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Gail Davis

Actress Gail Davis, who played Annie Oakley in the popular television series of the same name in the 1950s, died of cancer Saturday in Burbank. She was 71.

“Annie Oakley” ran on ABC from 1955-58 and was seen in repeats well into the 1960s. It was the first Western to star a woman.

The show was created for Davis by Gene Autry, with whom she had previously appeared in several Westerns. After the series ended, Davis continued to make personal appearances with Autry.

She also appeared in TV specials, including ”Wide, Wide World: The Western” in 1958, a Bob Hope special in 1959 and ”The Andy Griffith Show” in 1961.

Davis was born Betty Jeanne Grayson in Little Rock, Ark., on Oct. 5, 1925. She studied drama and dance at the U. of Texas, where she met and married her first husband, fellow student Bob Davis.

Davis is survived by a daughter.

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