Sally Starr fans have fond memories of local TV star

Remembering Sally Starr

READING, Pa. - To many baby boomers, Sally Starr was like a member of their family. The iconic cowgirl, who had her own TV show in Philadelphia, passed away on Sunday. She was 90.

Known to her audiences as "Our Gal Sal," Starr began her broadcasting career in Philadelphia. From the 1950s until 1971, Starr hosted an afternoon children's program that aired on weekdays. Starr became known for her cowgirl attire and fringe, a nod to her roots in Kansas City, Mo.

"She was part of the family. Oh, I loved her. I used to watch her every day," said Joe Raiti, of Reading.

"I liked her. I really did, and one nice thing, she kept my children busy," said Doris Schoener, of Reading.

Starr died on Sunday, just two days after her 90th birthday. Her program consisted of a variety of shorts and cartoons, which became known as Popeye Theater. Starr also welcomed guests like The Three Stooges and Dick Clark. Fans said she was the consummate family entertainer.

"You didn't have to worry about your children seeing them. Today, you have to think about that," said Betty Babb, of Reading.

Starr's popularity also shined beyond her Philadelphia television and radio broadcasts. In 1998, Starr held a fundraiser event at the Riveredge in Bern Township. In 2000, she attended a Berks County Commissioners meeting to thank the county for supporting her career. She also participated in the King Frost Parade, signed autographs in downtown Reading, and made a special appearance at the Kempton Fair.

"I think what we're going to remember are some of her songs that she sang and the way she carried herself," said Schoener.

Starr's popular sign off, "love, luck and lollipops," will live on forever for her fans.

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