Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Book Review: "Gale Storm: A Biography and Career Record"

Gale Storm, Zasu Pitts and Boris Karloff in The Gale Storm Show (1959)
David Tucker is one of the nicest people I know on Facebook.  He is a writer whose area of expertise is, in his own words, "the funny women of classic TV."  He has written books about Joan Davis, Martha Raye, Shirley Booth and Eve Arden.  The nice author has now written a nice book about one of the nicest stars of early television - Gale Storm.  Never has so much unabashed delightfulness been contained in the pages of one book.

Gale Storm and Charles Farrell in My Little Margie (1954)
Tucker examines, in his usual comprehensive fashion, Storm's 50-year acting career.  The actress is best known for having starred in two back-to-back sitcoms, My Little Margie and The Gale Storm Show, from 1952 to 1960.  The actress was pretty, perky and headstrong as she scurried from one comic mishap to another.

Again, it must be stressed that you shouldn't expect scandal in the pages of Tucker's book.  The production of Storm's films and television shows went on with little problem. Cast members got along well together. Storm enjoyed a happy homelife, maintaining a good relationship with her husband and children. The actress sometimes worked too hard and had a brief battle with alcohol in the 1970s, but she had enough self-awareness to identify her problems and make the appropriate course corrections. Some people prefer to read about actors who fought with co-workers and had messy personal lives. I, myself, find it intriguing and helpful to read about people who got it right.  It is heartwarming to read about the success of a good-natured actress and learn the history of the sweet and silly sitcom that she helped to make a television classic.

The majority of the book is dedicated to Storm's credits (the "career record" portion of the book). Tucker includes plot summaries, production details and critical assessments for the films and plot summaries, notes and quotes for the television episodes.

Have yourself a nice time reading Gale Storm: A Biography and Career Record, which can be purchased with no comic mishap from Amazon.

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