Albert Salmi
Albert Salmi was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...



Albert Salmi was born in Brooklyn, New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

, to Finnish immigrant parents, and following a stint in the Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

, took up acting as a career, studying Method acting
Method acting
Method acting is a phrase that loosely refers to a family of techniques used by actors to create in themselves the thoughts and emotions of their characters, so as to develop lifelike performances...

 with Lee Strasberg
Lee Strasberg
Lee Strasberg was an American actor, director and acting teacher. He cofounded, with directors Harold Clurman and Cheryl Crawford, the Group Theatre in 1931, which was hailed as "America's first true theatrical collective"...

. In 1955, Salmi starred in Bus Stop
Bus Stop (play)
Bus Stop is a 1955 play by William Inge. The 1956 film is only loosely based upon it.-Characters:Bus Stop is a drama, with romantic and some comedic elements. It is set in a diner in rural Kansas, about 20 miles west of Kansas City, Missouri during a snowstorm from which bus passengers must take...

on Broadway
Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

. He volunteered to go on the road with the show, where he fell in love with and married his leading lady, former child star Peggy Ann Garner
Peggy Ann Garner
Peggy Ann Garner was an American actress.A successful child actor, Garner played her first film role in 1938 and won the Academy Juvenile Award for her work in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn...

, on May 16, 1956. Their only child, Catherine Ann Salmi, died in 1995 of premature heart disease at the age of thirty-eight.

He made his film debut as Smerdjakov in the 1958 movie version of The Brothers Karamazov, with Yul Brynner
Yul Brynner
Yul Brynner was a Russian-born actor of stage and film. He was best known for his portrayal of Mongkut, king of Siam, in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The King and I, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Actor for the film version; he also played the role more than 4,500 times on...

, Lee J. Cobb
Lee J. Cobb
Lee J. Cobb was an American actor. He is best known for his performance in 12 Angry Men his Academy Award-nominated performance in On the Waterfront and one of his last films, The Exorcist...

, William Shatner
William Shatner
William Alan Shatner is a Canadian actor, musician, recording artist, and author. He gained worldwide fame and became a cultural icon for his portrayal of James T...

, and Richard Basehart
Richard Basehart
John Richard Basehart was an American actor. He starred in the 1960s television science fiction drama Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, in the role of Admiral Harriman Nelson.-Career:...

 - a role for which Salmi turned down an Oscar-nomination. Salmi's next film was The Bravados
The Bravados
The Bravados is a 1958 western film , directed by Henry King starring Gregory Peck and Joan Collins. The CinemaScope film was based on a novel of the same name written by Frank O'Rourke.-Plot:...

in which he played one of the villains hunted down by hero Gregory Peck
Gregory Peck
Eldred Gregory Peck was an American actor.One of 20th Century Fox's most popular film stars from the 1940s to the 1960s, Peck continued to play important roles well into the 1980s. His notable performances include that of Atticus Finch in the 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird, for which he won an...

. The National Board of Review presented Salmi with the NBR Award for Best Supporting Actor for his work in both of these films.

He had several memorable roles on The Twilight Zone
The Twilight Zone (1959 TV series)
The Twilight Zone is an American anthology television series created by Rod Serling, which ran for five seasons on CBS from 1959 to 1964. The series consisted of unrelated episodes depicting paranormal, futuristic, dystopian, or simply disturbing events; each show typically featured a surprising...

including "Of Late I Think of Cliffordville","A Quality of Mercy
A Quality of Mercy
"A Quality of Mercy" is an episode of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. The title is taken from William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice...

" and "Execution
Execution (The Twilight Zone)
"Execution" is an episode of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. It features Albert Salmi, who also plays the lead character in the Season 4 episode "Of Late I Think of Cliffordville".-Synopsis:...

" and also appeared twice as the incorrigible pirate, Alonzo P. Tucker on Lost in Space
Lost in Space
Lost in Space is a science fiction TV series created and produced by Irwin Allen, filmed by 20th Century Fox Television, and broadcast on CBS. The show ran for three seasons, with 83 episodes airing between September 15, 1965, and March 6, 1968...

. He appeared in a Gunsmoke
Gunsmoke is an American radio and television Western drama series created by director Norman MacDonnell and writer John Meston. The stories take place in and around Dodge City, Kansas, during the settlement of the American West....

episode as a killer who comes to an ironic end. He was a guest star in The Virginian
The Virginian
-Literature:* The Virginian , a novel by American author Owen Wister-Film:* The Virginian , a silent film directed by Cecil B...

episode as an outlaw who changed his ways to become a Franciscan monk. In a 1960 episode of Have Gun — Will Travel
Have Gun — Will Travel
Have Gun — Will Travel is an American Western television series that aired on CBS from 1957 through 1963. It was rated either number three or number four in the Nielsen ratings during each year of its first four seasons. It was one of the few television shows to spawn a successful radio...

he played a quick-tempered priest who risks his life to protect a wanted man from a vigilante. He guest starred in Naked City
Naked City
Naked City may refer to:*Naked City, a 1945 book of photographs by Weegee*The Naked City, a 1948 film noir inspired by Weegee's book*Naked City , a television series inspired by the film...

,Combat!, Bonanza
Bonanza is an American western television series that both ran on and was a production of NBC from September 12, 1959 to January 16, 1973. Lasting 14 seasons and 430 episodes, it ranks as the second longest running western series and still continues to air in syndication. It centers on the...

, The Big Valley
The Big Valley
The Big Valley is an American television Western which ran on ABC from September 15, 1965, to May 19, 1969, which starred Barbara Stanwyck, as a California widowed mother. It was created by A.I. Bezzerides and Louis F. Edelman...

, The Legend of Jesse James
The Legend of Jesse James (TV series)
The Legend of Jesse James is a 34-episode western television series starring Christopher Jones in the tile role of notorious outlaw Jesse James which aired on ABC from September 13, 1965, to May 9, 1966...

, Custer
Custer (TV series)
Custer, also known as The Legend of Custer, is a 17-episode military-western television series which ran on ABC from September 6 to December 27, 1967, with Wayne Maunder in the starring role of then Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer. During the American Civil War, Custer had risen to the...

, The Eleventh Hour
The Eleventh Hour (1962 TV series)
The Eleventh Hour is an American medical drama about psychiatry starring Wendell Corey, Jack Ging, and Ralph Bellamy, which aired sixty-two new episodes plus selected rebroadcasts on NBC from October 3, 1962, to September 9, 1964.-Series premise:...

, The Road West
The Road West
The Road West is an American Western television series that aired on NBC from September 12, 1966 to May 1, 1967 for twenty-nine episodes with rebroadcasts continuing until August 28. The hour-long series, sponsored by Kraft Foods, aired in the 9 p.m...

(in 1967 series finale "Elizabeth's Odyssey"), Knight Rider, and many other television programs, including James Franciscus
James Franciscus
James Grover Franciscus was an American actor, known for his roles in the series The Naked City and The Investigators, and in feature films.-Life and career:...

's short-lived 1961 series, The Investigators. He also had a regular role on the 1970s TV law series Petrocelli
Petrocelli is an American legal drama which ran for two seasons on NBC from September 11, 1974 to March 31, 1976.-Plot:Tony Petrocelli was an Italian-American Harvard-educated lawyer who grew up in South Boston and gave up the big money and frenetic pace of major-metropolitan life to practice in a...

. In Land of the Giants
Land of the Giants
Land of the Giants was an hour-long American science fiction television program lasting two seasons beginning on September 22, 1968 and ending on March 22, 1970. The show was created and produced by Irwin Allen. Land of the Giants was the fourth of Allen's science fiction TV series. The show was...

series finale he appeared as a pair of evil twins. He also appeared in an episode entitled The Jokester on Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Alfred Hitchcock Presents is an American television anthology series hosted by Alfred Hitchcock. The series featured dramas, thrillers, and mysteries. By the premiere of the show on October 2, 1955, Hitchcock had been directing films for over three decades...

. In 1980 he appeared alongside David Carradine
David Carradine
David Carradine was an American actor and martial artist, best known for his role as a warrior monk, Kwai Chang Caine, in the 1970s television series, Kung Fu, which later had a 1990s sequel series, Kung Fu: The Legend Continues...

 in the aviation film, Cloud Dancer
Cloud Dancer
Cloud Dancer is a 1980 adventure drama film directed by Barry Brown. It stars David Carradine, Jennifer O'Neill and Joseph Bottoms. The film follows a competition aerobatic pilot. It had its premiere in Milwaukee on 29 May, 1980.-Plot:...

. That same year, he played protagonist, Danny Noonan's father in Caddyshack
Caddyshack is a 1980 American comedy film directed by Harold Ramis and written by Brian Doyle-Murray, Ramis, and Douglas Kenney. It stars Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Ted Knight, Michael O'Keefe, Cindy Morgan, and Bill Murray...


Salmi and Garner divorce
Divorce is the final termination of a marital union, canceling the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage and dissolving the bonds of matrimony between the parties...

d on March 13, 1963. About the same time, he started a role as the comical Yadkin on TV's Daniel Boone
Daniel Boone (TV series)
Daniel Boone is an American action/adventure television series starring Fess Parker as Daniel Boone that aired from September 24, 1964 to September 10, 1970 on NBC for 165 episodes, and was made by 20th Century Fox Television. Ed Ames co-starred as Mingo, Boone's Native American friend, for the...

opposite Fess Parker
Fess Parker
Fess Elisha Parker, Jr. was an American film and television actor best known for his portrayals of Davy Crockett in the Walt Disney 1955-56 TV mini-series and as TV's Daniel Boone from 1964-70...

. He then remarried, his bride being Roberta Pollock Taper. They had two daughters.

A high point of Salmi's career came in 1968, when he was cast in the Arthur Miller
Arthur Miller
Arthur Asher Miller was an American playwright and essayist. He was a prominent figure in American theatre, writing dramas that include plays such as All My Sons , Death of a Salesman , The Crucible , and A View from the Bridge .Miller was often in the public eye,...

 play The Price
The Price (play)
The Price is a 1968 play by Arthur Miller. It is a piece about family dynamics, the price of furniture and the price of one's decisions. The play opened on Broadway at the Morosco Theatre on February 7, 1968 where it played until the production moved to the 46th Street Theatre on November 18, 1968....

. He played the lead on Broadway and in London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...



In 1990, Albert and Roberta Salmi were found shot to death in their home in Spokane, Washington
Spokane, Washington
Spokane is a city located in the Northwestern United States in the state of Washington. It is the largest city of Spokane County of which it is also the county seat, and the metropolitan center of the Inland Northwest region...

. According to police, Salmi, who was separated from Roberta at the time and was suffering from severe clinical depression, shot his wife and then himself.

Further reading

  • Spotlights & Shadows: The Albert Salmi Story (2nd edition), by Sandra Grabman. (2009) Albany: BearManor Media ISBN 1-59393-425-4.
  • Plain Beautiful: The Life of Peggy Ann Garner, by Sandra Grabman. (2005) Albany: BearManor Media ISBN 1-59393-017-8.

External links

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