Spencer Tracy: Career, Movies, Height, Hit Movies, Roles

Spencer Tracy

Spencer Tracy is considered to be the ninth “Greatest make stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood.” There are several movies and performances that will show why this man is regarded among the best of the Golden age actors of Hollywood.

So if you wanna know more about the amazing movies that were delivered by Spencer Tracy, then scroll down. This way you will also know which movies you need to add to your watch list. 

Born Spencer Bonaventure Tracy, 
April 5th, 1900,
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
Died June 10th, 1967 (aged 67),
Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
Resting Place Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale
Occupation  Actor
Years Active 1921 – 1967
Spouse Louise Treadwell (m.1923 – sep.1933)
Katharine Hepburn (1941 – 1967)
Children 2
Height  1.77 m

Early Life: Who Is Spencer Tracy? 

Spencer Tracy

Spencer Tracy was born to John Edward Tracy and Caroline. Tracy had an older brother Carroll, who was about four years older than Spencer. Since childhood, Tracy was a hyperactive kid and difficult to handle. And due to this behavior of his, he had poor academic records and attendance in school. 

Earlier in life, he became highly fascinated with films and movies, always watching the same movies more than once and performing scenes for his friends and family. After he went to the Marquette Academy, Tracy truly began to take an interest in theatre and plays. 

This is where he became lifelong friends with Pat O’Brien, who piqued his interest in theatre. Later, both O’Brien and Tracy joined the army when they turned 18 and were sent to northern Illinois at the Naval Training Station. 

After Tracy was discharged from the army in 1919, he was compelled to go back to college as his father wanted one of his sons to have a college degree. Enrolling in Ripon College, Tracy became a popular kid, and he wanted to study medicine. 

It was in college when Spencer made his first stage debut with the play The Truth, playing the lead role. He was also on the debate team, and during a debate tournament tour, he came to New York and auditioned at the American Academy of Dramatics Arts.

After receiving a scholarship from them, Tracy left Ripon and went there and shared an apartment with Pat O’Brien, who was also a student there. He made his debut in the play The Wedding Guests. Then later, his Broadway debut was with R.U.R.

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Career And Filmography

Spencer Tracy

After he graduated from AADA, he left New York and came to Cincinnati since he was getting side roles in NYC. In Cincinnati, he got a small role in a play, A Royal Fandango, that starred Ethel Barrymore, “The First Lady of the American Theatre.”

Facing a few failures and bad reviews, Tracy wanted to quit stage acting, but the play Yellow, written by George M. Cohan, made him let go of the decision to leave. His next play was The Baby Cyclone which was again a hit. 

Spencer Tracy then acted in consecutive plays like Whispering Friends, Conflict, and Dread. Then with the play The Last Mile, Tracy received brilliant praise and reviews. The Commonweal said, “one of our best and most versatile young actors.” 

Seeing his performance in The Last Mile was director John Ford, who wanted Tracy to come to act in a movie for Fox Film Corporation. That is when Up the River became his debut movie, along with Humphrey Bogart. Tracy was given a contract after seeing his performance in the film. 

Soon after, his second film was released called Quick Millions. After a row of unsuccessful films, Tracy got out of his stereotypical roles and did the film Disorderly Conduct, which was a hit. 

Tracy thought of leaving Fox after a string of bad movies again, like Me and My Gal then came The Power and the Glory, which gave him strong reviews from all the critics. Tracy’s contract with Fox ended when MGM approached him with a seven-year-long contract. 

Rising Star

With the most respected production company MGM, Spencer Tarcy’s reputation was starting to grow. Producer Irving Thalberg once said, “Spencer Tracy will become one of MGM’s most valuable stars.” His first film was The Murder Man, which was James Stewart’s debut film.  

Then with a series of hit films like Whipsaw, Riffraff, and Fury, Tracy became a successful actor on his own. He received his first Academy Awards nomination with the film San Francisco. His reputation continued to shine with films like Libeled Lady, They Gave Him A Gun, and Captains Courageous solidified his career. 

Captain Courageous even got him his first Academy Award as the Best Actor. Then the movies Boys Town, Big City, Test Pilot, and Mannequin were also well received. Tracy soon became an established star for MGM, with movies like I Take This Woman, Northwest Passage, Edison, the Man, and Boom Town. 

Tracy, after reaching a certain point, started doing horror films like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; although the film was a commercial success, Tracy didn’t like the film as much. 

Then with the film Woman of the Year, his romance with Katherine Hepburn began. They did another film together, which was a huge success, The Philadelphia Story, which also had Cary Grant.  

After a long career with MGM, Spencer Tracy did popular movies with them in later years as well. Like Father Of The Bride alongside Elizabeth Taylor and also its sequel Father’s Little Dividend. Then he did films like The People Against O’Hara, Pat and Mike, Plymouth Adventure, and The Actress.

Personal Life

Spencer Tracy met his wife, Louise Treadwell, back while he was in New York. They were engaged in 1923. The couple had a son who was born deaf, and Tracy always thought it was because of his sins and never could connect with his son. 

Their daughter was born in 1932, but Tracy left his family in 1933. Although the couple was separated, they never divorced and remained friends always. Tracy was known to have affairs with a lot of his co-stars, like Loretta Young, Joan Crawford, Ingrid Bergman, and Myrna Loy. 

Then in 1941, he met Katherine Hepburn while filming Woman of the Year, ever since they became a lifelong couple deeply in love. He never went back to his family though he visited them frequently. 

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Wrapping Up!

Spencer Tracy became such a huge star, not without having a lot of obstacles on the way. He thought of leaving acting twice in his career, but his perseverance kept him going and that is how he became such an amazing actor. 

You can only understand his acting after you see most of his famous and critically acclaimed movies. This way, you will understand why he is regarded among the best.

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