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Gale Storm

Gale StormAKA Josephine Owaissa Cottle

Born: 5-Apr-1922
Birthplace: Bloomington, TX
Died: 27-Jun-2009
Location of death: Danville, CA
Cause of death: Natural Causes
Remains: Cremated

Gender: Female
Religion: Christian
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Actor, Singer

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: The Gale Storm Show

Josephine Cottle's acting career abruptly began in 1940, when she and Lee Bonnell won a CBS Radio "Gateway to Hollywood" talent contest, the prize being a one-year film contract. She became "Gale Storm" and Bonnell, a student from South Bend, Indiana, became "Terry Belmont." While he appeared in two dozen films, his career went nowhere. The two were married in 1941, and Bonnell became an insurance executive.

Storm's first film Tom Brown's School Days (1940), was followed by dozens more. Most were low budget, and few are watched today. She did not hit her stride until the advent of television. Between 1952 and 1955, Storm played the lead in the CBS/NBC sitcom My Little Margie. Margie, daughter of widowed investment executive Vern Albright, was a character with antics reminiscent of I Love Lucy, the sitcom for which it was a summer replacement. Significantly, it was one of the few shows not centered around a traditional nuclear family.

Upon cancellation of My Little Margie, she was given another sitcom, The Gale Storm Show, syndicated later as Oh! Susannah. Her character, Susannah Pomeroy, was a cruise director aboard the S.S. Ocean Queen. Zazu Pitts played Susannah's best friend, a hairdresser. The show had more song and dance numbers and less contrived situations, and is somewhat more watchable. It ran on CBS from 1956 to 1960, and on ABC for its final year. Both shows were heavily syndicated in the 1960s and 1970s.

Following her two sitcoms, Storm was little in demand, and she essentially retired. Successful treatment for alcohol abuse found her as the public spokesman for Raleigh Hills Hospital. In 1981 she authored a memoir, I Ain't Down Yet, relating her battles with demon rum as well as her years in Hollywood. Storm died 2009 at a convalescent hospital in Danville, California.

Father: William Walter Cottle (d. 1924)
Mother: Minnie Corina
Sister: Lois
Brother: Wilbur
Sister: Marjorie
Brother: Brackston
Husband: Lee Bonnell (actor, m. 28-Sep-1941, d. 12-May-1986, three sons, one daughter)
Son: Phillip
Son: Peter
Son: Paul
Daughter: Susie
Husband: Paul Masterson (ABC executive, m. 1988, d. 10-May-1996)

    High School: San Jacinto High School, Houston, TX

    RKO Radio Pictures
    Visited Disneyland on Opening Day
    Hollywood Walk of Fame 6119 Hollywood Blvd. (Radio)
    Hollywood Walk of Fame 1519 Vine St. (Music)
    Hollywood Walk of Fame 1680 Vine St. (TV)
    Visited Disneyland Candlelight Procession (Dec-1962)
    unknown detox facility Raleigh Hills Hospital, Oxnard, CA (Jan-1979)
    Risk Factors: Alcoholism

    My Little Margie Margie Albright (1952-55)
    The Gale Storm Show Susanna Pomeroy (1956-60)

    The Texas Rangers (1-Jun-1951)
    Al Jennings of Oklahoma (17-Jan-1951)
    Between Midnight and Dawn (28-Sep-1950) · Kate Mallory
    The Underworld Story (26-Jul-1950)
    Curtain Call at Cactus Creek (25-May-1950)
    The Kid from Texas (1-Mar-1950)
    Abandoned (26-Oct-1949)
    The Dude Goes West (30-May-1948) · Liza Crockett
    It Happened on 5th Avenue (19-Apr-1947) · Trudy O'Connor
    Campus Rhythm (19-Nov-1943)
    Revenge of the Zombies (17-Sep-1943)
    Foreign Agent (9-Oct-1942)
    Smart Alecks (7-Aug-1942)
    Man from Cheyenne (16-Jan-1942) · Judy Evans
    Red River Valley (12-Dec-1941)
    Jesse James at Bay (17-Oct-1941) · Jane Fillmore
    Let's Go Collegiate (12-Sep-1941)
    One Crowded Night (9-Aug-1940)
    Tom Brown's School Days (27-Jun-1940) · Effie

Author of books:
I Ain't Down Yet (1981, memoir)

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