A Forum for the Fans of
Albert Salmi as “Cletus Grogan” in the
episode “Jinx” (Dec. 2, 1965).
Albert felt a responsibility to his audience, giving his roles everything
he had so the viewers would come away satisfied. As a result, he had
This page is dedicated to those fans. Here is what they have to
Albert Salmi made a lifelong impression on me the
very first time I saw him. He was on TV portraying a Native American.
(In fact his character was White Horse, the naturalized Apache man in
The High Chaparral episode “A man to match the
land”.) I thought he was wonderful, and so handsome both in
face and stature! His character was injured and had all my sympathy.
A few years later when I began trying to learn Finnish, I realized straight
away from his name that his family must have been from Finland. But
it’s only this year that I finally read about him. What a
marvelous actor and what a great, dear man. God bless him.
Klaus D. Haisch:
I remembered [Twilight Zone’s
episode entitled] “Execution” from the first time I saw it. Up
until that time, in all the Westerns I saw, mainly Lone Ranger
reruns and Gunsmoke – it was always summertime in
the Old West. I actually thought that the Old West was always
sunny and hot, year ‘round. Kind of like an “endless
summer”. It struck me when Caswell described his Old West of
1880 as a “frozen mesa” where he’d need another
man’s coat to keep from freezing. Albert didn’t write those
lines, but oh, the way he delivered them! I can honestly say that over the
years, I had forgotten virtually every Western TV show I ever saw (maybe,
if I happen to see a Lone Ranger episode on late night cable
now, I might remember one scene) – but I remembered
Albert’s performance as Caswell forever. Albert Salmi –
Once you see his acting, you’ll never forget him.
When I was a ten- or eleven-year-old kid, some friends
and I heard that the TV show Route 66 would be shooting an
episode in my hometown of Niagara Falls, NY. The most accessible place
for us to reach on our bicycles was a trailer park in the LaSalle area of
Niagara Falls. Albert Salmi was one of the guest stars, and I got his
autograph. I also got the autograph of an actress [on the show]. That has
been about forty years ago, but the one thing that sticks in my mind most
about that day is that Salmi was very gracious about signing his autograph,
whereas the actress was not.
Albert is the one who completely immerses himself into
the role. I think I understand now why so few people recognize him; he
was just so versatile and seemed to surrender himself to the roles he
portrayed that few of us recognize him or his name. He “became”
so many people. Most of the other actors I’m familiar with seem
to me to be portraying themselves in large measure.
Albert was very good at eliciting
emotion from the viewer. His sensitive portrayal of the Rafe character in
The Virginian episode “A Little Learning” is
a good example of this. Rafe was so downtrodden, so mercilessly teased
by the townsfolk that the audience was moved to tears. I can attest to that
fact. I, too, cried for his character, as did so many other viewers.
He was always very popular here in Australia. I was
mesmerized by his performance. He paid great attention to the finest
details of his performance – the eye movements, the subtle
changes of facial expression and the body language were all so expertly
reflective of the characters he portrayed.
Early in 1999, I played the role of baddie Jud Fry in
the stage show Oklahoma. Traditionally, Jud has been done
as a very one-dimensional, brutish character, but I thought that I would
try to bring something new to the role. I thought “How would
Albert Salmi have done this?” I looked at quite a few of his works
on video . . . and then used my imagination and came up with a character
who was bad, but who was still a human being. I did my best at copying
Albert’s oft-used slow and deliberate speech pattern. The whole
thing went quite well, judging from some of the positive comments I
Warren F. Hall:
I noticed and remembered him from his early film career
in the late fifties to all of the TV movies he made in the eighties (even the
silly ones he helped make watchable). . . I never got to see him act on a
stage. That would have been a special experience. The man could make
you feel. The man could make you care. Thank God we have so much of
him on tape.
An anonymous fan:
When I was just a boy in late elementary school age,
I used to watch Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone
just about every episode. I LOVED that show! It was so far ahead of its
time! I also LOVED westerns back then (mid 1950’s - early
60’s). But of all the episodes I watched through those years
The T. Z. was on TV, one in particular etched into my mind
and never left its indelible impression, because it combined both the fantastic
(T. Z. material) and the western saga: of a man who, in the
1880’s, hung from a rope for killing another man, but just as he
began dangling from the rope he disappeared, then reappeared alive on
a cot in an office in New York City in 1960. I sat MESMERIZED watching
this 1880’s cowboy terrified and nearly going crazy at all of the
sights and sounds of “life in the big city” in the 2nd half
of the 20th century. And I thought – WOW! what an idea for a
show. Of course, that cowboy who was transported from the 1880’s
to 1960 through the time machine shown in the show, was ALBERT
SALMI!! But I never knew the title of that episode way back then (1960).
But all through the years, after The T. Z. left the airwaves,
I wondered and wondered who that guy was as that episode would
periodically come back to my memory. Finally, only a year or two ago
(2002 or 2003), I was in an electronics store looking at DVD movies and
saw a special section on old TV series for sale. And there was The
Twilight Zone series – a whole lot of them. So I took each
and every volume off the shelf and read very, very closely and carefully
each one’s description. When I saw the little picture of the Old
West hanging and read the description, I KNEW this was the ONE! It
was entitled, simply “Execution.” So I bought it, took it
home, and put it on – and more than 40 years of waiting FINALLY
came to an end! Now, when I have trouble sleeping at night, I go into the
living room and put on “Execution” and go back into my
own time machine, of sorts – 44 years back to 1960. And each
time it begins, my imagination becomes as vivid and “child-like”
at 56 now as I was at 11 or 12 when that episode first aired. I watch it
over and over and over and still LOVE every second of it!
I want to state officially that I believe Albert Salmi was
the greatest actor of all time. We miss you, Albert.
If you’d like to add your memories of Albert to this page,
please send them to Sandra Grabman at
We always love to hear from his fans.
Spotlights & Shadows: The Albert Salmi
Story, by Sandra Grabman, is available in both print and
audio formats. Read by author Michael Hoctor, the unabridged
audiobook runs 6 hours and 58 minutes.
Print edition ~
eBook edition ~
Tune into Sandra’s YouTube channel for
a video about
Spotlights & Shadows:
The Albert Salmi Story ~