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Spencer Tracy

Spencer Tracy

Birthday: 1900-04-05 | Place of Birth: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Spencer Tracy was born four years after his brother Carroll to truck salesman John Edward and Caroline Brown Tracy. He attended Marquette Academy along with Pat O'Brien and the two left school to enlist in the Navy at the start of World War I. He was still at Norfolk Navy Yard in Virginia at the end of the war. At Ripon College he did well in the lead of "The Truth" and decided on acting as a career. In New York he roomed with O'Brien while they attended the Academy of Dramatic Arts. In 1923 they both got nonspeaking parts as robots in "R.U.R". In stock he supported himself with jobs as bellhop, janitor and salesman. John Ford saw his critically acclaimed performance in the lead role in in The Last Mile (1932) and signed him to Up the River (1930) for Fox. Despite appearing in 16 films there over the next 5 years, Tracy never achieved star status there (during his stint the studio had floundered and was absorbed into Darryl F. Zanuck's 20th Century Pictures). In 1935 he signed with MGM under the aegis of Irving Thalberg and his career flourished. He became the first actor to win back-to-back Oscars for Captains Courageous (1937) and in a project he initially didn't want to star in, Boys Town (1938). He was nominated 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). He had a brief romantic relationship with Loretta Young in the 1930s and a lifelong one with Katharine Hepburn beginning in 1942. His Catholic beliefs precluded ever divorcing his wife Louise, though they lived apart. Tracy suffered from severe alcoholism and diabetes (from the late 1940's), which unfortunately impacted his willingness to accept several tailor-made roles in films that would become big hits. Although his drinking problems were well known, he was inarguably considered one of the best actors in Hollywood among his peers (he had a well deserved reputation for keeping co-stars on their toes for his oddly endearing scene-stealing tricks) and remained in demand. A few weeks after completion of Stanley Kramer's Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), during which he suffered from lung congestion, he died of a heart attack.

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Known For

That's Entertainment!
That's Entertainment!

That's Entertainment!   1974

Release Date: 
1974

Rating: 7.7

genres: 
Documentary  /  Music  /  Family
Stars: 
James Stewart  /  Buddy Ebsen  /  Mickey Rooney
Black History: Lost Stolen, or Strayed
Black History: Lost Stolen, or Strayed

Black History: Lost Stolen, or Strayed   1968

Release Date: 
1968

Rating: 7.6

genres: 
History  /  Documentary
Stars: 
Bill Cosby  /  Stepin Fetchit  /  Roy Glenn
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner   1967

Release Date: 
1967

Rating: 7.8

genres: 
Drama  /  Comedy  /  Romance
The Big Parade of Comedy
The Big Parade of Comedy

The Big Parade of Comedy   1964

Release Date: 
1964

Rating: 4.9

genres: 
Comedy  /  Documentary
Stars: 
Cary Grant  /  Katharine Hepburn  /  Clark Gable
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World   1963

Release Date: 
1963

Rating: 7.6

genres: 
Adventure  /  Action  /  Comedy
Stars: 
Spencer Tracy  /  Milton Berle  /  Sid Caesar
How the West Was Won
How the West Was Won

How the West Was Won   1962

Release Date: 
1962

Rating: 7.1

genres: 
Adventure  /  Drama  /  Action
Stars: 
James Stewart  /  George Peppard  /  Raymond Massey

Acting

1967
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

as    Matt Drayton

1964
The Big Parade of Comedy

as    Haggerty in 'Libeled Lady' (archive footage)

1963
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

as    Capt. C. G. Culpepper

1961
Judgment at Nuremberg

as    Chief Judge Dan Haywood

1961
The Devil at 4 O'Clock

as    Father Matthew Doonan

1958
The Last Hurrah

as    Frank Skeffington

1958
The Old Man and the Sea

as    The Old Man

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