http://danvillesanramon.com/print/story/print/2009/07/03/my-little-margie-dies-in-danville


Danville Express

Newsfront - July 3, 2009

'My Little Margie' dies in Danville

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," died Saturday at age 87 at a convalescent hospital in Danville, said her son, Peter Bonnell. Before landing the starring role in "My Little Margie" in 1952, Storm starred in numerous B movies opposite such stars as Roy Rogers, Eddie Albert and Jackie Cooper. After her last TV series, "The Gale Storm Show," ended in 1960 she went on to a successful singing career while continuing to make occasional TV appearances.

Storm was a Texas high schooler named Josephine Owaissa Cottle when she entered a talent contest for a radio show called "Gateway to Hollywood" in 1940. She was brought to Los Angeles for the finals, where her wholesome vivacity won over the radio audience and she was awarded a movie contract. Storm, who had taken vocal lessons, sang on her second series, and three of her records became best sellers: "I Hear You Knocking," "Teenage Prayer" and "Dark Moon."

Her fans were surprised to read in her 1980 autobiography, "I Ain't Down Yet," that she was an alcoholic. "I had hidden it socially, never drank before a performance," she said. After being treated in three hospitals, she found one that helped her break the habit.

Born April 5, 1922, in Bloomington, Tex., Storm was only 13 months when her father died. Her mother supported five children by taking in sewing. She was a lifelong Christian, and she and her husband Lee Bonnell named their sons after the Biblical figures Philip, Peter and Paul and their daughter after her TV character Susanna. Bonnell died in 1987, and in 1988 Storm married former TV executive Paul Masterson. He died in 1996.

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