SPOKANE, Wash. — Veteran actor Albert Salmi, who found steady Hollywood work in television Westerns like "Gunsmoke," was found shot to death along with his wife, and police said today that it appeared to be a murder-suicide.
Salmi, 62, apparently shot his 55-year-old estranged wife, Roberta G. Salmi, then killed himself, police spokesman Lt. Robert Van Leuven.
A neighbor who had gone to check on Roberta Salmi on Monday night saw her body on the kitchen floor through a window and called police. Officers forced their way into the home and found Salmi's body in an upstairs den, Van Leuven said.
Salmi had roles in at least 20 feature films, more than 150 television dramas and several Broadway plays.
His portrayal of Bo Decker, the Montana Romeo, in the 1955 Broadway production of "Bus Stop" helped launch his career. It led to his being offered the part of Bo in the film version. Salmi turned it down because--like most of his friends in Lee Strasberg's Actors' Studio--he believed that Hollywood actors were turncoats who sold out for fast money.
Born in Coney Island, N.Y., Salmi cherished most the Western Heritage Award from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame for portrayal of a cowpoke on television's "Gunsmoke."