Storm was 87.
Storm got her first movie contract, a stage name and a husband when she won a radio talent show in Hollywood at the age of 17.
Her first TV show -- "My Little Margie" -- set the sitcom stage with Lucille Ball and other female stars in the 1950s, said Skip E. Lowe, a longtime friend who acted in some of Storm's first movies in the early 1940s.
"She was a wonderful singer," said Lowe. "She started as a singer and became known as an actress and singer."
Born Josephine Owaissa Cottle in Bloomington, Texas, in 1922, she entered and won a CBS Radio talent show that offered a grand prize of a one-year movie contract with RKO Studio, according to her personal biography.
She teamed up with the male winner, Lee Bonnell, whom she married and had four children with. The couple remained married for 45 years until his death in 1986.
"We fell deeply in love and were married two years later, just as soon as my mother would allow it!" she wrote.
The new name Gale Storm was also part of the prize, she said.
Lowe, who interviewed her several times in recent decades on his cable TV show, said Storm was open about her bout with alcoholism.
"She was battling that bottle," Lowe said.
Storm wrote about her alcoholism on her official Web site:
"My successes have certainly not been without problems. During the 1970s I experienced a terribly low and painful time of dealing with alcoholism. I had Lee's unfailing support through the entire ordeal. My treatment and recovery were more than rugged."
Storm said she was "fully recovered for more than 20 years."
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