Eve Arden Show on DVD June Cleaver book

Peabody & Sherman cartoons on DVD Lancelot Link Secret Chimp on DVD Route 66 season 1 on DVD Classic Commercials on DVD Tennesee Tuxedo on DVD Fractured Fairy Tales on DVD

 

Gale Storm : Classic TV Stars
by Cary O'Dell

These past few weeks' bizarre, coincidental hecatomb of celebrity deaths (Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Ed McMahon), and the media’s ongoing coverage of them, no doubt means that the passing of TV, film and recording star Gale Storm (who died June 26 at age 87) will not receive near the coverage and attention that it deserves.

Granted, of course, though Storm was a successful recording artist, she’s wasn’t Michael Jackson and even she freely admitted that some of her body of work (like her film career) was rather minor and scattershot.  But, nevertheless, she was, in her time, a major TV star and, in retrospect, she’s an often under-remembered, under-appreciated small screen icon.

Storm has three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (one for TV, one for music, one for radio).  She was a five time “TV Guide” cover girl.  She was the solo lead of two multi-season sitcoms, “My Little Margie” (1952-1955) and “The Gale Storm Show” (a.k.a. “Oh, Susanna!”) (1956-1960)--something even Farrah, in her mega fame, cannot claim.  At her small screen height, Storm’s weekly ratings delivered numbers that such latter day “hits” as “Ally McBeal,” “Gossip Girl,” and even Jon & Kate can only dream of.  

In her most famous role, that of Margie Albright on “My Little Margie”-- and at the risk of making a very bad pun--Gale Storm was a force of nature.  In the 1950s, she was part of that special sorority of scrappy, rebellious sitcom sisters, lead by Lucy and ably aided by Joan Davis, who simply refused to follow the rules and wouldn’t do what they were told and who, in their defiant, regular run-ins with authority, seem to prefigure feminism.  

I had the pleasure of meeting Miss Storm over a decade ago when I worked at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago and co-curated (with broadcasting scholar Dr. Mary Ann Watson) an exhibition on the images of women on television titled “From ‘My Little Margie’ to ‘Murphy Brown.’”

For it, we attempted to show that these two TV characters, seemingly at opposite ends of the TV spectrum, actually had far more in common than just their first initial.  Also for it, we welcomed the gracious Miss Storm to the Windy City for a whirlwind junket of interviews, autograph sessions, and even a White Sox game for her to toss out the first ball.  During her visit, Storm was a trouper, an energetic, resilient dynamo.  This, though, should not have been that much of a surprise:  there had always been a steely core to the characters Storm played, whether it was the mischievous Margie, the go-getting Susanna or any of the frontier women she played in many of her early career Westerns.  It was a resolve, I learned, that was born from the actress herself.

This fortitude was never more apparent than upon the publication of Storm’s autobiography, “I Ain’t Down Yet” in 1981.  In the memoir, along with recounting her Texas youth and her entry into films via a “Gateway to Hollywood” contest in 1940 (which also saw her rechristened from Josephine Owaissa Cottle to her meteorological stage name), Storm also disclosed a long, bitter and ultimately victorious battle against alcoholism.  

Though today such revelations are common, at that time they weren’t.  Alcoholism was still somewhat in the shadows, far more likely to be viewed as a character flaw than as a serious disease; at that time you didn’t have “addiction issues,” you didn’t have a “chemical dependency,” you were a drunk.  And to be a male drunk was bad but to be a female drunk was obscene.

By outing herself and her addiction, Gale Storm broke the silence and shattered a myriad of cultural preconceptions; if this could befall “Margie,” it could happen to anyone.  The power and importance of her candor should not be undervalued.  With it, Storm forever altered her public persona and her legacy.  Simply remaining behind the guise of her small screen alter egos might have been easier, but it wasn’t going to help anyone.  And anyone expecting her to didn’t know the lady very well.  

“Well, that’s my little Margie.”  

I am glad to have known her, and miss her already.
 
-30-


TVparty is Classic TV on the internet!

Enjoy Obscure 70s Music!

News Regurgitator - Political News Links

Patrick Duffy of Dallas Interview

Classic TV on the Internet! 

GALE STORM

Classic Commercials on DVDTV Commercials on DVD

Enjoy Obscure 70s Music!

Man With a Camera on DVD

Eve Arden Show on DVD

TV on DVD - Hard-to-find classic TVshows on DVD here!

1950s TV Shows on DVD


WPIX Thanksgiving Day Specials / Christmas Specials

1950's Old Time TV Thanksgiving

The Lucy Show on DVDBob Hope Xmas DVDs

Everything you're looking for is here:

Shop Amazon's New Kindle Fire


Video Vault / Holiday Specials / Fabulous Fifties / Unseen Scenes / Game Shows / Lost Kid Shows / Movie Stars on TV / Saturday Morning Shows / Requested Forgotten TV Shows / The Super Sixties / The New * * Shows / 1980's Wrestling / TV Blog

TVparty is Classic TV on the internet!
Classic TV!

Television's Embarrassing Moments / Action Shows of the Sixties / TVparty Mysteries and Scandals / Variety Shows of the Seventies / The Eighties / TVafterparty / The Laugh Track / 1970's Hit Shows / Response to TVparty / Search the Site / Add Your Comments
1950's TV Shows / Fess Parker & Davy Crockett / Jack Benny Program / 1952 Olympics Telethon / Amos 'n' Andy / Little Rascals & Our Gang / Howdy Doody / The Lone Ranger / TV's First Working Woman / Abbott & Costello TV Show / The Three Stooges: The Where They Were / The First 'Black' Show - Beulah / Women on TV in the 1950s / The Today Show / Serious 1950s TV shows / Remembering David Susskind / TV's First Rerun Series / The Ken Murray Budweiser Show / Saturday Morning Serials / Two Variety Shows of the Fifties / Game Shows of the Fifties /1950's TV Wrestling / Mr. Adams and Eve / TV's First Star / TV's First Star / History of the Laugh Track / The First Interactive Video Game / Designing Winky-Dink / The McKimson Brothers & Animation / Interview with a Show Business Legend / The Soundies / Snaders Telescriptions / Steve Allen Interviewed / Racket Squad / The Big Show / Beverly Garland & Decoy / Roger Muir / Noel Coward's 1955 TV Special / Jon Provost Interview / 1950's TV Shows on DVD / 1950's Old Time TV Thanksgiving / Outrageous 1950's Commercial! / The Real Superman? / Mickey Mouse Club's Cheryl / Gale Storm / Captain Allen Swift / NYC's St. Patrick's Day Parade Telecasts / Julie London / The Goldbergs / 1950's Female Singers / The Dead End Kids / Bowery Boys / Fred Allen / Ed Wynn / Mr. Belvedere Movies / Art Linkletter / The Bickersons / Marty & Live TV / George Gobel & Red Buttons / Barbara Billingsley / Billy Gray Interview / Abbott & Costello Show / The Honeymooners / Three Stooges' Joe Besser / Whirlybirds / Burns & Allen Show
Classic TV Commercials / 1950's TV / 1960's TV / 1970's TV / TV Games / Honey Boo Boo / Lucy Shows / John Wayne / Gene Roddenberry / Big Blue Marble / Monty Hall / Carrascolendas / Mr. Dressup / Major Mudd / Chief Halftown / Baby Daphne / Sheriff John / North Carolina Actors / Winchell & Mahoney / Fireball X-L5 / Mr. Wizard / Captain Noah / Thanksgiving Day Specials / Disney's First Christmas Special / Saturday Morning Cartoons / The Magic Garden / Amahl & the Night Visitors / Holiday Toy Commercials / Lucy & Desi's Last Christmas Show / Joey Heatherton / Fat Albert / The Virginian / Bewitched / Death of John Wayne / 1974 Saturday Mornings / Chuck McCann / Rudolph Collectables / Shrimpenstein / Local Popeye Shows / New Treasure Hunt / Star Wars / KISS / Lancelot Link / Saturday Morning Cartoons / Wonder Woman / Classic Comic Books / Andy Griffith / Cher / TV Shows on DVD / Outtakes & Bloopers / 1967 TV Shows / Romper Room / Captain Kangaroo / Chicago Local Kiddie Shows / Boston Local TV / Philly Local TV / NYC Local Kid Shows / Electric Company / Bette Davis / Judy Garland / Christmas Specials / Redd Foxx / Good Times / Sitcom Houses / What's Happening! / Winky Dink & You / Sonny & Cher / Smothers Brothers / Soupy Sales / The Carpenters / Route 66 / Bozo / The Carpenters Christmas Specials / Local Kid Shows / Death of TV's Superman / Wonderama / Sesame Street / Bob Hope Specials / Little Rascals / Gay Icon T-Shirts / Alex Toth Book / TV Terrorists / Irwin Allen / The Untouchables / Carol Burnett Show / Batman TV Show / Green Hornet / Today Show History / Our Gang / Doris Day Show / 1970's Commercials For Women / Bill Cosby in the 1970s / The Golddiggers / Lola Falana / 1970s TV Shows / David Bowie on TV / Hudson Brothers / Jackie Gleason / Hollywood Squares / Match Game / Bob Keeshan / Gumby / The Flip Wilson Show / Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour / The Bobby Darin Show / The Richard Pryor Show / George Burns / Lucy's Lost Christmas Special / Classic Christmas Toy Commercials / Cricket On The Hearth / 1950's Holiday Shows / Amahl and the Night Visitors / A Christmas Carol on TV / The Yule Log / Celebrity Commercials / Rudolph / Movie Posters & More!

Classic TV Shows on DVD

Get it here!

SAVE MONEY
ON EVERYTHING!

TV Commercials on DVD Time Tunnel on DVD Peabody & Sherman cartoons on DVD Carol Burnett Show on DVD Fireball xl5 on DVD The TV Series that travelled from city to city across America :Route 66 on DVD 1950's Saturday Morning Shows Rat Pack Golddiggers Book RAT PACK GOLDDIGGERS
/ TV Shows on DVD / / / Rat Pack Golddiggers Obscure 70s Music
Looking for classic TV on DVD?/See below:
TVparty is Classic TV on the internet!
Contact Us / Survey
Other Cool TV Sites

TV Blog