|This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2013)|
in the trailer for The Brothers Karamazov (1958)
March 11, 1928|
Brooklyn, New York, US
|Died||April 22, 1990
Spokane, Washington, US
Cause of death
|Suicide by gunshot|
|Greenwood Memorial Terrace|
|Education||Haaren High School|
Peggy Ann Garner (m. 1956; div. 1963)
Albert Salmi (March 11, 1928 – April 22, 1990) was an American actor of stage, film, and television.
Salmi was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, to Finnish immigrant parents. He attended Haaren High School in Manhattan. Following a stint in the Army during World War II, Salmi took up acting as a career, studying Method acting at the Actors Studio with Lee Strasberg.
In 1955, Salmi starred as Bo Decker in the play Bus Stop on Broadway and also performed in the touring production of the play. His performance was praised by critics and Salmi was offered the chance to reprise the role in the 1956 film version of the play starring Marilyn Monroe. Salmi turned down the offer because he did not enjoy film work (Don Murray was later cast as Bo and earned an Academy Award nomination for his work in the film). Salmi turned down several other offers to make films before he finally accepted a role as Smerdjakov in the 1958 movie version of The Brothers Karamazov, with Yul Brynner, Lee J. Cobb, William Shatner, and Richard Basehart. Salmi's next film was The Bravados in which he played one of the villains hunted down by hero Gregory Peck. The National Board of Review presented Salmi with the NBR Award for Best Supporting Actor for his work in both of these films.
Salmi was a noted character actor who appeared in over 150 film and television productions. Despite his numerous appearances in the medium, he held the opinion of many Actors Studio alumni that roles in film and television were "inferior" to stage work. One of his first television appearances was in the 1956 live, televised adaptation of the novel Bang the Drum Slowly, featured on the anthology series The United States Steel Hour opposite Paul Newman and George Peppard. He also had several memorable roles on CBS's The Twilight Zone including "Of Late I Think of Cliffordville", "A Quality of Mercy" and "Execution" and also appeared twice as the incorrigible pirate, Alonzo P. Tucker on Lost in Space. He appeared in a 1967 episode of Gunsmoke as a killer who comes to an ironic end. For that performance, Salmi was awarded Western Heritage Award.
Salmi also had guest starring roles in numerous television series including The Virginian, Have Gun — Will Travel, Naked City, The Investigators, Combat!, Stoney Burke, Bonanza, The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters, Redigo, The Big Valley, The Legend of Jesse James, Custer, The Eleventh Hour, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Road West, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Route 66, Land of the Giants, Night Gallery, Kung Fu (TV series pilot), and Knight Rider. A high point of Salmi's career came in 1968, when he was cast in the Arthur Miller play The Price. He played the lead on Broadway and in London.
From 1974 to 1976, Salmi co-starred on the NBC legal drama, Petrocelli. In 1980, he appeared alongside David Carradine in the aviation film, Cloud Dancer. That same year, he played protagonist, Danny Noonan's father in Caddyshack. In 1984, he played the hard drinking but loving father of character Diane Lawson in the movie Hard to Hold.
Salmi met actress Peggy Ann Garner while the two were performing in the National Company touring production of Bus Stop in 1955. They were married on May 18, 1956 in New York City. Their only child, Catherine Ann "Cas" Salmi, was born on March 30, 1957 (Catherine died in 1995 of heart disease at the age of thirty-eight). Salmi and Garner separated in 1961 and divorced on March 13, 1963.
Salmi married Roberta Pollock Taper in 1964. The couple had two daughters, Elizabeth and Jennifer. The family moved from Los Angeles to Spokane, Washington in 1983 where Salmi went into semi-retirement only taking the occasional acting role. He later taught acting and appeared in regional theater.
In early February 1990, Albert and Roberta Salmi separated. He moved into a nearby condominium while Roberta Salmi remained in the family home. She filed for divorce on February 6, 1990. According to court documents, Roberta Salmi claimed that her husband was an alcoholic who physically abused her when he drank. She also claimed that Salmi threatened her on several occasions and she was fearful that he might kill her. Roberta Salmi later took out a restraining order against her husband. Salmi denied physically abusing Roberta and blamed their split on her emotional issues.
On April 23, 1990, Salmi and his estranged wife Roberta were found dead in their Spokane, Washington home. According to police, Salmi, who was suffering from severe clinical depression, fatally shot his wife in the kitchen of their home on the morning of April 22. Salmi then shot himself later that day in the den.
- "Albert Salmi, Actor, 62, Is Found Shot to Death in Home With Wife". The New York Times. April 25, 1990. Retrieved March 29, 2008.
- Garfield, David (1980). "Appendix: Life Members of The Actors Studio as of January 1980". A Player's Place: The Story of The Actors Studio. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. p. 278. ISBN 0-02-542650-8.
- Pettit, Stefanie (February 17, 2011). "Landmarks: Actor’s murder-suicide left behind fame, forgiveness". spokesman.com.
- Walter, Jess; Sowa, Tom (April 25, 1990). "Shooting victim feared for her life". Spokane Chronicle. p. B8.
- McLellan, Dennis (June 7, 2007). "Baseball novelist, author of 'Bang the Drum Slowly, among others". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. B-3.
- Scott, Vernon (October 11, 1974). "Albert Salmi Finnish Hero". Boca Raton News. p. 9.
- Parish, Robert James (1976). Hollywood Players: The Forties. Arlington House Publishers. p. 262.
- "Peggy Ann Garner To Marry Friday". Kentucky New Era. May 16, 1956. p. 10.
- Motion Picture (Macfadden-Bartell) 47: 98. 1957.
- Walter, Jess (May 10, 1990). "Actor wasn't drinking before murder, suicide". The Spokesman-Review. p. B4.
- Walter, Jess (May 10, 1990). "Actor wasn't drinking before murder, suicide". The Spokesman-Review. p. B1.
- "Albert Salmi". The Spokesman-Review. April 26, 1990. p. D7.
- Spotlights & Shadows: The Albert Salmi Story (2nd edition), by Sandra Grabman. (2010) 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.
- Albert Salmi at the Internet Movie Database
- Albert Salmi at the Internet Broadway Database
- Albert Salmi at Find a Grave
- Albert Salmi mini-bio