Spencer Tracy in 1948Spencer Bonaventure Tracy
(April 5, 1900 — June 10, 1967) was an American actor. Respected for his natural style and versatility, Tracy was one of the major stars during The Golden Age of Hollywood
. In a screen career that spanned 37 years and featured 75 movies, he was nominated for nine Academy Awards
for Best Actor and won two, sharing the record for nominations in this category with Laurence Olivier
. In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked Tracy as one of the top ten Hollywood legends.
Tracy, a notable casanova
, famously mantained for 26 years a relationship
with Katharine Hepburn
, his twin soul inside and outside the film sets, acting together in 9 movies. Tracy never returned to live in the family home and the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
moguls were careful to protect their contract big stars from controversy. Tracy wished to conceal his relationship with Hepburn from his wife (and as a devout Catholic, he would never divorce her), so it was hidden from the public. The couple did not live together until the final years of Tracy's life but the nature of the Tracy-Hepburn partnership was an Open Secret
Spencer Tracy was often cited by his contemporaries as the one of the best actors in films. Tracy portrays characters with on-screen style, seamless naturalism and subtle inflections, he simply is the man he is playing. In an era when movie stars found their niches and repeated their popular roles with only minor changes, Tracy ranged from sportswriter, convict or patriarch to war hero, fisherman, judge or priest. He could be hilarious in comedy, frightening in anger or tender in love scenes
Spencer died in 1967, two weeks after the completion of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
. 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. His requiem congregated an unprecedented amount of stars and active pallbearers included George Cukor
, Stanley Kramer
, Frank Sinatra
, Jimmy Stewart
and John Ford
Spencer Tracy in fiction
- The Aviator depicts Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy (played by Kevin O'Rourke) hooking up on a movie set while she's still in a relationship with Howard Hughes (in reality, she and Hughes had already broken up).
Tropes associated with Spencer Tracy.