Dee Dee McCall, Rick Hunter’s heroine invited by Télé Star

 

Stepfanie Kramer:

 “ My life in Hollywood, my vacations in Paris”

    She turned up on our TV sets, gun in the hand, in January 1988. A charming female cop, by the side of Fred Dryer (Rick Hunter). Stepfanie established herself very quickly as the French viewer’s favorite Sunday heroine. After an exclusive welcome in Los Angeles, Stepfanie was our guest in Paris. We invite you to discover the album of her French-American memories.

Photo 1:The introduction of Stepfanie to “Télé Star”: “You have been fantastic! Thanks for this wonderful stay in Paris!”                                                                        

 Photo 2: Dee Dee McCall, an ace lady-cop

                        Stepfanie: “My dream week in Paris.”

    Paris took her in its arms! (Note of the translator: allusion to a French song :)). During one week, Stepfanie Kramer walked in this town that she adores, striding along the streets, the flea market, visiting Versailles and the Malmaison, participating in “Tous à la Une” ( “Everyone on the front page”) with Patrick Sabatier without forgetting some culinary stops.  It was a dream stay from which she came back dazzled. She has promised she will come again next year. The lady-cop will be then a singer.

    8 o’clock in the morning, at the South-Orly airport. The passengers from the Los Angeles flight via Chicago  (a very short stop) are submitting to the customs formalities. One of the policemen quickly recognizes the face of Stepfanie Kramer alias Dee Dee McCall, our Sunday heroine. He hardly has a quick look at her passport before leting her proceed on to national territory.

     The American actress is happy to set foot on French soil. In top form, in spite of the 14 hour flight, and accompanied by her agent-manager, Sue Patricola, she gets in a black limousine waiting for her. Max, the chauffeur, welcomes her and takes her luggage. Destination: the Plaza-Athénée. It’s in the luxury hotel of the avenue Montaigne, suite 109-110, she will reside during her week of vacation in Paris.

      No sooner had she set her down luggage than - with an American friend passing through in the capital- she leaves for the flea market of the Porte de Vanves. Stepfanie likes hunt for bargains, looking for antiques to decorate her Los Angeles house or to give to her loved family and friends. In casual clothes (she is particularly fond of jeans), the actress walks incognito in the middle of the crowd.

       After the flea market of Vanves, she goes to the flea market of Saint-Ouen where there is a large crowd in spite of the rain and the rather cool temperature. A long visit where she is lost in the rows and the booths of the antique dealers. “I think this place is absolutely beautiful and unique in the world.” She says. “Nevertheless, I haven’t found one thing yet that want to buy.”

       The following day, Stepfanie, who is starting to get around very well in the capital (it’s her fifth trip since she came with a boyfriend when she was a student.), strolls at Saint-Germain-des-Prés. She takes her time in front of the clothes shop windows of the Left Bank. “I already have all I need, but I love to change my look every day.” she confides. It’s like becoming a different person.   What also surprises her, apart from the abundance of shops, is the feeling of security in the streets of sixth arrondissement. “In Los Angeles, it’s another atmosphere…and then, people here have manners and are polite.”

        The one digression in this timetable of relaxation, will be the presence of  Miss Kramer at the TV program “Tous à la Une” where she will be  the guest star. At the studios of  the Plaine Saint-Denis, Patrick Sabatier and his team enthusiastically welcome Rick Hunter’s partner. A real professional, the young woman prepared for this important appointment. She conversed with the presenter a few minutes before the beginning of the TV program, and she insisted on doing her own makeup in her dressing room.

         Dressed in a clingy black mini-skirt, before going down to the set, she wants to visit the production department  to ask Rémy Grumbach (the director of “Tous à la Une”) where the cameras were placed. Stepfanie doesn’t forget she directed several “Rick Hunter” episodes.

         Her tourist visit was deeply affected by the history and traditions of our “Old Continent”, one of the actress’ passion. As proof of this passion, she went to Rueil, and the Malmaison manor, the Empress Josephine’s residence. She read many books about Napoléon yet she is still surprised by his small height. Looking at one of his costume, she exclaims: “This didn’t prevent him from being a very active and energetic leader. He hardly took time to eat. About twenty minutes!”

    Walk at “Champ-de-Mars”

          Tireless, our Stepfanie also took advantage of some sunshine to go for a walk at “Champ-de-Mars” and at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. Some children approach her to offer some sprigs of lily-of-the-valley. A tradition that reminds her of some memories. “It’s the same in USA. Like all of the children in my class, I brought a basket of flowers to my mom. I hid a note in it that told her how I felt. I waited out of the house for mom to open it…”

          Another visit for Stepfanie Kramer, the palace of Versailles. During each of her previous stays, she had planned it but at the last moment had to cancel. This time, she was present at the iron gate opening of the palace of Louis XIV. A guided tour in a small group. One of her compatriots, a Texan, had quite unpleasant manners and was embarrassing the others, but Stepfanie didn’t hesitate to reproach him. She even started to imitate him with an incredible sense of caricature. Of the palace of Versailles, she has however kept the fantastic sight of the Hall of mirrors. “One of the wonders of the history of art!”

           On the other hand, she had a different impression at the sight of  the Louvre pyramid. It’s ugly! I don’t understand how they dared to build this thing!”  On the same day, she went to the Louvre museum. Stepfanie stayed for a long time in front of the paintings, with of course, a special fondness for the Mona Lisa. Really moved (she was so deeply moved that she had tears in her eyes), the actress confesses, “ Sometimes, I paint. My parents said that I had started at 4 years old! I’m afraid that it was only scribbles…”

           Stepfanie scrupulously looks after her body and also her food. Very conscious of her diet –she is a vegetarian and doesn’t even drink a drop of alcohol-, even so, she ate in the nicest restaurants in the capital. Notably at Adrienne’s restaurant, in the Halles’ district. The owner of this famous landmark made her sign the visitors’ book. Of course, in the streets, Stepfanie was able to verify that her popularity has ranked with the best.

           Her fans constantly asked her autographs – and even kisses. Among her fans, many  Italians. It’s true that after Paris, Rome is her favourite town.    

Photo 1:

Breakfast in her luxurious suite of Plaza-Athénée, the luxury hotel of  Avenue Montaigne.

Photo2-3:

In Saint-Germain-des-Prés, she enjoys shopping and walking.

Photo 4:

Stepfanie has been dazzled by the Versailles’ splendors.

 Photo (on the TV set)

“Tous à la Une”, with Patrick Sabatier (on the left) and Carlos by her side.

The box:

Her reactions after “Tous à la Une”

● Patrick Sabatier : “ He has a nice smile, he asked me good questions and above all he is a very warm person. I very much  liked taking part in the program.”

● The audience : “ I have a real regret, I hate to turn my back to the audience. And feel all these people behind me, who I couldn’t see from the front, and it embarrassed me. I’m sorry for them.”

 Photos of sk_telestar004

After she had visited the “Jardin des Tuileries” (photo on the left), Stepfanie, onboard her luxurious limousine, stopped for a snack break at a famous Parisian ice-cream parlour.

Following in the steps of Napoleon and Josephine, at the Malmaison palace. Dee Dee has been touched by the décor of  the emperor’s bedroom.

Claude Darcey ( CEO of “Télé Star”) and Stepfanie. “Thank you  «Télé Star» !”

At  the “Halles”, Stepfanie was enthusiastic about the lunch cooked by Adrienne, the chef of “Chez la vieille” (“at old woman’s”). A tasty moment shared with the team of “Télé Star”. From left to right : Amable de Fournoux (editor in chief), Stepfanie, Adrienne (behind), Rémy Pernelet ( the editor chief’s assistant), Sue Patricola (Stepfanie’s manager), Judith (one of her friends), Jacqueline Ducrez (general secretary) and Claude Darcey (CEO)

Stepfanie : “ My new passion : music.”

Before her trip to Paris, she received us at her home in Hollywood.

       After 6 years of good and faithful service at Rick Hunter’s side, Stepfanie Kramer said good bye to Dee Dee McCall to start a new singing career. A few days before taking off for Paris, Stepfanie received us in Hollywood to talk about her passions : music, work and nature. The secrets of a happy star.

       It is needless to ask Stepfanie if she is happy : her happiness is written on her face. “I have worked very hard to be able to devote myself to my one passion: music. Yes,  I had to take a circuitous route. But, today, I’m at the point of releasing my first album, and I can’t help expressing my joy.”

       Stepfanie Kramer’s new life has gotten off to a fast start. 24 hours after the shooting of her last “Hunter” episode, she was already in the recording studios for her first recording rehearsal. 3 days later, she left for Italy, to take part in  a TV show. After an extended stay in Europe, another trip, to China this time. Then London to record another part of her future album. “I only came back home for Christmas, to spend the holidays with my family . This new freedom has been delightful.”

       To keep this freedom, she had to learn to say “no”. “You can’t imagine the number of roles offered to me since “Hunter” ended. I’m flattered to know they think of me. But I don’t intend to take another job that will keep me on the set 12 or 14 hours a day. I shot some TV movies, but that takes only one or two weeks and then they’re done. That keeps me free and that’s what I need the most right now.  To be available to put all my energy into the music.”

       Her music, it’s what we call in the USA “adult oriented rock” as opposed to teenaged “dance music.”  “I don’t do pop or dance music. I have nothing against it but I had a classical training. At 15, I was mezzo-soprano.     She wasn’t satisfied with just performing, she also composed songs for her album. “I’m not the kind of person who can sit facing their sheet music from 9 am to 5 pm  thinking : “You’re there to write, so write!”. For me, it’s more spontaneous. One morning, I get up and I know if I will be able to write. I feel inspiration coming.”

A lot of luck and work.

       With music, some shooting, trips, Stepfanie Kramer isn’t short of work. And what about a personal life? “When we devote ourselves to a career, it’s hard to have a personal life. For the moment, I “live” music, I “eat” music, I “breathe” music. And that will be the case until the album is released.” So, there’s no need to talk to her about marriage. “I  don’t have that planned for the time being” she confirms. “It’s a part of my life I think about…but for later. I want to have a family and children one day, without necessarily sacrificing my career. I want to find a balance between the both of them.”

       Meanwhile, the press didn’t forget to betroth her on several occasions, and , of course, credit her a with love affair – wrong – with Fred Dryer when the series started. Contrarily to most of actresses, Stepfanie doesn’t take offense. “It’s a part of our profession. But you shouldn’t attach importance to it. All I have to do is go out to a restaurant with a friend and I will learn the following day that I’m living a “passionate love”  that will end certainly with a wedding. So I’ve been «married» to more men than I have had partners. It’s better not to take this seriously and laugh about it.”

    What Stepfanie takes seriously, on the other hand, is her work : “You have to go ahead and let nothing divert you from your course, she says. Like if you’re wearing blinders…I can’t imagine - I ought to say: «I can’t imagine anymore», because I knew this situation – to do something I don’t like, waiting for the end of the day, counting the hours. It’s true I have been very lucky.”

   “I wasn’t born like you see me today. I’m 34, and only a few days ago, my mother said to me : «My god, what a direction you went…it’s like you had already lived several lives».”  Family is very important to Stepfanie. “ Besides my mother , I often see my older brother who lives in nearby. He is a writer and a script writer. Together we talk, of course, about the profession . I ask him his opinion about scripts I get.”

     When her job lets her take a breather, Stepfanie takes refuge in her hidden mountain chalet hidden, a 2 hour drive from Hollywood. While she was shooting “Hunter”, she spent her spare time furnishing and decorating it. “I am,  and I have always been , very close to nature. It’s a wonderful place. In winter, I ski a lot; in summer, I  hike on the mountain trails. The house is surrounded with tall pine trees. When it’s snowing , it’s magic! Animals often come and venture to my door. There is a large fireplace in which big logs can burn. I like to read in front of the fire, listening to music. As you see, nothing extraordinary. But there is a big difference between the life I lead in town and the peaceful moments I spend in the mountains… When I can escape.” Alas! The busy program of Stepfanie Kramer, hardly leaves her time to go and breath the pure air of the mountain tops!

Photo 1 :

Stepfanie is opening doors to us of her house in Hollywood, embellished with a swimming pool at the edge of which the star likes relax.

Photo 2 :

Her passion for music gives her time to take care of her plants: “I have a green thumb” she admits.

Photo 3 :

Her friend and theatrical agent, Sue, assures Stepfanie is a good cook .

Photo 4 :

Her favorite room : the lounge. Her little dog thinks the same.

Photo 5 :

Stepfanie’s one regret : having to leave her adorable little Shi-tzu, a Tibet dog while on her trip to Paris.

Photo 6 :

Dee Dee McCall and Rick Hunter, stars of the series that had gained the actress popularity.

“Thank you Rick Hunter”

Just like one had “engaged” her with Fred Dryer from the beginning of the series, the rumors went flying around when Stepfanie gave up her character Dee Dee McCall in “Hunter”. “One said I left because I didn’t get along with Fred anymore (Dryer, Rick Hunter). Nothing could be more wrong! I just spent 6 years playing the same role. It was time to make a change.”  Stepfanie doesn’t regret playing sergeant Dee Dee McCall. “I’m grateful to the series for the experience, the popularity, the financial benefits. But it also helped me to become more self-aware. It’s like I grew up on it.” The day she made her decision, there was a year remaining on her contract since she was signed for 7 years. Producers do not normally appreciate one leaving early. It was nothing of the kind for Stepfanie. “ They have been all very kind with me. No unpleasant words. Everything went smoothly. For me, it has been the end of an era.”