Home / Biography / Spencer Tracy

Spencer Tracy

Biography

Received 9 Academy Award nominations for Best Acting professional across his career and received the award 2 yrs inside a row for the motion pictures Captains Courageous (1938) and Kids City (1939). He was a hyperactive college student and frequently ditched course. After learning with Dominican nuns, he became captivated by movie theater. He and his close friends later started their own performing organization, The Campus Players. His last film, Think Who’s Arriving at Dinner, was finished 17 times before his loss of life and gained him a posthumous Academy Honor nomination for Greatest Acting professional. He was wedded to Louis Tracy from 1923 to 1967. He dated celebrity and regular co-star Katharine Hepburn from 1941 until his loss of life 26 years later on. Sir Laurence Olivier ultimately linked him for profession Academy Honor nominations for Greatest Acting professional when he gained his ninth nomination for The Kids from Brazil in 1978.

Quick Facts


Full Name Spencer Tracy
Date Of Birth April 5, 1900
Died June 10, 1967, Beverly Hills, California, United States
Place Of Birth Milwaukee, WI
Height 1.78 m
Profession Movie Actor
Education American Academy of Dramatic Arts, St. Mary's College, Ripon College, Marquette University High School, Northwestern Military and Naval Academy, Rockhurst High School, Milwaukee High School of the Arts
Nationality American
Spouse Louise Tracy
Children John Ten Broeck Tracy, Louise Treadwell Tracy
Parents John Edward Tracy, Caroline Brown
Siblings Carroll Tracy
Awards Academy Award for Best Actor, Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture – Drama, BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, Cannes Best Actor Award, David di Donatello for Best Foreign Actor, National Board of Review Award for Best Actor
Nominations BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actor
Movies Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Adam's Rib, Woman of the Year, Bad Day at Black Rock, Inherit the Wind, Father of the Bride, Captains Courageous, Boys Town, Desk Set, Judgment at Nuremberg, Pat and Mike, State of the Union, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Father's Little Dividend, Keeper of the Flame, The Old Man and the Sea, Fury, The Last Hurrah, The Sea of Grass, Broken Lance, Up the River, A Guy Named Joe, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Libeled Lady, Edison, the Man, Boom Town, Man's Castle, Northwest Passage, The Mountain, The Seventh Cross, How the West Was Won, Me and My Gal, Test Pilot, Stanley and Livingstone, Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, 20,000 Years in Sing Sing, Tortilla Flat, Men of Boys Town, The Actress, Marie Galante, Edward, My Son, The Devil at 4 O'Clock, The Murder Man, Plymouth Adventure, Cass Timberlane, I Take This Woman, San Francisco, The Power and the Glory, Quick Millions, They Gave Him a Gun, Now I'll Tell
TV Shows MGM: When the Lion Roars
Star Sign Aries

  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

#Fact
1Shared his birthday with Bette Davis.
2His mother was a client of Maria Altmann, who ran a clothing business in Los Angeles.
3Along with Laurence Olivier, he is one of only two actors to receive nine nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actor. He was nominated for San Francisco (1936), Captains Courageous (1937), Boys Town (1938), 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 won the award for both Captains Courageous (1937) and Boys Town (1938).
4One of the few truly famous actors who lived well into the age of television, but never made an appearance acting on a television program.
5He came to Hollywood's attention after eight years on stage with his performance as Killer Mears in "The Last Mile." His subsequent screen tests were not a big success, but after John Ford saw him twice in the role, Fox allowed him to hire the actor for his debut feature film, "Up the River.".
6Harold Clurman on Tracy: " He was the universal American: honest, calm, considerate, free of all phoniness. There was in him no petty motive or concealed malice. He was a man.".
7Katharine Hepburn on Tracy: "He's like an old oak tree, or the summer, or the wind. He belongs to an era when men were men.".
8Director Vincente Minelli quoted the actor as saying, " it was a badge of honor for an actor to be a drunk.".
9Is one of 8 actors who have received an Oscar nomination for their performance as a priest. The others, in chronological order, are: Charles Bickford for The Song of Bernadette (1943); Bing Crosby for Going My Way (1944) and The Bells of St. Mary's (1945); Barry Fitzgerald for Going My Way (1944); Gregory Peck for The Keys of the Kingdom (1944); Karl Malden for On the Waterfront (1954); Jason Miller for The Exorcist (1973); and Philip Seymour Hoffman for Doubt (2008). Tracy, Crosby and Fitzgerald all won Oscars for their performances.
10Twice earned Best Actor Oscar nominations for playing "foreign" fishermen: as Manuel in Captains Courageous (1937) for which he did win his first Oscar, and then as The Old Man in The Old Man and the Sea (1958), almost 20 years later.
11Was announced as co star with Paul Newman and Robert Mitchum in the Jerry Wald production of The Enemy Within, based on the book by Attorney General Robert Kennedy, which at 1962/63 was in preparation for Twentieth Century Fox.
12He appears in four of the American Film Institute's 100 Funniest Movies: Adam's Rib (1949) at #22, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) at #40, Father of the Bride (1950) at #83 and Woman of the Year (1942) at #90.
13Cousin of Gabrielle Christian.
14Turned down the role of the judge in Anatomy of a Murder (1959), Edward Arnold's role in Come and Get It (1936), Michael Rennie's role in The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), Desi Arnaz's role in Forever, Darling (1956), William Powell's role in Mister Roberts (1955), Donald Crisp's role in National Velvet (1944), Melvyn Douglas's role in Ninotchka (1939), and Gregory Peck's role in The Yearling (1946).
15He has a grandson, Joseph Spencer Tracy.
16He was making a cup of coffee on the morning of 10 June 1967 when he suffered a sudden heart attack. Katharine Hepburn found him dead on the kitchen floor.
17Was seriously ill with emphysema as well as diabetes when he made his final film Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967).
18Has a street named after him in Iowa City, Iowa.
19He was supposed to appear in Cheyenne Autumn (1964) and The Cincinnati Kid (1965), but suffered a severe heart attack in 1963. Edward G. Robinson replaced him in both movies.
20As of 2009, he is only one of six performers who won a Golden Globe Award as Best Lead Actor/Actress in a Motion Picture Drama without being nominated for an Oscar for that same role (for The Actress (1953)). The others are Anthony Franciosa in Career (1959), Omar Sharif in Doctor Zhivago (1965), Shirley MacLaine in Madame Sousatzka (1988), Jim Carrey in The Truman Show (1998) and Kate Winslet in Revolutionary Road (2008).
21Received a posthumous Best Actor Academy Award nomination for his film Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967). His widow Louise attended the ceremony in the event that he would win. However, the award went instead to Rod Steiger for In the Heat of the Night (1967).
22Warner Bros. bought the rights to the book "Mute Witness" about a Boston detective who ate a lot of ice cream and never solved a case with Tracy in mind to star. Upon Tracy's death, a chase scene was added to the script, the location changed to San Francisco, and the character - Detective Frank Bullitt - changed to be played by Steve McQueen.
23Attended the Democratic National Convention in 1944.
24He is featured as a character in the mystery novel, "Dead at the Box Office" by John Dandola, which is set during the World Premiere of Edison, the Man (1940).
25He was sought for Fredric March's role in The Desperate Hours (1955) opposite Humphrey Bogart, but would not take second billing.
26Turned down Cary Grant's role in The Philadelphia Story (1940) because he was eager to make Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941).
27His son, John Tracy, died June 15, 2007, at his son's home in Acton, Calif. He was 82. Cause of death, following a long illness, was unknown. His sister, Louise Treadwell "Susie" Tracy, announced his death.
28He won an Oscar for playing Father Edward Flanagan in Boys Town (1938), making him one of 18 actors to win the Award for playing a real person who was still alive at the evening of the Award ceremony (as of 2015). The other seventeen actors and their respective performances are: Gary Cooper for playing Alvin C. York in Sergeant York (1941), Patty Duke for playing Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker (1962), Jason Robards for playing Ben Bradlee in All the President's Men (1976), Sissy Spacek for playing Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)_, Robert De Niro for playing Jake La Motta in Raging Bull (1980), Jeremy Irons for playing Claus Von Bullow in Reversal of Fortune (1990), Susan Sarandon for playing Sister Helen Prejean in Dead Man Walking (1995), Geoffrey Rush for playing David Helfgott in Shine (1996), Julia Roberts for playing Erin Brockovich in Erin Brockovich (2000), Jim Broadbent for playing John Bayley in Iris (2001), Jennifer Connelly for playing Alicia Nash in A Beautiful Mind (2001), Helen Mirren for playing Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen (2006), Sandra Bullock for playing Leigh Anne Tuohy in The Blind Side (2009), Melissa Leo for playing Alice Eklund-Ward in The Fighter (2010), Christian Bale for playing Dickie Eklund in The Fighter (2010), Meryl Streep for playing Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady (2011) and Eddie Redmayne for playing Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything (2014).
29Longtime companion Katharine Hepburn did not attend his funeral out of respect to his family.
30His father, John Tracy, worked as a clerk at a railroad office.
31Was supposed to star in Ten North Frederick (1958), but had to withdraw due to poor health and was replaced by Gary Cooper.
32Advertised Lucky Strike cigarettes.
33Tracy's political views are disputed. Some sources state that he was an arch conservative during the 1930s, but his views moderated after he met Katharine Hepburn. Others say that he was always a moderate Democrat. He often said he believed actors had no place in politics.
34Didn't like to rehearse and would read through a scene only once, five days before shooting. He also never liked to shoot a scene more than once, and in most cases he didn't have to.
35In 1935, MGM bought Tracy's contact from 20th Century-Fox, as Louis B. Mayer respected his talent and thought he would be a good second lead, particularly in support of the studio's #1 male star, Clark Gable. Tracy had never developed into a star in his five years at Fox (which was merged with Darryl F. Zanuck's 20th Century Pictures), and Fox had cooled on him. After four years of playing second-fiddle to Gable (and inevitably losing the girl to the man they called "The King" of Hollywood), Tracy came into his own as a star in MGM vehicles such as Captains Courageous (1937) and Boys Town (1938), for both of which he won back-to-back Best Actor Oscars. Though he remained friends with Gable, the two never co-starred together after 1940.
36Has three films on the American Film Institute's 100 Most Inspiring Movies of All Time. They are: Captains Courageous (1937) at #94, Boys Town (1938) at #81 and _Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)_ at #35.
37His performance as Henry Drummond in Inherit the Wind (1960) is ranked #67 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
38When he needed a break, he would often come back to Milwaukee and frequent the local watering holes. However, finding him proved to be an almost impossible challenge for Katharine Hepburn, because there are so many bars in Milwaukee.
39Named the #9 Greatest Actor on The 50 Greatest Screen Legends List by The American Film Institute
40He was voted the 19th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Premiere Magazine.
41Katharine Hepburn, his frequent screen partner and longtime flame, never watched Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967) because it was his last film and watching it with him gone was too painful for her.
42His father was of Irish descent and his mother was descended from the earliest English settlers in America.
43He is often mentioned alongside Laurence Olivier and Marlon Brando as the greatest movie actor of all time. Unlike the other two, however, Tracy was not already successful and well-known as a stage actor before getting into films.
44Son John was born deaf; as a result, his wife, Louise, became an activist for deaf education, establishing the John Tracy Clinic at USC.
45Had two children from his marriage to Louise Treadwell: Son, John Ten Broeck Tracy (born 26 June 1924, died 15 June 2007) and daughter, Louise Treadwell 'Susie' Tracy (born July 1 1932).
46He was voted the 15th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
47Made nine films with Katharine Hepburn, the first of which was Woman of the Year (1942). The last was Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967).
48Died only 17 days after filming of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967) had been completed.
49Tracy was offered the role of The Penguin in the TV series Batman (1966) before Burgess Meredith. He said he would only accept the role if he was allowed to kill Batman.
50In 1956/57 when his longtime friend Humphrey Bogart was dying of cancer, Tracy and Katharine Hepburn were two of the few people who visited Bogie (and wife Lauren Bacall) at their home on an almost daily basis. They would sit together at Bogie's bedside for half an hour or so every evening in the months and weeks leading up to his death. After Bogie's death, Bacall requested that Tracy deliver the eulogy at the funeral. He apologetically declined, saying it would simply be too difficult for him. He felt he would be too emotional and wouldn't be able to do it. Bacall understood and director John Huston delivered the eulogy instead.
51Attended no fewer than six high schools: Wauwatosa (WI) High School; St. John's Cathedral School (Milwaukee); St. Mary's (near Topeka, Kansas); Rockhurst High School (Kansas City, Mo.) ; Marquette Academy (Milwaukee); WWI service; Northwestern Military and Naval Academy (Lake Geneva, WI); and West Division High School (Milwaukee), from which he graduated in 1921.
52Attended Ripon College in Ripon, Wisconsin but did not graduate.
53His Best Actor Oscar for Boys Town (1938) is inscribed with the name "Dick Tracy."
54Interred at Forest Lawn, Glendale, California, USA, in the Garden of Everlasting Peace, on the right just after entering.
55Born at 1:57am-CST
56Ranked #64 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. [October 1997]
57Sometimes people confuse Spencer Tracy and James Whitmore. The two sometimes look as if they could have been brothers.
58Shared his birthday with Bette Davis.
59His mother was a client of Maria Altmann, who ran a clothing business in Los Angeles.
60Along with Laurence Olivier, he is one of only two actors to receive nine nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actor. He was nominated for San Francisco (1936), Captains Courageous (1937), Boys Town (1938), 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 won the award for both Captains Courageous (1937) and Boys Town (1938).
61One of the few truly famous actors who lived well into the age of television, but never made an appearance acting on a television program.
62He came to Hollywood's attention after eight years on stage with his performance as Killer Mears in "The Last Mile." His subsequent screen tests were not a big success, but after John Ford saw him twice in the role, Fox allowed him to hire the actor for his debut feature film, "Up the River.".
63Harold Clurman on Tracy: " He was the universal American: honest, calm, considerate, free of all phoniness. There was in him no petty motive or concealed malice. He was a man.".
64Katharine Hepburn on Tracy: "He's like an old oak tree, or the summer, or the wind. He belongs to an era when men were men.".
65Director Vincente Minelli quoted the actor as saying, " it was a badge of honor for an actor to be a drunk.".
66Is one of 8 actors who have received an Oscar nomination for their performance as a priest. The others, in chronological order, are: Charles Bickford for The Song of Bernadette (1943); Bing Crosby for Going My Way (1944) and The Bells of St. Mary's (1945); Barry Fitzgerald for Going My Way (1944); Gregory Peck for The Keys of the Kingdom (1944); Karl Malden for On the Waterfront (1954); Jason Miller for The Exorcist (1973); and Philip Seymour Hoffman for Doubt (2008). Tracy, Crosby and Fitzgerald all won Oscars for their performances.
67Twice earned Best Actor Oscar nominations for playing "foreign" fishermen: as Manuel in Captains Courageous (1937) for which he did win his first Oscar, and then as The Old Man in The Old Man and the Sea (1958), almost 20 years later.
68Was announced as co star with Paul Newman and Robert Mitchum in the Jerry Wald production of The Enemy Within, based on the book by Attorney General Robert Kennedy, which at 1962/63 was in preparation for Twentieth Century Fox.
69He appears in four of the American Film Institute's 100 Funniest Movies: Adam's Rib (1949) at #22, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) at #40, Father of the Bride (1950) at #83 and Woman of the Year (1942) at #90.
70Cousin of Gabrielle Christian.
71Turned down the role of the judge in Anatomy of a Murder (1959), Edward Arnold's role in Come and Get It (1936), Michael Rennie's role in The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), Desi Arnaz's role in Forever, Darling (1956), William Powell's role in Mister Roberts (1955), Donald Crisp's role in National Velvet (1944), Melvyn Douglas's role in Ninotchka (1939), and Gregory Peck's role in The Yearling (1946).
72He has a grandson, Joseph Spencer Tracy.
73He was making a cup of coffee on the morning of 10 June 1967 when he suffered a sudden heart attack. Katharine Hepburn found him dead on the kitchen floor.
74Was seriously ill with emphysema as well as diabetes when he made his final film Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967).
75Has a street named after him in Iowa City, Iowa.
76He was supposed to appear in Cheyenne Autumn (1964) and The Cincinnati Kid (1965), but suffered a severe heart attack in 1963. Edward G. Robinson replaced him in both movies.
77As of 2009, he is only one of six performers who won a Golden Globe Award as Best Lead Actor/Actress in a Motion Picture Drama without being nominated for an Oscar for that same role (for The Actress (1953)). The others are Anthony Franciosa in Career (1959), Omar Sharif in Doctor Zhivago (1965), Shirley MacLaine in Madame Sousatzka (1988), Jim Carrey in The Truman Show (1998) and Kate Winslet in Revolutionary Road (2008).
78Received a posthumous Best Actor Academy Award nomination for his film Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967). His widow Louise attended the ceremony in the event that he would win. However, the award went instead to Rod Steiger for In the Heat of the Night (1967).
79Warner Bros. bought the rights to the book "Mute Witness" about a Boston detective who ate a lot of ice cream and never solved a case with Tracy in mind to star. Upon Tracy's death, a chase scene was added to the script, the location changed to San Francisco, and the character - Detective Frank Bullitt - changed to be played by Steve McQueen.
80Attended the Democratic National Convention in 1944.
81He is featured as a character in the mystery novel, "Dead at the Box Office" by John Dandola, which is set during the World Premiere of Edison, the Man (1940).
82He was sought for Fredric March's role in The Desperate Hours (1955) opposite Humphrey Bogart, but would not take second billing.
83Turned down Cary Grant's role in The Philadelphia Story (1940) because he was eager to make Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941).
84His son, John Tracy, died June 15, 2007, at his son's home in Acton, Calif. He was 82. Cause of death, following a long illness, was unknown. His sister, Louise Treadwell "Susie" Tracy, announced his death.
85He won an Oscar for playing Father Edward Flanagan in Boys Town (1938), making him the first actor to win the Award for playing a real person who was still alive at the evening of the Award ceremony. As of 2011, thirteen more actors joined him: Gary Cooper for playing Alvin C. York in Sergeant York (1941), Patty Duke for playing Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker (1962), Jason Robards for playing Benjamin Bradlee in All the President's Men (1976), Robert De Niro for playing Jake La Motta in Raging Bull (1980), Sissy Spacek for playing Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner's Daughter (1980), Jeremy Irons for playing Claus Von Bullow in Reversal of Fortune (1990) (1990); Susan Sarandon for playing Sister Helen Prejean in Dead Man Walking (1995), Geoffrey Rush for playing David Helfgott in Shine (1996), Julia Roberts for playing Erin Brockovich in Erin Brockovich (2000), Jim Broadbent for playing John Bayley in Iris (2001), Helen Mirren for playing Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen (2006) and most recently 'Christian Bale' for playing Dicky Eklund and Melissa Leo for playing Alice Ward in The Fighter (2010).
86Longtime companion Katharine Hepburn did not attend his funeral out of respect to his family.
87His father, John Tracy, worked as a clerk at a railroad office.
88Was supposed to star in Ten North Frederick (1958), but had to withdraw due to poor health and was replaced by Gary Cooper.
89Advertised Lucky Strike cigarettes.
90Tracy's political views are disputed. Some sources state that he was an arch conservative during the 1930s, but his views moderated after he met Katharine Hepburn. Others say that he was always a moderate Democrat. He often said he believed actors had no place in politics.
91Didn't like to rehearse and would read through a scene only once, five days before shooting. He also never liked to shoot a scene more than once, and in most cases he didn't have to.
92In 1935, MGM bought Tracy's contact from 20th Century-Fox, as Louis B. Mayer respected his talent and thought he would be a good second lead, particularly in support of the studio's #1 male star, Clark Gable. Tracy had never developed into a star in his five years at Fox (which was merged with Darryl F. Zanuck's 20th Century Pictures), and Fox had cooled on him. After four years of playing second-fiddle to Gable (and inevitably losing the girl to the man they called "The King" of Hollywood), Tracy came into his own as a star in MGM vehicles such as Captains Courageous (1937) and Boys Town (1938), for both of which he won back-to-back Best Actor Oscars. Though he remained friends with Gable, the two never co-starred together after 1940.
93Has three films on the American Film Institute's 100 Most Inspiring Movies of All Time. They are: Captains Courageous (1937) at #94, Boys Town (1938) at #81 and _Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)_ at #35.
94His performance as Henry Drummond in Inherit the Wind (1960) is ranked #67 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
95When he needed a break, he would often come back to Milwaukee and frequent the local watering holes. However, finding him proved to be an almost impossible challenge for Katharine Hepburn, because there are so many bars in Milwaukee.
96Named the #9 Greatest Actor on The 50 Greatest Screen Legends List by The American Film Institute
97He was voted the 19th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Premiere Magazine.
98Katharine Hepburn, his frequent screen partner and longtime flame, never watched Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967) because it was his last film and watching it with him gone was too painful for her.
99His father was of Irish descent and his mother was descended from the earliest English settlers in America.
100He is often mentioned alongside Laurence Olivier and Marlon Brando as the greatest movie actor of all time. Unlike the other two, however, Tracy was not already successful and well-known as a stage actor before getting into films.
101Son John was born deaf; as a result, his wife, Louise, became an activist for deaf education, establishing the John Tracy Clinic at USC.
102Had two children from his marriage to Louise Treadwell: Son, John Ten Broeck Tracy (born 26 June 1924, died 15 June 2007) and daughter, Louise Treadwell 'Susie' Tracy (born July 1 1932).
103He was voted the 15th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
104Made nine films with Katharine Hepburn, the first of which was Woman of the Year (1942). The last was Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967).
105Died only 17 days after filming of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967) had been completed.
106Tracy was offered the role of The Penguin in the TV series Batman (1966) before Burgess Meredith. He said he would only accept the role if he was allowed to kill Batman.
107In 1956/57 when his longtime friend Humphrey Bogart was dying of cancer, Tracy and Katharine Hepburn were two of the only people who visited Bogie (and wife Lauren Bacall) at their home on an almost daily basis. They would sit together at Bogie's bedside for half an hour or so every evening in the months and weeks leading up to his death. After Bogie's death, Bacall requested that Tracy deliver the eulogy at the funeral. He apologetically declined, saying it would simply be too difficult for him. He felt he would be too emotional and wouldn't be able to do it. Bacall understood and director John Huston delivered the eulogy instead.
108Attended no fewer than six high schools: Wauwatosa (WI) High School; St. John's Cathedral School (Milwaukee); St. Mary's (near Topeka, Kansas); Rockhurst High School (Kansas City, Mo.) ; Marquette Academy (Milwaukee); WWI service; Northwestern Military and Naval Academy (Lake Geneva, WI); and West Division High School (Milwaukee), from which he graduated in 1921.
109Attended Ripon College in Ripon, Wisconsin but did not graduate.
110His Best Actor Oscar for Boys Town (1938) is inscribed with the name "Dick Tracy."
111Interred at Forest Lawn, Glendale, California, USA, in the Garden of Everlasting Peace, on the right just after entering.
112Born at 1:57am-CST
113Ranked #64 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. [October 1997]
114Sometimes people confuse Spencer Tracy and James Whitmore. The two sometimes look as if they could have been brothers.


Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
20,000 Years in Sing Sing1932Tommy Connors
Me and My Gal1932Danny Dolan
The Painted Woman1932Tom Brian
Society Girl1932Briscoe
Young America1932Jack Doray
Disorderly Conduct1932Dick Fay
Sky Devils1932Wilkie
She Wanted a Millionaire1932William Kelley
Goldie1931Bill
6 Cylinder Love1931William Donroy
Quick Millions1931Daniel J. 'Bugs' Raymond
Up the River1930Saint Louis
The Hard Guy1930ShortGuy
Taxi Talks1930ShortTaxi Driver
The Strong Arm1930Short
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner1967Matt Drayton
It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World1963Capt. T. G. Culpepper
How the West Was Won1962Narrated by (voice)
Judgment at Nuremberg1961Chief Judge Dan Haywood
The Devil at 4 O'Clock1961Father Matthew Doonan
Inherit the Wind1960Henry Drummond
The Last Hurrah1958Mayor Frank Skeffington
The Old Man and the Sea1958The Old Man / Narrator
Desk Set1957Richard Sumner
The Mountain1956Zachary Teller
Bad Day at Black Rock1955John J. Macreedy
Broken Lance1954Matt Devereaux
The Actress1953Clinton Jones
Plymouth Adventure1952Capt. Christopher Jones
Pat and Mike1952Mike Conovan
The People Against O'Hara1951James P. Curtayne
Father's Little Dividend1951Stanley Banks
Father of the Bride1950Stanley T. Banks
Malaya1949Carnahan
Adam's Rib1949Adam Bonner
Edward, My Son1949Arnold Boult
State of the Union1948Grant Matthews
Cass Timberlane1947Cass Timberlane
The Sea of Grass1947Col. James B. 'Jim' Brewton
Without Love1945Pat Jamieson
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo1944Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle
The Seventh Cross1944George Heisler
A Guy Named Joe1943Pete Sandidge
Keeper of the Flame1943Steven O'Malley
Tortilla Flat1942Pilon
Woman of the Year1942Sam Craig
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde1941Dr. Henry Jekyll Mr. Hyde
Men of Boys Town1941Father Flanagan
Boom Town1940Square John Sand
Edison, the Man1940Thomas A. Edison
Northwest Passage1940Major Rogers
Young Tom Edison1940Man Admiring Portrait of Thomas A. Edison (uncredited)
I Take This Woman1940Karl Decker
Stanley and Livingstone1939Henry M. Stanley
Boys Town1938Father Flanagan
Test Pilot1938Gunner Morse
Mannequin1937John L. Hennessey
Big City1937Joe Benton
Captains Courageous1937Manuel
They Gave Him a Gun1937Fred P. Willis
Libeled Lady1936Warren Haggerty
San Francisco1936Father Tim Mullin
Fury1936Joe Wilson
Riffraff1936Dutch Muller
Whipsaw1935Ross McBride
Dante's Inferno1935Jim Carter
The Murder Man1935Steve Grey
It's a Small World1935Bill Shevlin
Marie Galante1934Dr. Crawbett
Now I'll Tell1934Murray Golden
Bottoms Up1934'Smoothie' King
Looking for Trouble1934Joe Graham
The Show-Off1934J. Aubrey Piper
Man's Castle1933Bill
The Mad Game1933Edward Carson
The Power and the Glory1933Tom Garner
Shanghai Madness1933Pat Jackson
Face in the Sky1933Joe Buck

Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Adam's Rib1949performer: "Farewell, Amanda" 1949
A Guy Named Joe1943"I'll Get By" 1928, uncredited / music: "I'll See You in My Dreams" 1924 - uncredited / performer: "I'll Get By" 1928, "I'll See You in My Dreams" 1924 - uncredited
Tortilla Flat1942"Ay, Ay, Paisano!" 1942, uncredited / performer: "Ay, Ay, Paisano!" 1942 - uncredited
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde1941"See Me Dance the Polka", uncredited
Edison, the Man1940performer: "Sweet Genevieve" 1869 - uncredited
Northwest Passage1940performer: "Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes" 1780? - uncredited
They Gave Him a Gun1937performer: "My Grandfather's Clock"
The Show-Off1934"Happy Days Are Here Again", uncredited

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
For Defense for Freedom for Humanity1951Documentary shortHimself (uncredited)
The Actor's Society Benefit Gala1949TV MovieHimself - Performer
His New World1943DocumentaryNarrator (voice)
Ring of Steel1942Documentary shortNarrator (voice)
Cavalcade of the Academy Awards1940Documentary shortHimself
Northward, Ho!1940Documentary shortHimself (uncredited)
Hollywood Hobbies1939ShortHimself (uncredited)
For Auld Lang Syne1939Documentary shortHimself - Requesting Donations
Hollywood Goes to Town1938Short documentaryHimself
Screen Snapshots Series 17, No. 91938Short documentaryHimself - Oscar Winner
Another Romance of Celluloid1938Documentary shortHimself (uncredited)

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Sinatra: All or Nothing at All2015TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
And the Oscar Goes To...2014TV Movie documentaryHimself
A Night at the Movies: Hollywood Goes to Washington2012TV Movie documentaryGrant Matthews / Frank Skeffington
Stars of the Silver Screen2011TV SeriesHimself
Moguls & Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood2010TV Mini-Series documentarySam Craig Matt Drayton
Edición Especial Coleccionista2010TV SeriesCapt. C. G. Culpepper
A Night at the Movies: The Suspenseful World of Thrillers2009TV Movie documentary
1939: Hollywood's Greatest Year2009TV Movie documentary
Strictly Courtroom2008TV Movie documentaryJoe Wilson / Henry Drummond (uncredited)
Spisok korabley2008Documentary
City Confidential2007TV Series documentary
Private Screenings2006TV SeriesHimself
Stardust: The Bette Davis Story2006TV Movie documentaryHimself
Sexes2005TV SeriesAdam Bonner
Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust2004Documentary
Beah: A Black Woman Speaks2003DocumentaryHimself (uncredited)
Hollywood Legends: Elizabeth Taylor and Shirley Temple2001Video documentary
The Wonderful World of Disney2001TV SeriesHimself
Biography1994-2001TV Series documentaryHimself
Amélie2001Stanley T. Banks (uncredited)
Hollywood Remembers Lee Marvin2000TV Movie documentaryJohn J. Macreedy (uncredited)
ESPN SportsCentury2000TV Series documentaryThe Old Man
ABC 2000: The Millennium1999TV Special documentary
Great Romances of the 20th Century: Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton1997TV Short documentaryHimself
Hidden Hollywood: Treasures from the 20th Century Fox Film Vaults1997TV Movie documentaryHimself
20th Century-Fox: The First 50 Years1997TV Movie documentarySaint Louis (uncredited)
Bogart: The Untold Story1996TV Movie documentaryHimself - Funeral Attendee (uncredited)
50 Years of Funny Females1995TV Movie documentaryHimself
The First 100 Years: A Celebration of American Movies1995TV Movie documentaryHimself
100 Years at the Movies1994TV Short documentaryHimself
La classe américaine1993TV MovieLe témoin professionnel
Katharine Hepburn: All About Me1993TV Movie documentaryHimself
MGM: When the Lion Roars1992TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
Myrna Loy: So Nice to Come Home to1991TV Movie documentaryHimself
Something a Little Less Serious: A Tribute to 'It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World'1991TV Movie documentaryCapt. T.G. Culpeper (uncredited)
When the Applause Died1990Video documentaryHimself
The Making of a Legend: Gone with the Wind1988TV Movie documentaryHimself
Cinema Paradiso1988Dr. Henry Jekyll Mr. Hyde (uncredited)
The Spencer Tracy Legacy: A Tribute by Katharine Hepburn1986TV Special documentary
The Rock 'n' Roll Years1985TV SeriesHimself
George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey1984DocumentaryHimself
Ingrid1984DocumentaryDr. Henry Jekyll Mr. Hyde (uncredited)
Hollywood Out-takes and Rare Footage1983DocumentaryHimself (uncredited)
Hollywood: The Gift of Laughter1982TV Movie documentaryActor - 'Adam's Rib' (uncredited)
Henry Fonda: The Man and His Movies1982TV Movie documentaryHimself (uncredited)
AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to James Stewart1980TV Special documentarySteve Grey (uncredited)
America at the Movies1976DocumentaryStanley T. Banks
That's Entertainment, Part II1976DocumentaryVarious Clips
Brother Can You Spare a Dime1975DocumentaryHimself
That's Entertainment!1974DocumentaryHimself - at Banquet (uncredited)
Hollywood: The Dream Factory1972TV Movie documentaryHimself - film clips (uncredited)
The Dick Cavett Show1971TV SeriesHimself
Hollywood: The Selznick Years1969TV Movie documentaryHimself (uncredited)
Black History: Lost Stolen, or Strayed1968TV Movie documentaryHimself / Mr. Drayton (uncredited)
Hollywood My Home Town1965DocumentaryHimself
The Big Parade of Comedy1964DocumentaryHaggerty in 'Libeled Lady'
The Judy Garland Show1964TV SeriesHimself
Hollywood and the Stars1963TV SeriesHimself
Hollywood: The Great Stars1963TV Movie documentaryHenry Drummond (uncredited)
Hollywood Without Make-Up1963DocumentaryHimself
The Other Walls1962TV MovieChief Judge Dan Haywood
MGM Parade1955-1956TV SeriesManuel Fidello Pete Sandidge
When the Talkies Were Young1955ShortTommy Conrad (uncredited)
History Brought to Life1950Documentary shortThomas A. Edison (uncredited)
Some of the Best: Twenty-Five Years of Motion Picture Leadership1949Documentary shortHimself (uncredited)
Twenty Years After1944Short
Some of the Best1943DocumentaryFather Mullin in San Francisco / Manuel in Captains Courageous / Father Flanagan in Boys Town / ... (uncredited)
Personalities1942Short... (uncredited)
The Miracle of Sound1940Documentary shortHimself
Hollywood: Style Center of the World1940Documentary shortHimself
Land of Liberty1939
From the Ends of the Earth1939Documentary shortHimself
The Romance of Celluloid1937ShortJoe Benton

Won awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1963Fotogramas de PlataFotogramas de PlataBest Foreign Performer (Mejor intérprete de cine extranjero)Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)
1962DavidDavid di Donatello AwardsBest Foreign Actor (Migliore Attore Straniero)Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)
1960Star on the Walk of FameWalk of FameMotion PictureOn 8 February 1960. At 6814 Hollywood Blvd.
1958NBR AwardNational Board of Review, USABest ActorThe Old Man and the Sea (1958)
1955Best ActorCannes Film FestivalBad Day at Black Rock (1955)
1954Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Motion Picture Actor - DramaThe Actress (1953)
1939OscarAcademy Awards, USABest Actor in a Leading RoleBoys Town (1938)
1938OscarAcademy Awards, USABest Actor in a Leading RoleCaptains Courageous (1937)

Nominated awards

Nominated awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1962OscarAcademy Awards, USABest Actor in a Leading RoleJudgment at Nuremberg (1961)
1961OscarAcademy Awards, USABest Actor in a Leading RoleInherit the Wind (1960)
1961Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Motion Picture Actor - DramaInherit the Wind (1960)
1961BAFTA Film AwardBAFTA AwardsBest Foreign ActorInherit the Wind (1960)
1961Golden LaurelLaurel AwardsTop Male Dramatic PerformanceInherit the Wind (1960)
1959OscarAcademy Awards, USABest Actor in a Leading RoleThe Old Man and the Sea (1958)
1959Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Motion Picture Actor - DramaThe Old Man and the Sea (1958)
1959BAFTA Film AwardBAFTA AwardsBest Foreign ActorThe Last Hurrah (1958)
1957BAFTA Film AwardBAFTA AwardsBest Foreign ActorThe Mountain (1956)
1956OscarAcademy Awards, USABest Actor in a Leading RoleBad Day at Black Rock (1955)
1954BAFTA Film AwardBAFTA AwardsBest Foreign ActorThe Actress (1953)
1951OscarAcademy Awards, USABest Actor in a Leading RoleFather of the Bride (1950)
1937OscarAcademy Awards, USABest Actor in a Leading RoleSan Francisco (1936)

2nd place awards

2nd place awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1939NYFCC AwardNew York Film Critics Circle AwardsBest ActorBoys Town (1938)
1937NYFCC AwardNew York Film Critics Circle AwardsBest ActorFury (1936)
1937NYFCC AwardNew York Film Critics Circle AwardsBest ActorCaptains Courageous (1937)

TitleSalary
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)$300,000
Broken Lance (1954)$165,000 + percentage of profits
Up the River (1930)$1,000 /week
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)$300,000
Broken Lance (1954)$165,000 + percentage of profits
Up the River (1930)$1,000 /week

#Quote
1[in a 1962 interview] I'm Spencer Tracy with some deference to the character. When a person says he's an actor - he's a personality. The whole idea is to show your personality. There are people who are much better technically, but who cares? Nobody cares.
2[on acting] It's never been very demanding. It doesn't require much brainwork. Acting is not the noblest profession in the world, but there are things lower than acting. Not many, mind you - but politicians give you something to look down on from time to time.
3[1962 interview] The only thing an actor has to offer a director and finally an audience is his instinct. That's all.
4[To Ernest Hemingway at dinner in the Stork Club] Sometimes I think life is a terminal illness.
5[on why actors should avoid political activism] Remember who shot [Abraham Lincoln].
6[on Jean Harlow] A square shooter if ever there was one.
7Actors have no damn place in politics, period.
8Why do actors think they're so God damn important? They're not. Acting is not an important job in the scheme of things. Plumbing is.
9Write anything you want about me. Make up something. Hell, I don't care.
10The physical labor actors have to do wouldn't tax an embryo.
11There were times when my pants were so thin, I could sit on a dime and know if it was heads or tails.
12Even when my throat is completely tired out from acting, Luckies still get along with it fine.
13It is up to us to give ourselves recognition. If we wait for it to come from others, we feel resentful when it doesn't, and when it does, we may well reject it.
14I'm disappointed in acting as a craft. I want everything to go back to Orson Welles and fake noses and changing your voice. It's become so much about personality.
15This mug of mine is as plain as a barn door. Why should people pay thirty-five cents to look at it?
16[on why he never left his wife for Katharine Hepburn] I can get a divorce whenever I want to. But my wife and Kate like things just as they are.
17The kids keep telling me I should try this new "Method Acting" but I'm too old, I'm too tired and I'm too talented to care.
18[on being asked why he was always billed above long-time companion Katharine Hepburn in their films together] Because this is a movie, you chowderhead, not a lifeboat!
19I couldn't be a director because I couldn't put up with the actors. I don't have the patience. Why, I'd probably kill the actors. Not to mention some of the beautiful actresses.
20]on drinking] Hell, I used to take two-week lunch hours!
21[on acting] Come to work on time, know your lines and don't bump into the other actors.
22[in a 1962 interview] I'm Spencer Tracy with some deference to the character. When a person says he's an actor - he's a personality. The whole idea is to show your personality. There are people who are much better technically, but who cares? Nobody cares.
23[on acting] It's never been very demanding. It doesn't require much brainwork. Acting is not the noblest profession in the world, but there are things lower than acting. Not many, mind you - but politicians give you something to look down on from time to time.
24[1962 interview] The only thing an actor has to offer a director and finally an audience is his instinct. That's all.
25[To Ernest Hemingway at dinner in the Stork Club] Sometimes I think life is a terminal illness.
26[on why actors should avoid political activism] Remember who shot [Abraham Lincoln].
27[on Jean Harlow] A square shooter if ever there was one.
28Actors have no damn place in politics, period.
29Why do actors think they're so God damn important? They're not. Acting is not an important job in the scheme of things. Plumbing is.
30Write anything you want about me. Make up something. Hell, I don't care.
31The physical labor actors have to do wouldn't tax an embryo.
32There were times when my pants were so thin, I could sit on a dime and know if it was heads or tails.
33Even when my throat is completely tired out from acting, Luckies still get along with it fine.
34It is up to us to give ourselves recognition. If we wait for it to come from others, we feel resentful when it doesn't, and when it does, we may well reject it.
35I'm disappointed in acting as a craft. I want everything to go back to Orson Welles and fake noses and changing your voice. It's become so much about personality.
36This mug of mine is as plain as a barn door. Why should people pay thirty-five cents to look at it?
37[on why he never left his wife for Katharine Hepburn] I can get a divorce whenever I want to. But my wife and Kate like things just as they are.
38The kids keep telling me I should try this new "Method Acting" but I'm too old, I'm too tired and I'm too talented to care.
39[on being asked why he was always billed above long-time companion Katharine Hepburn in their films together] Because this is a movie, you chowderhead, not a lifeboat!
40I couldn't be a director because I couldn't put up with the actors. I don't have the patience. Why, I'd probably kill the actors. Not to mention some of the beautiful actresses.
41]on drinking] Hell, I used to take two-week lunch hours!
42[on acting] Come to work on time, know your lines and don't bump into the other actors.

#Trademark
1Relatable characters who must change their way of thinking
2Raspy but strong voice
3Plain, everyman looks
4Blocky shoulders
5Often wore a lopsided fedora hat in his films
6Relatable characters who must change their way of thinking
7Raspy but strong voice
8Plain, everyman looks
9Blocky shoulders
10Often wore a lopsided fedora hat in his films

Check Also

Christine Marzano

Model turned celebrity with film credits in popular photos including Seven Psychopaths, Byzantium, Paranoia, Fantastic …