Gale Storm shot to the top on television as the vivacious star of two popular 1950s situation comedies, "My Little Margie" and "The Gale Storm Show: Oh! Susanna."
A summer replacement for "I Love Lucy," "My Little Margie" ran from 1952 to 1955, with Storm starring as the plucky young Margie Albright and Charles Farrell as her widower father, Vern. Although critics generally panned "My Little Margie" as a lightweight farce, the public fell in love with the mischievous Margie. A 1953 poll of the most popular TV stars listed Storm at No. 2, behind TV comedy queen Lucille Ball.
After "My Little Margie" ended, Storm starred in "The Gale Storm Show: Oh! Susanna," in which she played social director Susanna Pomeroy aboard the luxury liner the SS Ocean Queen. The situation comedy, featuring Zasu Pitts as the ship's flighty beautician Elvira "Nugey" Nugent and Roy Roberts as Capt. Huxley, ran from 1956 to 1960.
Storm was a pert and pretty 17-year-old Houston, Texas, high school senior named Josephine Cottle when she arrived in Hollywood in late 1939 as a finalist in the nationwide "Gateway to Hollywood" talent contest.
Beginning with "Tom Brown's School Days" in 1940, Storm appeared in 36 movies during the next dozen years. Dropped by RKO after six months and two pictures, she appeared in a variety of B-movies at Republic, Monogram, Allied Artists and Universal.
Among her film credits, which included musical comedies, film noir dramas and westerns (three with Roy Rogers), are starring roles in films such as "Freckles Comes Home," "Where Are Your Children?," "Campus Rhythm," "G.I. Honeymoon," "Sunbonnet Sue," "Swing Parade of 1946," and "It Happened on 5th Avenue."
Her success with "My Little Margie" — and a radio version with original episodes — led to her being approached to do a nightclub act in Las Vegas during the summers of 1953 and 1954. After hearing Storm sing on one live TV show, Dot Records signed her to a contract.
In 1980, she returned to the limelight as the commercial spokeswoman for Raleigh Hills Hospital, the now-defunct alcohol treatment chain where she had been treated for a serious bout with alcoholism.
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