Stanley Kramer (1913–2001)
Producer | Director | Miscellaneous Crew
Date of Birth 29 September 1913, Hell's Kitchen [now Clinton], Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA
Date of Death 19 February 2001, Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA (complications from pneumonia)
Birth Name Stanley Earl Abramson
Stanley Kramer was born on September 29, 1913 in Hell's Kitchen [now Clinton], Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA as Stanley Earl Abramson. He was a producer and director, known for Judgment at Nuremberg (1961), Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967) and It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963). He was married to Karen Sharpe, Anne P. Kramer and Marilyn Erskine. He died on February 19, 2001 in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA.
Karen Sharpe (1 September 1966 - 19 February 2001) (his death) (2 children)
Anne P. Kramer (3 June 1950 - 10 July 1964) (divorced) (2 children)
Marilyn Erskine (15 September 1945 - 1945) (annulled)
Has a street in Berwick, Australia where part of On the Beach (1959) was filmed, named in his honour - Kramer Drive.
Biography in: John Wakeman, editor. "World Film Directors, Volume Two, 1945-1985". Pages 538-544. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1988.
Directed 14 different actors in Oscar-nominated performances: Tony Curtis, Sidney Poitier, Theodore Bikel, Cara Williams, Spencer Tracy, Maximilian Schell, Judy Garland, Montgomery Clift, Oskar Werner, Michael Dunn, Simone Signoret, Katharine Hepburn, Cecil Kellaway and Beah Richards. Hepburn and Schell won Oscars for their performances in one of Kramer's movies.
After graduating from New York University in 1933, majoring in writing, Kramer accepted an internship in Hollywood as a production assistant. He worked as a set p.a. at several studios from 1933 onward and eventually worked at Universal in the early 1940s as part of the swing gang in the art department.
Was to name his child after Spencer Tracy, but when the baby turned out to be a girl, he named her after Katharine Hepburn. Hepburn was also her godmother.
After his retirement in 1980, he moved to Seattle, where he wrote a column for the Seattle Times and taught at the University of Washington and Bellevue Community College.
After graduating De Witt Clinton High School, he attended New York University, graduating with a degree in business administration. His articles for a university publication won him a contract as junior writer at 20th Century Fox, earning $70 a week. For the next fourteen years, he worked as a scriptwriter/researcher at Fox, Republic and Columbia; as set dresser, researcher and editor at MGM and as associate producer for Loew-Lewin. Formed his own production company in 1947, in conjunction with Carl Foreman and George Glass. Under contract as director at United Artists (1955-63) and Columbia (1965-67; 1970-73). Had a reputation for being frugal, working well within his budgetary limitations. Many of his films reflected social or political concerns and were often controversial. He was consequently -- and to his chagrin -- tagged as a "message film maker" and "Hollywood's Conscience".
His mother worked as a secretary for Paramount. One of his uncles worked in distribution for Universal.
Served in the Army Signal Corps during World War II, making training films. He finished the war with the rank of first lieutenant.
His films Home of the Brave (1949) and Champion (1949) were the only two major box office hits United Artists had in 1949.
NYU, Kramer's alma mater, awarded him its prestigious Gallatin Medal in 1968. The award honors persons whose accomplishments are of "lasting significance to society." Three of its previous eleven recipients were Dr. Jonas Salk, Ralph Bunche, and C. Douglas Dillon.
He died of complications from pneumonia at the Motion Picture Home, in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles.
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