Jay North, TV's Dennis the Menace: The Untold Story

By Rebeka Knott
Jay North as Dennis the Menace. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

From 1959 to '63, Jay North was TV's Dennis the Menace on the sitcom of the same name, based on Hank Ketcham's daily one-panel newspaper comic. When the series began, North was just seven years old. Although the show was extremely popular, North's childhood suffered, and he had trouble escaping the shadow of Dennis the Menace for decades afterward.

North's character, Dennis Mitchell, was a precocious, blond-haired boy who was forever finding himself in the middle of some sort of conflict. His standard outfit was a striped t-shirt and overalls. Like the Dennis of the cartoon, North's character had a prominent cowlick.