At this rate, the rule of celebrity deaths will have to be altered to “they come in fives.” (Let’s knock wood that there aren’t any more for a while.) This time at least it’s a death from old age: Gale Storm, the ’50s TV star, who was 87. Her career through the ’50s was somewhat similar to Lucille Ball’s: she was in a lot of movies but never became a real star. When she moved into sitcoms, she was able to show off the comic gifts she hadn’t been able to display in most of her films, and in My Little Margie, she became probably the second most-popular female sitcom headliner after Ball. The show was a bit different from most ditzy-lady sitcoms in that her long-suffering leading man was not her husband, but her father (played by veteran Charlie Farrell, who had been a familiar face since the silent days). It gave a strange Oedipal feel to some of the episodes.
There are a lot of My Little Margie episodes available on YouTube and Google; here’s a randomly-chosen one:
Storm built on her TV success in Margie and her follow-up, The Gale Storm Show, by launching a successful singing/nightclub career. In the early ’60s, her career was derailed by alcoholism; she recovered and wrote about the experience in her autobiography, “I Ain’t Down Yet.”