Mandel Kramer Commits Crimes on TV, Solves Them on Radio

Photo of Mandel Kramer when he appeared on CounterSpy radio series
Mandel Kramer during his years on CounterSpy

Ordinarily, on other programs in which he appears, Mandel Kramer is a two-faced, ornery killer, as likely to be erased on a show as not. It is seldom Kramer lasts to the end of any show -- except on CounterSpy, where he is Harry Peters, the hard-working associate of David Harding. At a time when TV has made tremendous inroads into the entertainment world, the 35-year-old Harrison, New York, gentleman is one of the handful of actors who has not been affected by the new medium. "I'm a product of radio," Kramer confesses.

Kramer is the sort of determined person who makes his own breaks when need be. He was brought up in Cleveland, where he attended Cleveland Heights High School and Western Reserve University. For no reason that Mandel can explain, he decided to become an actor. While he worked in his father's shoe store for the "fabulous" sum of $15 a week, Mandel studied in his spare time at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He then had a year in the Cleveland Playhouse, before getting a smattering of radio experience on station WTAM in Cleveland.

With $150 he had saved, Mandel set out for New York one day. He was sure that that great amount would see him through, and believe it or not, it did. Mandel won his first job by crashing an audition. He heard that a producer was auditioning for a role, and popped in at the studio declaring that he had already qualified for the tryout. She believed him, and the next thing you knew he was in front of the mike. They liked him, and Mandel launched his New York radio career.

In 1943, he tried out for Harry Peters, got the part, and has been successfully solving cases with David Harding week after week. When he's not doing Harry, he spends the rest of his working hours getting bumped off on other programs.

After work, Kramer commutes to Harrison, where he shares a lovely home with his family -- wife and two little girls. Once in his own backyard, no one would ever suspect Mandel of being an actor. He's a modest, likable guy, who wonders why anybody would ever want to write a story in a magazine about him.

From Radio-TV Mirror, March 1953

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