Filmmaker Stanley Kramer is set to be honored with the 421st Star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars.
The posthumous honor, will take place on Saturday Dec. 9, 2017 at 3 p.m. at 296 South Palm Canyon Drive.
Stanley Earl Kramer was considered within the film industry to have served as “Hollywood’s Conscience” during his career as film director and producer. Some of his most notable films include, “The Caine Mutiny”, “High Noon”, and “The Defiant Ones”.
Born Sept. 29th, 1913 in the Hell’s Kitchen section of New York City, Kramer suffered abject poverty after being abandoned by his father in his early years. Raised by his mother, Mildred Kramer and his maternal grandparents in cramped cold water flat, Kramer divided his time between his education and odd jobs throughout his childhood. Though his family hoped to steer his exceptional academic skills into law school, Kramer was introduced in his youth to the film industry through his mother’s clerical work for Paramount Studios in New York, and set his cap on a film career.
Between 1948 and 1951 Kramer enjoyed unusual success for an independent filmmaker, his work embracing such timely topics as ethnic bias in the military (“Home of the Brave”) and the lasting effects of war on those who fought it (“The Men”, which introduced Marlon Brando).
While the film establishment and the conservative sectors regarded his work coldly on the other hand thinking audiences and early civil rights supporters applauded Kramer’s films. In 1951, after the success of “Cyrano de Bergerac”, (star Jose Ferrer earned an Oscar for his title role) Kramer signed a 5-year contract with Columbia Pictures, a sacrifice for funding he later likened to selling his soul to Columbia’s head Harry Cohn.
Stanley Kramer received the “first” completed star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in March 1960. His Palm Springs star is long overdue. Kramer did have a home in Palm Springs back in the 1960’s and 70’s.
He visited almost every weekend. His 1963 comedy classic “It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” was largely filmed in Palm Desert.
Stanley Kramer’s 35 motion pictures earned a total of 85 Academy Award nominations, with wins of 15 awards-none of which went to producer-director Kramer.
Kramer, who remarried in 1966, retired from film making in 1977 and left Hollywood to raise a second family with his wife, actress Karen Sharpe in Seattle, Washington. Kramer spent an active retirement, teaching at area colleges, authoring a popular regular column for the Seattle Times and hosting radio shows. After returning to California in the late 1980s, Kramer was honored with a Producers Guild of America David O. Selznik Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 1998 a special NAACP honor acknowledging his effort to highlight and counteract racism.
Stanley suffered for a number of years from severe diabetes. His wife Karen, of 35 years, took care of him, and his increasing fragile health. After a brief battle with pneumonia, Kramer passed away peacefully in his sleep on February 19th, 2001. His wife Karen Sharpe-Kramer, and daughters Katharine, Jennifer and Casey survive him. His son Larry is also deceased.
In 2001, the year Stanley passed away, his widow Karen Sharpe-Kramer, established the Stanley Kramer Award at The Producer’s Guild Of America. They are about to announce the recipient who will be honored at The PGA Awards in January 2018.
“We are very proud to honor Stanley Kramer with a star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars” said Bob Alexander, President of the Palm Springs Walk of Stars.
The star dedication ceremony is open to the public and the media. Guest speakers include Academy Award winning actor George Chakiris from “West Side Story.”
There will be a book signing of a new book coming out about Stanley Kramer titled “Producer Of Controversy” by Jennifer Frost at 5pm at the Camelot Theatre located at 2300 E. Baristo Rd., which will be followed by a screening of one of Kramer’s most memorable movies, “The Defiant Ones” at 7:00 p.m. Call the Camelot Theatre at (760) 325-6565 for movie ticket information.
For more on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars, click here.