’50s TV star Gale Storm dies

Gale Storm, whose wholesome appearance and perky personality made her one of early television’s biggest stars on “My Little Margie” and “The Gale Storm Show,” has died at age 87.

Storm, who had been in failing health in recent years, died Saturday at a convalescent hospital in Danville, Calif., her son said.

Storm appeared in numerous B movies opposite such stars as Roy Rogers, Eddie Albert and Jackie Cooper. She was often cast in westerns as the girl the cowboy left behind.

“My Little Margie,” with Storm in the starring role, debuted on CBS as a summer replacement for “I Love Lucy” in 1952. It quickly became an audience favorite and moved to its own slot on NBC that fall.

Storm sang on her second series — “The Gale Storm Show” (also known as “Oh! Susanna”), which began in 1956 — and three of her records became best sellers: “I Hear You Knocking,” “Teenage Prayer” and “Dark Moon.”

“The Gale Storm Show” ended in 1960. She continued to sing and make occasional TV appearances.

Storm was a Texas high schooler named Josephine Owaissa Cottle who was awarded a movie contract after she entered a talent contest for a radio show called “Gateway to Hollywood” in 1940. The contest’s male winner was a lanky would-be actor named Lee Bonnell, who would later become her husband.

Associated Press

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