Houston Chronicle

March 26, 2000

Written by DAVID MARTINDALE

QUOTE:

"Kramer plans return to acting in L.A

Many actors say they can't bear to watch their own performances.

But when Stepfanie Kramer gets a look at herself in old episodes of Hunter, it isn't her acting that

makes her wince.

"I sit there and look at myself in gigantic hair and thick makeup," she says. "I mean, I'm just

covered with this facial makeup that's so intense. And the gigantic clothes! It's hysterical. I look

at myself that way and I wonder, 'What were we thinking?'"

Kramer played Detective Sgt. Dee Dee McCall partnered with Fred Dryer as Detective Sgt.

Rick Hunter during the first six seasons (1984-90) of one of the most successful cop shows of

the 1980s.

The show still has a following in the United States (reruns air at noon weekdays on TBS), but

Hunter is particularly popular in China, France and Germany.

"We're huge in China," says Kramer, 43. "Can you

believe it? They can't get enough of us there. That's why Fred is putting together a Hunter feature

film that we'll do. It will be shot in L.A. and in China, and it's for release in China and Europe.

"It will be very interesting to come back and re-enact those parts after all these years for a feature

film. But the hair, the makeup, that definitely will have to change."

Change is a key word for Kramer at the moment. Dee Dee remains her signature role, in large

part because the part made her a TV star, but also because she has kept a low profile in recent

years while she was busy with her family

Kramer and her husband of nearly eight years have a 5-year-old daughter. Lily.

"Now it's time for me to how do I put it? redefine my career," she says.

"I wanted to wait until Lily was 5. The first five years are really critical years. But I feel I have a

great deal to offer creatively and artistically and, as far as I'm concerned, only the surface has

been scratched. I look forward to going to the next step."

Actually, she has already taken that step in a different medium. A singer and songwriter, she has

recorded and released her debut CD, One Dream.

"I've been a singer-songwriter since I was a kid," says Kramer. "I was doing four sets a night five

nights a week in clubs all over L.A. before I did Hunter. And people who knew me just musically,

they would say, 'You're going to go do a TV series?' I would say, 'Yeah, you know, whatever

takes off first.'

"And Hunter took off first. But when I got hooked into that, of course, it really left little time for

a music career. There were two of us on the show, and it was 70, 80 hours a week."

Kramer plans to resurrect her acting career. The family is moving to Los Angeles this summer.

"The plan is to come back strong in TV and film again," she says. "This last year was really

focused in music and now it's time to go back to work in a much fuller sense."