Even her name evokes a show business legend, Katharine Kramer was named after her godmother Katharine Hepburn – had she been born a boy, she would have been named Spencer, for Spencer Tracy, her father – filmmaker, Stanley Kramer’s friend. Instead, she was named Katharine and Hepburn sent her a christening dress as a gift, and a note reminding her to “spell Katharine with an ‘A’.” So the baby who was to be a boy, was born a girl – with a heritage of a name people forget to spell with an “A” and a legacy from two legends out of the history of show business.
For a while, she seemed destined for a future in the world of dance. But somewhere down the line, Katharine changed her mind, and decided to pursue a career as an actress and singer.
The Kramer Family moved to Seattle, Washington when she was eight and she began to appear as a child performer in theatre. The city of Seattle has more theatre than any other city in the country,
In addition, she appeared in numerous commercials, modeled, and studied with the late Herbert Berghof and Uta Hagen in New York. Mr. Berghof said of her: “I believe she will prove herself in the theatre, as well as film and television as an exceptional high caliber performance.”
She also enjoyed success as a vocalist while still in her teens. Katharine (called Kat by close friends) has always been versatile vocally and has explored everything from pop, rock, to jazz and musical theatre. She was the girl vocalist with the teenage swing band H.B.Radke and Friends, very popular in the Pacific Northwest. She also belted out Cole Porter and George Gershwin classics with the swing band called Tuxedo Junction.
She premiered in a one-woman show “Judy-A Tribute” at the ripe old age of sixteen, and performed on the same stage with Billy Eckstein, Barbara Cook, and Dianne Schuur. She continued to develop her craft as a triple threat – actress, singer, and dancer in New York – then moved to Los Angeles at the age of 19, ready to conquer Hollywood.
Kat was the youngest performer to headline at The Cinegrill at The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel – and her two one-woman shows, “The Colors of Myself,” and “Kriss Krossing” were sell-outs. She also performed in various Los Angeles area Benefits sharing the stage with icons such as Liza Minnelli, Mel Tormé, Johnny Mathis, and John Riatt. She opened for the Jazz legend Anita O’Day at The Viper Room and at The Jazz Bakery. Kat was selected to perform as a guest star for The Diversity Awards in front of such luminaries as Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci, Shirley Maclaine, Milton Berle, and Mickey Rooney. She is currently recording her debut album, produced by Jimmy Rip, which is featuring guest duets with Billy Preston, Ivan Neville, and Bernard Fowler. It will be released in 2007.
Kat also opened a production company with the partnership of her mother Karen Sharpe-Kramer (actress and producer) in which she’s developing original projects.
She has a weekly column called “Words ‘N’ Music,” in “Entertainment Today,” and has also written cover stories and conducted one-on-one interviews.
She is presently seen on screens in Henry Jaglom’s indie hit “Going Shopping,” and will be seen as Tina in the up-coming Jaglom film “Hollywood Dreams.” In short, this is a young, renaissance woman, aspiring to make the climb to recognition in the footsteps of her godmother, Katharine Hepburn. And please do spell Katharine with an ‘A’. Kat is also the West Coast representative of the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, which will be the rebuilding of the 90 year old Town Hall in Old Saybrook, Connecticut An endowment for the theater will be established to fund scholarships and performances.