Spencer Tracy

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Spencer Tracy
Spencer Bonaventure Tracy
BirthplaceMilwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.

Tracy, Spencer,

1900–1967, American film actor, b. Milwaukee, Wis. He began his career as an actor in summer stock and went into film work in 1930. His fine character portrayals won him Academy Awards for Captains Courageous (1937) and Boys Town (1938). An actor of rugged strength and sensitivity, he appeared in Cass Timberlane (1947), Father of the Bride (1950), The Last Hurrah (1958), and as the only character in The Old Man and the Sea (1958). Tracy and Katharine HepburnHepburn, Katharine,
1907–2003, American actress, b. Hartford, Conn. She made periodic stage appearances from 1928 on and debuted in the first of her 43 films in 1932; in her early roles she was usually cast as rather brittle, one-dimensional characters.
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, together in nine films, including Woman of the Year (1942) and Desk Set (1957), provided the screen with a delightful, intelligent team.


See biography by J. Curtis (2011); D. Deschner, The Complete Films of Spencer Tracy (1987); G. Kanin, Tracy and Hepburn (1971).

Tracy, Spencer


Born Apr. 5, 1900, in Milwaukee, Wis.; died June 10, 1967, in Beverly Hills, Calif. American film actor.

Tracy graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Art and made his theatrical debut in 1922. He first appeared in motion pictures in 1930 in Up the River. He created profoundly individual and human characters in his portrayal of the flight mechanic Gunner in Test Pilot (1938), Father Flanagan in Boys’ Town (1938), and Edison in Edison the Man (1940). Tracy’s greatest creative achievements came in films that raised important social issues and in which he generally played characters struggling for justice in difficult and dramatic circumstances. Such roles as Colonel Drummond in Inherit the Wind (1960) and Judge Hayward in Judgement at Nuremberg (1961), both directed by S. Kramer, established Tracy as one of the finest actors in the American cinema.

Tracy also starred in Fury (1936), Captains Courageous (1937), Stanley and Livingstone (1939), The Seventh Cross (1944), The Old Man and the Sea (1958), and It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963).


Kartseva, E. N. Spencer Tresi. Moscow, 1970.


Tracy, Spencer

(1900–67) movie actor; born in Milwaukee, Wis. After World War I service in the Navy, he played the lead in a college play and then enrolled in drama school, making his Broadway debut in a bit part in 1922. His feature film debut was in Up the River (1930). He first played gangster roles, graduated to priests and friends of the hero, and ended up playing gruff, humorous men with integrity. He won an Oscar for Captains Courageous (1937) and Boys Town (1938). In 1942 he began an intimate relationship with Katharine Hepburn that would remain a well-known secret until his death, but as a devout Catholic he would not divorce his wife of some 20 years.