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The 'brains' and 'action' heavies who had meaty roles and lots of dialog ... and the players who were fathers, ranch owners, lawman, mayors, judges, lawyers, storekeepers, newspaper editors, wardens, etc.

(Courtesy of Jack Tillmany)
Dick Cramer

Full name:
Richard Earl Cramer

1890 - 1960

Dick Cramer was born in Ohio, and his early career was in traveling repertory theater including time on the New York stage. There are a few traces of Cramer's early stage career. Examples:

Cramer arrived in Hollywood around 1928 and became typecast as a swarthy and downright mean and ornery fellah in westerns, serials, Laurel and Hardy shorts, and various other A and B grade films. In westerns, he was sometimes the main heavy and sometimes a gang member. And if he got billing credit, he was sometimes listed as Richard Cramer or Dick Cramer along with a few other name variations including Rychard and Kramer.

Les Adams has him in 200+ sound era films, and of these, 94 are westerns and 14 are cliffhangers.

Some memorable Dick Cramer roles:

He had a concise dialog delivery, probably due to years of stage work. But he also had a unique sound (drone) to his voice.

I tend to remember Cramer just as pictured in the Tim Holt saloon scene below - he's wearing a bartender's apron (and was often cantakerous). In the 1940s, he did barkeep duty in about two dozen westerns with Lash LaRue, Eddie Dean, Bob Steele/Billy the Kids, Lone Rider adventures, more. You can spot him often in the Range Busters series. There were 24 of those ... and Cramer bartended in nine.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are Cramer, Cliff 'Ukelele Ike' Edwards and Tim Holt in PIRATES OF THE PRAIRIE (RKO, 1942). Cramer was about 52 years old when he did this oater. PIRATES was a re-make of the earlier George O'Brien LEGION OF THE LAWLESS (RKO, 1940), and Cramer did his bartender role in that film also.

By the mid 1940s, there was a significant drop in Cramer's film jobs. From then into the early 1950s, he picked up an occasional uncredited role - for example, he was a mild-mannered cattle buyer negotiating with feisty Sarah Padden in the Eddie Dean Cinecolor SONG OF OLD WYOMING (PRC, 1945).

Cramer passed away on August 9, 1960 from cirrhosis.

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) has information on Dick Cramer:

The Internet Broadway Database lists a 1920 and 1923 New York stage play for Cramer:

YouTube has some Dick Cramer films in varying quality which you can stream or download:

The Family Search website (free), (subscription), the California Death Records database, and the death certificate have information on Dick Cramer:

(Courtesy of Duane Harlow)

Above from left to right are Steve Clemento/Clemente (seated at table), Dick Cramer and Jack Perrin. Unidentified still from either LARIATS AND SIX-SHOOTERS (Robert J. Horner, 1931) or 45 CALIBRE ECHO (Robert J. Horner, 1932). Both starred Jack Perrin and both films are among the lost and missing.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above - Richard 'Dick' Cramer as "Bull Lemoyne") has his grip on Gertrude Messinger while hero Lane Chandler looks on in this title card from LAWLESS VALLEY (Kent, 1932).

(From Old Corral image collection)

Above is Bob Custer tangling with Cramer in the serial, the LAW OF THE WILD (Mascot, 1934).

(From Old Corral image collection)

Above - Dick Cramer doin' battle with Bob Custer on the left and cross-eyed Ben Turpin on the right in an unidentified scene still from the LAW OF THE WILD (Mascot, 1934) cliffhanger.

(From Old Corral image collection)

Above from L-to-R are Richard 'Dick' Cramer, June Marlowe, Charline Barry (child) and Wheeler Oakman in a lobby card and a crop/blowup from RIDDLE RANCH (Beaumont, 1935). This June Marlowe is not the June Marlowe of Our Gang fame. Cramer was a good guy rancher in this.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above is a lobby card from SANTA FE BOUND (Reliable, 1936), the last of Tom Tyler's eighteen films for B. B. Ray and Harry Webb at Reliable Pictures. From left to right are Charles 'Slim' Whitaker, Jack Hendricks, Tyler, Ed Cassidy (mustache) and Dick Cramer. Cramer was the brains heavy in this ... and he was billed third as "Richard Kramer" (with a K). In the photo inset on the right are leading lady Jeanne Martel, Tom Tyler, and Earl Dwire. Tyler and Jeanne Martel were husband and wife ... for a brief time.

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