Feb. 19, 2001
Among the first of the successful postwar independent producers, the serious, quietly articulate Stanley Kramer made his name with edgy black and white films featuring top-flight actors before they were "names."
Those films include "Champion," an anti-boxing tale about a "thoroughgoing heel," that made stars of Kirk Douglas and Ruth Roman and "The Men," a story of paraplegic war vets that marked Marlon Brando's motion picture debut. Brando also starred in Kramer's 1954 motorcycle gang film, "The Wild One."
Kramer's 35 films, 18 of which he directed, were nominated for 85 Oscars and won 15 statuettes. In 1961, he received the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science's Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, the highest production accolade the film industry bestows.