Hello! Thank you for dropping in.
After writing articles for many years, I began the new millennium by
The first one to be published, a biography entitled
Spotlights & Shadows: The Albert Salmi
Story, was released in February, 2004. Albert was a wonderful
actor, and his was a very familiar face to us Baby Boomers as we were
growing up. He appeared on most of the popular shows of the 1960s and
1970s, usually as the dastardly bad guy or the intimidating authority figure.
“What was he really like?” his fans wonder. Four years of
research went into this book, and it paints a picture of a man who was quite
different from his bad-guy screen image. The 2nd edition, with two more
chapters and the memories of more of his friends, was released on December
My next book was about actress Peggy Ann Garner, who earned a
Special Oscar at the tender age of thirteen for the 1945 film A Tree
Grows in Brooklyn. She did an amazing job in that classic movie, as
well as her earlier one, Jane Eyre. Right at the age that most
child stars have to sit out their awkward years, Peggy Ann was flying high.
Always kind, always caring and thoughtful, Peggy grew up to become a
true lady whose inner strength carried her through some very trying times.
Her biography, entitled
Plain Beautiful: The Life of Peggy Ann
Garner, was released in February, 2005.
My third biography was of the lovable Pat Buttram, and it was released
in September, 2006. In talking with Pat’s family, friends, and
fellow actors, I’ve learned many surprising and delightful things
about him. For instance, we all know him as Gene Autry’s sidekick
of the 1950s, Green Acres’ Mr. Haney, and a very
recognizable voice in several Disney animated films, but did you know that
his peers also considered Pat to be one of the best after-dinner speakers
in Hollywood? With just a few scribbled notes on the back of an envelope,
he could deliver a hilarious monolog. Pat wrote original jokes for many of
the big names in the business and had a soft heart for charities, as well.
What a guy! His biography is entitled
Pat Buttram: Rocking Chair
Humorist. The 2nd edition of this book came out in 2010.
Then my writing went in a different direction. Taking a break from
biographies, I began focusing on a book about the live television
broadcasts of the 1940s and 1950s, from the actors’ perspective.
Retired actor Wright King and I collaborated on this project. Wright, a
thoroughly likable and knowledgeable man, has wonderful memories of
those golden days that we share with you. Add to that the memories of
some of his co-stars of that era, and you’ll learn a lot, with some
laughs thrown in for good measure. (The “Bloopers”
chapter is a hoot!) This book, entitled
No Retakes!, was published
Then it was back to biographies, the form of writing I enjoy the most.
One can learn so much about life by studying the triumphs and adversities
of others. For two years, radio host Joel Blumberg and I researched the life
and work of a fantastic actor for the book
Lloyd Nolan: An Actor’s Life With
Meaning, and it appears we came up with a winner. Joel went into
great detail about Lloyd’s films and their histories, and I focused on
his off-screen life. Lloyd was a true gentleman and fine actor, as well as an
exceptional father to his autistic son. This book was released in 2010, just
months before co-author Joel died suddenly of a heart attack on his way to
broadcast a sporting event at Madison Square Garden.
In December, 2017, my latest project was published – a book
about the 1974-76 television series Petrocelli, starring Barry
Newman as attorney Anthony J. Petrocelli, Susan Howard as his loving
wife and helpmeet Maggie, and Albert Salmi as ex-cop investigator Pete
Ritter. Both Barry and Susan were very helpful by sharing their memories
with me of those golden days. What makes this “lawyer show”
different from the others is our being shown various ways in which the
crime could have been committed while leaving the same clues. It’s
a happy day when we can figure out whodunit before Tony reveals it at the
end of the episode. The series had a wealth of notable guest stars, many
of whom were already well-known and others who would reach super
stardom in later years. The title of the book is
Petrocelli: An Episode Guide and Much
All of these books can be viewed at my publisher’s website:
Media. You’ll find they have many terrific books available
about the entertainment of bygone years. Other outlets are
Noble, or you can ask your local bookstore to order them for you.
A number of my articles have appeared in magazines over the years,
and some of them are posted on this site. Here’s one that’s
dear to my heart:
“‘Impossible’ is Just a
Frame of Mind.”
“I am the book reviewer for Classic
Images magazine. I get hundreds of books a year to review.
Many are terrible, sad to say. But when I get a book written by
Sandra Grabman to review, I know – immediately – that
it will be good. She’s an excellent writer, conscientious,
and writes from the heart. Her books are always well researched and
she organizes her material with an expert hand. Few biographers can
delve deeply into their subject’s private life without sounding
like a gossip monger. Sandra transcends that; she is respectful,
without being boring, without being sappy. A subject handled by
writer Sandra Grabman is a subject well handled.“
Laura Wagner, Book Critic, Classic Images magazine,
June 7, 2009
Follow the authors on the
Media Facebook page!
Tune into Sandra’s YouTube channel for videos
of her books ~
Sandra Grabman’s books are available through these
on-line booksellers. Fans in Canada, Europe, and Australia –
BearManor Media can now ship books to you!
BearManor Media ~
Amazon U.S. ~
For your Amazon U.S. Kindle ~
And for your audio bookcase ~
- Spotlights & Shadows: The Albert Salmi Story ~
- Plain Beautiful: The Life of Peggy Ann Garner ~
- Lloyd Nolan: An Actor’s Life With Meaning ~