Bert Kramer; Actor in TV and on L.A. Stage

From a Times Staff Writer

Bert Kramer, who conquered childhood polio and the near loss of a leg in an auto accident to earn an athletic scholarship to UCLA and then become a successful actor, has died. He was 66.

Kramer, who portrayed Joseph in the recent "The Confession" section of "Boys to Men" and the Los Angeles fire chief in the 1997 film "Volcano," died June 20 at USC's Norris Cancer Center, four years after he was first diagnosed with melanoma.

Equally adept at films, television and stage, Kramer, according to his agent, turned down a role on Broadway in Lauren Bacall's "Woman of the Year" to star in his own TV soap opera, "Texas," in 1980. Kramer's character was murdered after a year.

He also had roles in the soap "The Young and the Restless" and guest-starred on such prime-time series as "Mission: Impossible," "Mannix," "MASH," "Kojak," "The Rockford Files" and "Matlock."

In local theater, Kramer earned a Drama-Logue Award in 1978 for his role in "The Trip Back Down" and was nominated three times for the Drama Critics Award.

Born Albert George Kohnhorst in San Diego, he earned a bachelor's degree in history from UCLA and worked as a stockbroker before turning to acting in his mid-20s.

Kramer is survived by his wife, Patricia Lynn; three children and four stepchildren; one sister; and three grandchildren.

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