Kidpic auteur John Hughes ("Home Alone" 1990) announced a nationwide casting call for the star of his "Dennis the Menace" (1993) in the spring of 1992: "We were looking for a good personality, some smarts, discipline and a good sense of humor. It's a big job for a little kid, but we wanted to have a real six-year-old play the part." They found their man in Mason Gamble, the adorable freckle-faced son of character actor Tim Gamble. Previously young Gamble had appeared in several TV spots and in a bit part in "Groundhog Day" (1993). Since his breakthrough, the actor has remained a constant screen presence, appearing alongside Leslie Nielsen in "Spy Hard" (1996) and portraying the youthful version of Ethan Hawke's character in the sci-fi thriller "Gattaca" (1997). In 1998, Gamble offered a marvelous turn as the youthful protege of high school student who places more emphasis on extra-curricular activities than on academics in the original and highly entertaining "Rushmore." He was next tapped to portray the son of Tim Robbins in the thriller "Arlington Road" (1999).