|Born||in Bloomington, Texas, USA|
|Died||in Danville, California, USA (natural causes)|
|Birth Name||Josephine Owaissa Cottle|
Mini Bio (1)
Born with the drab, unlikely name of Josephine Cottle on April 5, 1922, this pleasantly appealing, Texas-born, auburn-haired beauty was only seventeen months old when her father William passed away. The family moved from Bloomington (her home town) to McDade (between Austin and Houston) where her mother Minnie made ends meet as a seamstress and milliner. The youngest of five children, the family eventually settled in Houston where Gale took dance and ice skating lessons, developed a strong interest in acting and performed in high school dramatics. Encouraged by her teachers, Gale by chance entered and was chosen the winner of local radio talent contest called Jesse L. Lasky's "Gateway to Hollywood" in 1939. This took her and her mother to Hollywood where she captured the national contest title.
Handed the more exciting stage moniker of "Gale Storm", she was soon put under contract to RKO Pictures. Although she was dropped by the studio after only six months, she had established herself enough to find work elsewhere, including Monogram and Universal. Appearing in a number of "B" musicals, mysteries and westerns, her wholesome, open-faced prettiness made her a natural for filming. The programmers, however, that she co-starred in were hardly the talk of the town. Making her inauspicious debut with Tom Brown's School Days (1940), her 40s movies bore such dubious titles as Let's Go Collegiate (1941), Freckles Comes Home (1942), Revenge of the Zombies (1943), Sunbonnet Sue (1945), Swing Parade of 1946 (1946), and Curtain Call at Cactus Creek (1950), indicates the hardships of finding suitable worthy of her talent. Arguably, her better movies include the family Christmas tale It Happened on Fifth Avenue (1947) which co-starred Don DeFore; the overlooked western comedy The Dude Goes West (1948) opposite Eddie Albert; and the film noir piece The Underworld Story (1950) with Dan Duryea.
After years of toiling in films, Gale finally turned things around at age 30 by transplanting herself to the small screen. Her very first TV series vehicle My Little Margie (1952), which was only suppose to be a summer replacement series for I Love Lucy (1951), became one of the most watchable sitcoms in the early 50s while showing up in syndicated reruns for decades. Co-starring the popular film star Charles Farrell as her amiable dad, Gale's warmth and ingratiating style suited TV to a tee, making her one of the most popular light comediennes of the time. She segued directly into her second hit series as a cruise ship director in The Gale Storm Show: Oh! Susanna (1956), which was better known as "Oh! Susannah" after it went into syndication. Co-starring woebegone Zasu Pitts as the ship's manicurist and her "Ethel Mertz" counterpart, this show lasted a season longer than her first.
In the midst of all this, the (gasp) thirty-something star dared to launch her own Las Vegas nightclub and pop recording careers. Always looking much younger than she was, she produced a number of Billboard chart makers including "I Hear You Knocking" (her first hit), "Memories Are Made of This", "Ivory Tower" and her own cover of "Why Do Fools Fall in Love". Her most successful song of the decade was "Dark Moon", which peaked at #4.
Gale's film career took a sharp decline following the demise of her second series in 1960. Most of her focus was placed modestly on the summer stock or dinner theater circuit, doing a revolving door of tailor-made comedies and musicals such as "Cactus Flower", "Forty Carats", "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" and "South Pacific". She finally appeared again on TV in a The Love Boat (1977) segment in 1979 after nearly a two-decade absence. It was later revealed in Gale's candid autobiography "I Ain't Down Yet" (1981) and on the talk show circuit that the disappearance was triggered by a particularly vicious battle with alcohol. Years later, Gale became an outspoken and committed lecturer in helping to remove the stigma attached to such a disease, particularly as it applied to women.
Fully recovered, she has been widowed twice -- by actor Lee Bonnell in 1986 and Paul Masterson in 1996. Incredibly accommodating over the years, Gale has appear on the nostalgia and film festival circuits to the delight of her many fans.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / email@example.com
|Paul Curtis Masterson||(23 April 1988 - 10 May 1996) ( his death)|
|Lee Bonnell||(28 September 1941 - 12 May 1986) ( his death) ( 4 children)|