Gale Storm with ZaSu Pitts in the 1950s TV Series aboard a cruise ship.

Cruise History looks at Gale Storm who starred in a TV series that took place aboard a cruise ship before Love Boat.  She died at the age of 87 on June 27, 2009.

SS PRESIDENT CLEVELAND – Sister ship to the Wilson…

SS Ocean Queen (SS PRESIDENT WILSON) – Cruise ship on the maritime comedy THE GALE STORM SHOW (OH SUSANNA!)/CBS/ABC/1956-60.

The SS Ocean Queen crew included Gale Storm as social director Susanna Pomeroy; Roy Roberts as Captain Simon Huxley; Jimmy Fairfax as ship’s steward Cedric; Rolfe Sedan as ship’s physician Dr. Eugene Reynolds; and ZaSu Pitts as the ship’s hairdresser Elvira/Esmerelda “Nugey” Nugent and Susanna’s close friend (later souvenir shop salesgirl).

Adding to the captain’s frustrations was the ship’s steward, an impish little fellow named Cedric (who went overboard when the series moved to ABC).

In the opening theme, the ship blasts its horn once; the ships’ bell clangs four times; and the show’s title is spelled out by the ship’s nautical flags.

Portions of the series were filmed onboard the real-life trans-Pacific American President liner, the S.S. President Wilson.

The “LOVE BOAT” style show was set aboard a cruise ship which was based on American President Line’s SS President Cleveland and SS President Wilson.

In 1922, Gale Storm was born Josephine Owaisso Cottle, the youngest of 5 children, in the town of Bloomington, Texas in Victoria County. Her father died in 1923, and the family later moved to Houston.

At the age of 17, she entered a contest, Gateway to Hollywood and won first prize: a one-year movie contract with RKO Radio Pictures. She later worked for Monogram Pictures, making more than 35 films for the studio.

From 1952-1955, she starred in My Little Margie as Margie Albright which featured the silver-haired actor Charles Farrell as her father.

Gale Storm has three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame recognizing her contributions to radio, music, and television. Her recording career lasted from 1956 through 1960, with several top 40 hits.

She guest starred occasionally in such popular television programs as The Love Boat and Murder She Wrote.

She tells her life story in her autobiography, I Ain’t Down Yet.

GALE STORM on What’s My Line in the 1950’s


About Michael L. Grace

MICHAEL L. GRACE is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. SNOOPY continues to be one of the most produced shows (amateur & stock) in America/Worldwide and has had long running productions in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and in London's West End. There are over 100 individual productions every year. He has written movies for TV, including the award-winning thriller LADY KILLER, various pilots and developed screenplays for Kevin Costner and John Travolta. Besides co-writing and co-producing SNOOPY, he wrote and produced the one-man play KENNEDY. He produced P.S. YOUR CAT IS DEAD by pulitzer prize winning author James Kirkwood. He wrote the stage thriller FINAL CUT which had productions in the UK, South Africa and Australia. His one-man play, KENNEDY - THE MAN BEHIND THE MYTH, was developed for HBO and has starred Andrew Stevens, Gregory Harrison and Joseph Bottoms. He has recently been involved in European productions with CLT-UFA, Europe's leading commercial television and radio broadcaster. He wrote MOWs THE DOLL COLLECTION, THE BOTTOM LINE and LAST WITNESS for German television. While in college and graduate school he worked as a foreign correspondent for COMBAT, the famous leftwing Paris daily, and as a travel writer. He visited more than 50 countries. He struggled as an actor, then joined the enemy and entered the training program at William Morris. He became a publicist and worked for Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis Presley's manager, at Paramount and MGM. He followed with a brief stint as a story executive, working in the frantic horror genre period of the early 80s and wrote THE UNSEEN. He went onto write for episodic television and develop series pilots. He was a continuing writer on such series such as LOVE BOAT, PAPER DOLLS, and KNOTS LANDING. He developed screenplays for such major award winning directors as Nicolas Meyers, Tony Richardson and J. Lee Thompson. He has written for all the major networks and studios. He has been hired numerous times as a script doctor, doing many uncredited rewrites on TV movies and features. He is currently writing A PERSON OF INTEREST, a thriller novel, and, IT'S THE LOVE BOAT... AND HOW IT CHANGED CRUISING BY SHIP a non-fiction book dealing with how the hit TV series as a major cultural phenomenon and altered the style of cruising by ship. He was raised in Los Angeles. He attended St. Paul's, USC and the Pasadena Playhouse. He received a B.A from San Francisco State University where he majored in theatre arts and minored in creative writing. He is listed as a SFSU leading alumni. He also apprenticed at ACT - The American Conservatory Theatre. For a brief period he had intentions of becoming an Episcopal(Anglican) priest and attended seminary at Kelham Theological College in the UK. When "the calling" wasn't there, he left seminary and did graduate work at the American University of Beirut. He has guest lectured at USC, UC San Diego, McGill, Univ. of London and the Univ. of Texas on the business aspects of making a living and surviving as a writer, focusing on development hell, in the Hollywood entertainment industry. Grace is a lifetime member of the Writers Guild of America, the Dramatist Guild and former regional chairman of the Steamship Historical Society of America. He resides in Palm Springs.

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