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EWest ( 2007-01-08 )
According to the Internet Movie Data Base at www.imdb.com: Biography for William Tracy Mini biography Pittsburgh-born actor William Tracy was born on December 1, 1917, and began performing professionally as a youth. Trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Art, he appeared in musical and comedy roles until his big break arrived in 1937 at age 19 when he took over the role of fidgety military school "plebe" Misto Bottome in the hit Broadway show "Brother Rat." The following year he recreated the role in the film version of Brother Rat (1938) that had him in good standing company alongside up-and-coming Warner Bros. actors 5B4 'Wayne Morris' (I) , Priscilla Lane, Eddie Albert (also from the Broadway show) and both Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman, who would marry a short time later. William's second film assignment for Warners was playing 'Pat O'Brien' (I) 's as a young adult in the classic yarn Angels with Dirty Faces (1938). Hal Roach saw promise in the tousle-haired, innocent-looking youth with the slightly squealy voice and signed him up for a some WWII comedy programmers teamed up with actor Joe Sawyer. He and the tough-looking Sawyer played Sgts. "Dodo" Doubleday and William Ames, respectively, in the flimsy but fun misadventures of two soldiers at odds with each other, with Tracy's character having a photogenic memory which gets him into all sorts of expected trouble. Audiences took to the escapism and Roach obliged by churning out by recreating the characters in _About Face (1941)_, Hay Foot (1942), Fall In (1942) and _Yanks Ahoy! (1943). Tracy is best remembered, if at all, for playing the lead role in the film adaptation of the popular comic strip Terry and the Pirates (1940). Featured roles in such classics as The Shop Around the Corner (1940), Tobacco Road (1941), Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941) and George Washington Slept Here (1942) also endeared him to the public as the amiable but somewhat dull-witted fellow. Offers started drying up in post war years, however, and an attempt to re-team Tracy and Sawyer's sergeant characters with the second-string AC4 As You Were (1951) and Mr. Walkie Talkie (1952)_ fell flat. Tracy went on to appear on TV and was featured in the cast "Terry and the Pirates" (1952), not as the lead this time but in the role of Hotshot Charlie. From there he faded away into obscurity. He died in 1967 at age 49 in Los Angeles.
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