DCS: albert salmi


Albert Salmi loved the stage and believed that film and television roles paled in comparison to the legitimate theater. In 1955, Albert starred as “Bo Decker” in the Broadway production of William Inge’s Bus Stop. He was offered to reprise the role in the 1956 film opposite Marilyn Monroe, but declined. Don Murray took the role instead and was nominated for an Oscar. Later, Albert was cast in the lead role in Arthur Miller’s The Price (a show currently enjoying a successful Broadway revival). He starred in the show on both the Broadway stage and in London.

Despite his love for the stage, Albert relented and took numerous film and television roles. In the 60s and 70s, he became a fixture on episodic television, appearing in (mostly villainous) guest roles on such varies series as The Virginian, Have Gun — Will Travel, Combat!, Bonanza, Hawaii Five-O, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Route 66, Land of the Giants, The Fugitive, Night Gallery, Kung Fu, The A-Team, Knight Rider and many others. In films, he co-starred in Escape from the Planet of the Apes, Viva Knievel!, Caddyshack and Dragonslayer. He played Geraldine Page’s husband in I’m Dancing as Fast as I Can and the hard drinking but loving father in Hard to Hold. Albert was part of the regular cast of the legal drama Petrocelli in the 70s, as well as companion to Fess Parker’s Daniel Boone a few years earlier.

Albert married actress Peggy Ann Gardner, best remembered for her moving role in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. The couple hit it off while performing together in Bus Stop. After seven years of marriage, they divorced and Albert married Roberta Taper in 1964. Albert retired from acting in 1983 and he and Roberta made their home in Spokane, Washington, away from the hectic Los Angeles life Albert was so accustomed to.

Roberta filed for divorce in February 1990. citing Albert’s alcoholism as a major factor. She claimed that Albert became abusive when he drank. As divorce proceedings progressed, Albert moved into an apartment on his own. On April 22, 1990, Albert drove to his one-time family home and shot Roberta to death in the kitchen. Then, he turned the gun on himself and took his own life. He was 62.



DCS: pepi lederer

Young Josephine Lederer was a welcome and frequent guest at Hearst Castle, the guest of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst and her aunt, Hearst’s lover, actress Marion Davies. Hearst was fond of Marion’s niece, as well as Josephine’s brother, future screenwriter Charlie Lederer. The energetic and vivacious Josephine earned herself the nickname “Peppy.” She altered the spelling and soon legally changed her name to “Pepi.”

As brother Charlie gained success in Hollywood with script refinement to The Front Page, Pepi was obligingly offered bit parts in some of Marion Davies’ films. She appeared in small roles in a few films, exhibiting only a modicum of talent. Angry at not being taken seriously as an actress, Pepi packed her bags and moved to London at 18 years of age. Instead of acting roles, Pepi discovered alcohol and drugs, cocaine in particular. She pursued numerous romantic affairs, specifically a lengthy relationship with actress Louise Brooks. She returned to the United States for an abortion when she discovered she was pregnant — quite a surprise — as Pepi was an affirmed lesbian. (It was later revealed that Pepi was raped at a New Years Eve party in 1929, while drunk.)

The abortion resulted in major health issues for Pepi. Coupled with her drug dependency, her physical and mental health were in a steady decline. Marion Davies had Pepi committed to a mental hospital. After just one day in the facility, Pepi crashed through the screened window of her sixth floor room and jumped to her death. She was 25 years old.



DCS: stephen furst


“Flounder, you can’t spend your whole life worrying about your mistakes! You fucked up! You trusted us!”

Stephen Furst was delivering pizzas to supplement his struggling acting career. Ever the innovator, he included his head shot with every pie he delivered. One day, he made a delivery to producer Matty Simmons, who was getting ready to cast his next picture, a raunchy look into the world of a college fraternity in the early 1960s. Matty was taken by the photograph and tagged Stephen as the hapless “Flounder” in Animal House, thus launching a career that spanned nearly four decades, including theatrical movies and regular roles on several successful television series.

Stephen passed away from complications from diabetes in June 2017, at the age of 63.



DCS: adam west

to the batpoles!

Adam West ended the decades-long controversy in a single sentence on an episode of the sitcom The Big Bang Theory:
“It should be me, Keaton, Kilmer, Lego, Bale, and the pretty boy Clooney.”

Adam passed away on June 9, 2017 after a short battle with leukemia. He was 88.

Here’s my own memory of West’s and Batman’s influence on my youth.



IF: skate

dedicated to Judy Arnold - the Original roller derby queen

The night that I fell in love with a roller derby queen
around and round, a round and round
The meanest hunk of woman that anybody ever seen
Down in the arena

This is dedicated to Judy Arnold, the original roller derby queen. As a member of the Philadelphia Warriors, a roller derby team in the 1970s, Judy was wildly popular among fans of the sport. She was hired as the stunt double for actress Raquel Welch in the 1972 film Kansas City Bomber, a story that was based on Judy’s career and capitalized on the meteoric rise in nationwide popularity of roller derby. It was during the filming of that movie that Judy reached a revelation in her life and abandoned the sport that made her famous.

Judy embraced Jesus.

Today, at 73, Judy spreads the word of the gospel across the country in personal appearances and on various religion-based radio programs. And, she admits, she still follows roller derby.