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Spencer Tracy

Spencer Tracy

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Broken Lance DVD Spencer Tracy takes a break from his typical good guy roles to play the... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

State Of The Union DVD Academy Award-winners Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy flourish under the... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Bad Day At Black Rock DVD Spencer Tracy stars as John J. MacReedy, a crippled stranger who takes a train... more info $5.99was $19.98 Buy Now

Captains Courageous DVD As Great As "Mutiny On The Bounty"The fishing schooner We're Here has just... more info $9.99was $19.98 Buy Now

Father Of The Bride DVD The Bride Gets The Thrills! Father Gets The Bills!"I would like to say a few... more info $7.99was $14.98 Buy Now

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner: 40th... Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn (who won the Academy Award® for Best Actress... more info $14.99was $14.99 Buy Now

Also Known As: Died: June 10, 1967
Born: April 5, 1900 Cause of Death: heart attack
Birth Place: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA Profession: actor, door-to-door salesman, bellhop, janitor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

In the early 1930s, Spencer Tracy's truculent attitude and thunderingly aberrant behavior were his only defenses against studio power brokers who cast him as stereotypical con men, buddies and gangsters. But by the end of the decade the actor's on-screen style--seamless naturalism and subtle inflections--had proved the ticket to stardom. A Tracy performance was always more than just action; there was always an undercurrent of mental activity beneath the surface. Stanley Kramer, who directed him in several films, recalls: "I was afraid to say, 'Spencer, you're a great actor. He'd only say, 'Now what the hell kind of thing is that to come out with?' He wanted to know it; he needed to know it. But he didn't want you to say it--just think it. And maybe that was one of the reasons he was a great actor. He thought and listened better than anyone in the history of motion pictures. A silent close-up reaction of Spencer Tracy said it all." Tracy's seemingly effortless approach earned him the respect of his peers, helping him to become one of the most distinguished and venerated actors of his generation.

In the early 1930s, Spencer Tracy's truculent attitude and thunderingly aberrant behavior were his only defenses against studio power brokers who cast him as stereotypical con men, buddies and gangsters. But by the end of the decade the actor's on-screen style--seamless naturalism and subtle inflections--had proved the ticket to stardom. A Tracy performance was always more than just action; there was always an undercurrent of mental activity beneath the surface. Stanley Kramer, who directed him in several films, recalls: "I was afraid to say, 'Spencer, you're a great actor. He'd only say, 'Now what the hell kind of thing is that to come out with?' He wanted to know it; he needed to know it. But he didn't want you to say it--just think it. And maybe that was one of the reasons he was a great actor. He thought and listened better than anyone in the history of motion pictures. A silent close-up reaction of Spencer Tracy said it all." Tracy's seemingly effortless approach earned him the respect of his peers, helping him to become one of the most distinguished and venerated actors of his generation.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Going Hollywood: The War Years (1983) Himself (Archival Footage)
2.
 Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967) Matt Drayton
3.
 How the West Was Won (1963) Narrator
4.
 It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) Capt. C. G. Culpeper
5.
 Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) Judge Dan Haywood
6.
 The Devil at 4 O'Clock (1961) Father Matthew Doonan
7.
 Inherit the Wind (1960) Henry Drummond
8.
 The Last Hurrah (1958) Frank Skeffington
9.
 The Old Man and the Sea (1958) The old man [Santiago]
10.
 Desk Set (1957) Richard Sumner
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Before college, enlisted in Navy with boyhood friend, Pat O'Brien at age 17
1922:
Moved to NYC
1922:
Broadway debut, first as a walk-on, then a speaking part in Theatre Guild production of Karel Capek's "R.U.R."
1930:
During Broadway run of "The Last Mile", made several talking short subjects for Vitaphone and four unsuccessful screen tests for major studios
1930:
Feature film acting debut in "Up the River"
1930:
Signed by Fox Pictures for a five-year contract
1935:
Joined MGM until contract terminated in 1956
1937:
First actor to win two Academy Awards as "Best Actor" in succession
1942:
First screen pairing with Katharine Hepburn in "Woman of the Year"
1945:
Returned to Broadway stage in Robert Sherwood's "The Rugged Path"
1967:
Last film, "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" (Tracy died two weeks after production; awarded posthumous Oscar nomination)
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Marquette Academy: Milwaukee , Wisconsin -
Northwestern Military Academy: -
Ripon College: Ripon , Wisconsin - 1921
American Academy of Dramatic Arts: New York , New York - 1922 - 1923

Notes

"What Tracy offered as characterization was a combination of masculine personality and seemingly total sincerity. In the bulk of his cinema work, he demonstrated an impressive truthfulness of character which appeared steeped in infinite wisdom and compassion for his fellow man. Tracy's acting technique was effortless and without the nervous mannerisms that were the hallmark of so many other individualistic stars. Tracy's one dominant indentifying professional trait was his look of total concentration. He was Daniel in the lion's den; be it surrounded by women, children, or natural disaster, his solidarity quieted down all outside forces."--James Robert Parish ("The MGM Stock Company")

Tracy was also nominated for Oscars for "San Francisco" (1936), "Father of the Bride" (1950), "Bad Day at Black Rock" (1955), "The Old Man and the Sea" (1958), "Inherit the Wind" (1960), "Judgment at Nuremberg" (1961) and "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" (1967).

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Louise Treadwell. Actor. Married in 1923; met while in stock; founded John Tracy Clinic, medical center for the deaf; survived him.
companion:
Loretta Young. Actor. Met while filming "A Man's Castle" in 1933; to end Hollywood gossip, Young made a public statement that since both she and Tracy were Catholics and could never properly marry, they had agreed not to see one another socially again.
companion:
Hedy Lamarr. Actor. Reportedly began a relationship during filming of "I Take This Woman" in 1938.
companion:
Katharine Hepburn. Actor. Together from 1942 until his death.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
John Edward Tracy. Truck salesman.
mother:
Carrie Tracy.
son:
John Tracy. Born deaf.
daughter:
Louise Tracy. Born on July 1, 1932.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Spencer Tracy"
"Tracy and Hepburn"
"An Affair to Remember: The Remarkable Love Story of Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy" William Morrow

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