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Our Gal Sal, Philadelphia TV Legend Sally Starr Dies [VIDEO]

Philadelphia TV legend Sally Starr died today at age 90. If you are between …the ages of 35 and 60 and you grew up in the Philadelphia TV market, chances are you spent some of your afternoons as a kid with Sally Starr. I know I did!

Our Gal Sal, as I remember her being called, hosted the “Popeye Theater” weekday afternoon on Channel 6 (when it was WFIL-TV) and later on Channel 29.  Her show, which featured cartoons, 3 Stooges Movies(my favorite) and locally-based live content, aired in the time before cable when TV choices were few.  If you were a kid between 1955 and 1975, the Sally Starr Show probably was your TV choice.

Starr became so popular in the area that her fans staged the largest mail protest in WPVI-TV’s history when she lost her program in 1971, according to the Broadcast Pioneers. After leaving Channel 6, Starr produced and hosted local TV shows on Channel 29 and 65. She was so loved by her fan-base that they even helped her financially after her home in Florida was destroyed in a fire in 1987. Starr eventually moved back to the area and hosted a three hour radio show in Vineland, New Jersey for many years before retiring in 2006.

In the days before Sesame Street, kids like me, looking for entertainment on their black and white TV (at least at my house), spent a good part of their childhood with Sally Starr.

I happened to hear her doing a radio show on WVLT in Vineland a few years ago and I remember and I remember being surprised she was still alive, and the wave of nostalgia I felt for her.

Sally Starr was quoted as saying she never met a child she didn’t like.  Thanks for the time you gave me as a kid, Sally!

Leave your thoughts and condolences for Sally Starr in the comments section below.


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