L.A. rabbi and actor dies

los angeles (jta) | Rabbi William Kramer, a leading West Coast clergyman and actor, died Saturday, June 12, at age 84.

Some 500 mourners attended the funeral services, where speakers included Kramer’s widow and eight grandchildren.

During 63 years in the rabbinate, “probably some 80 percent of Jews in the San Fernando Valley” of Los Angeles “have had a relative or friend married, buried or bar mitzvahed by Rabbi Bill,” said his son, Jonathan.

Kramer was a leading historian of early Jewish life in the Western United States, and a prolific author and journalist. Kramer’s white beard lent him the aspect of a biblical patriarch and he was cast as a rabbi in various movies, television shows and ads for bagels and yogurt.