennis the Menace' Is All Grown Up
This little troublemaker is a total hottie now.
Jeepers, Dennis, is that you?
Mason Gamble crawled his way into our hearts when he portrayed lovable troublemaker Dennis Mitchell in the 1993 childhood classic Dennis the Menace. Gamble was born on January 16th, 1986 in Chicago, Illinois to Tim and Sally Gamble and had a relatively normal upbringing. A state-qualifying pole-vaulter and a National Merit Scholar Finalist, he clearly excelled in high school, and Mr. Wilson would've been very proud of Gamble's real life accomplishments. He later attended UCLA and continued to pursue acting for awhile, but Gamble eventually fell out of the spotlight. Let's take a closer look at his career trajectory and see what he's up to these days. Spoiler alert: He's still pretty adorable.
The Breakthrough Moment
Gamble's first acting gig was in 1993's live-action adaptation of the comic strip Dennis the Menace. Gamble reportedly beat out 20,000 children to get the coveted role of the mischievous troublemaker. Perhaps he got the part because he showed up to his audition with worms in his pocket? Sadly, Gamble was also nominated for a Razzie Award in the Worst New Star category. How rude!
Comedy Is a Good Fit
In 1996, Gamble starred in Spy Hard, alongside Leslie Nielsen, Marcia Gay Harden, and Nicollette Sheridan. The movie was a parody of action films like James Bond, and the title was a pun on Die Hard. Gamble played a young boy named McLuckey who skillfully fended off intruders when he was left home alone. Clearly, it was also a spoof of Macaulay Culkin's star-making film Home Alone.
A Horrifying Flop
Moving Over to TV
Gamble starred in a 1996 episode of Early Edition titled “Gun.” He played a troubled, young boy who received help from Coach Taylor himself: Kyle Chandler!
The Small Screen Is the Place to Be
1996 was clearly a good year for Gamble. He also starred in an episode of ER and got to spend some screen time with the beautiful Julianna Margulies.
Back to the Big Screen
The 1997 science fiction film Gattaca featured many famous actors such as Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Jude Law, and Alan Arkin. Gamble played the younger version of Hawke's character, Vincent Anton Freemon.
Who Wants to Be an Indie Darling?
Wes Anderson directed the critically acclaimed 1998 comedy-drama Rushmore, which he also co-wrote with Owen Wilson. Gamble played Dirk Calloway — the friend and chapel partner of Jason Schwartzman's character, Max Fischer. "Wes told me to watch the Charlie Brown Christmas special. I watched it, and he said, 'OK. You're Linus,'" Gamble stated in an interview. He also spat on Herman Blume (Bill Murray's) car like a boss and effortlessly delivered his most famous line from the film.
Working with Even More Big Names
The 1999 thriller Arlington Road followed a professor (Jeff Bridges) who suspected that his new neighbors (Tim Robbins, Joan Cusack) were involved in a terrorist plot. 13-year-old Gamble played the son of Robbins and Cusack's characters. Interestingly, Arlington Road was released on the same day as American Pie.
No Signs of Slowing Down
The television film Anya's Bell aired on CBS in 1999 and was about a lonely, blind woman (Della Reese) who befriended a dyslexic 12-year-old boy (Gamble). Gamble won the Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a TV Movie or Pilot in the Lead Young Actor category for his role.
The First Bump in the Road
Kate Brasher (2001) was a CBS drama series about a single mother (Mary Stuart Masterson) who began working as a social worker after facing a serious financial crisis. She had two sons: Daniel (Gregory Smith) and Elvis (Gamble). Unfortunately, the show was cancelled after only six episodes.
There's Still Hope
In A Gentleman's Game (2001), Gamble played a golf prodigy who worked as a caddie at an exclusive country club. Gamble was 14 years old at the time and had to learn how to play golf for the movie, although he “never really got into it.”
Long Hair, Don't Care
In the 2005 independent film The Trouble with Dee Dee, Gamble sported a drastically different hairstyle. Although his long, blonde locks were certainly enviable, they also changed his appearance in a major way. Seriously though, what's up with that turtleneck?
Let's Take a Trip Down South
Gamble looked like a full-fledged hunk when he starred in an episode of CSI: Miami. It's a good thing he ditched that long hair!
The Final Appearance (As of Now)
In the early '90s, Clint Eastwood purchased the rights to Golf in the Kingdom, but he abandoned the project after failing to produce a completed script. The book was eventually adapted into a film by Mindy Affrime (producer) and Susan Streitfeld (director) in 2011.
“I think a lot of young people are often at that transition in their lives. I know I was at my transition in my life not to long ago. It was a role that seemed pretty appropriate with the timing of it,” Gamble stated in regards to playing the role of Michael Murphy.
“Right now, I got about two quarters left of school. I am trying to graduate. 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. Developing your mind and your ability to think critically is really important. As an actor your mind is one of your most important tools. The more prospective you can bring to the table, I think the more range and variety you are going to be able to bring to your roles,” Gamble stated in the same interview.
However, Golf in the Kingdom was Gamble's last acting gig, and he appears to have fallen out of the spotlight since then. But with a face like that, it should be easy for Gamble to find prospective roles. We'll keep an eye out for you, buddy. Until then, we can all just admire his magnificent transformation into an adult. Enjoy!