Hello! Thank you for dropping in.
After writing articles for many years, I began the new millennium by authoring books.
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 24, 2009.
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 in 2008.
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.
All of these books can be viewed at my publisher’s website: BearManor Media. You’ll find they have many terrific books available about the entertainment of bygone years. Other outlets are Amazon.com or Barnes & 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
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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!
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