Spencer Tracy
Overview
Spencer Bonaventure Tracy (April 5, 1900 – June 10, 1967) was an American theatrical and film actor, who appeared in 75 films from 1930 to 1967. Tracy was one of the major stars of Hollywood's Golden Age, ranking among the top ten box office draws for almost every year from 1938 to 1951. He was nominated for nine Academy Awards for Best Actor
Academy Award for Best Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...

, winning two consecutively in 1937 and 1938—the first actor to achieve this feat.
Encyclopedia
Spencer Bonaventure Tracy (April 5, 1900 – June 10, 1967) was an American theatrical and film actor, who appeared in 75 films from 1930 to 1967. Tracy was one of the major stars of Hollywood's Golden Age, ranking among the top ten box office draws for almost every year from 1938 to 1951. He was nominated for nine Academy Awards for Best Actor
Academy Award for Best Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...

, winning two consecutively in 1937 and 1938—the first actor to achieve this feat. In 1999, the American Film Institute
American Film Institute
The American Film Institute is an independent non-profit organization created by the National Endowment for the Arts, which was established in 1967 when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act...

 named him the ninth greatest male star in American cinema
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Stars
Part of the AFI 100 Years... series, AFI's 100 Years...100 Stars is a list of the top 50 greatest screen legends of American cinema, 25 male and 25 female...

.

Tracy decided on acting as a career whilst a student at Ripon College
Ripon College
Ripon College can refer to:*Ripon College - US college*Ripon College, North Yorkshire - secondary school*Ripon College Cuddesdon, Oxfordshire - theological college...

. He studied acting in New York and appeared in a number of Broadway plays, finally achieving success in the 1930 hit The Last Mile
The Last Mile (play)
The Last Mile is a play by John Wexley that ran in 1930. The play was adapted into a 1932 film with the same name directed and produced by Samuel Bischoff....

. Director John Ford
John Ford
John Ford was an American film director. He was famous for both his westerns such as Stagecoach, The Searchers, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and adaptations of such classic 20th-century American novels as The Grapes of Wrath...

 was impressed by his performance and cast him in Up the River
Up the River
Up the River is a Pre-Code comedy film about escaped convicts, directed by John Ford and featuring Spencer Tracy and Humphrey Bogart in their feature film debuts.-Plot:...

 with Humphrey Bogart
Humphrey Bogart
Humphrey DeForest Bogart was an American actor. He is widely regarded as a cultural icon.The American Film Institute ranked Bogart as the greatest male star in the history of American cinema....

. Fox Film Corporation
20th Century Fox
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation — also known as 20th Century Fox, or simply 20th or Fox — is one of the six major American film studios...

 signed him to a long term contract, but after five years of mostly undistinguished films, he joined the most prestigious movie studio of the time, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. is an American media company, involved primarily in the production and distribution of films and television programs. MGM was founded in 1924 when the entertainment entrepreneur Marcus Loew gained control of Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures Corporation and Louis B. Mayer...

. His career flourished with MGM and he became one of their most valuable stars, guaranteeing him top billing in all his pictures from 1940 onwards. In 1942 he appeared with Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Houghton Hepburn was an American actress of film, stage, and television. In a career that spanned 62 years as a leading lady, she was best known for playing strong-willed, sophisticated women in both dramas and comedies...

 in the romantic comedy Woman of the Year
Woman of the Year
Woman of the Year is a romantic comedy film. The movie is about an emancipated woman, chosen "Woman of the Year", and her colleague-turned-husband and their efforts to negotiate a path to marital bliss....

, beginning a partnership that lasted the remainder of Tracy's life. The duo made nine pictures together and had a long romantic relationship, although Tracy remained legally married to his wife Louise until he died. Tracy worked regularly into the 1960s; his films achieved varying levels of success, but his personal reputation was high, being considered by his peers as one of the screen's greatest actors. His final film, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner is a 1967 American drama film starring Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier and Katharine Hepburn, and featuring Hepburn's niece Katharine Houghton...

, was completed 17 days before his death in June 1967.

Early life

Spencer Bonaventure Tracy was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

, the second son of John Edward Tracy, an Irish American
Irish American
Irish Americans are citizens of the United States who can trace their ancestry to Ireland. A total of 36,278,332 Americans—estimated at 11.9% of the total population—reported Irish ancestry in the 2008 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau...

 Catholic truck salesman, and Caroline Brown, a Presbytarian from a wealthy Midwestern family. His brother Carroll was four years older. Spencer was named for his mother's close friend Daisy Spencer, while Bonaventure was a baptismal name selected by his aunt. Caroline Tracy disliked this name, and registered her son's birth as "Spencer Bernard Tracy", which remained his legal name until after her death.

Tracy's paternal grandparents emigrated from Galway
Galway
Galway or City of Galway is a city in County Galway, Republic of Ireland. It is the sixth largest and the fastest-growing city in Ireland. It is also the third largest city within the Republic and the only city in the Province of Connacht. Located on the west coast of Ireland, it sits on the...

 in the 1850s. He strongly identified with his Irish roots, and also inherrited the alcoholism prevalent in this side of his family. The young Spencer was a difficult and hyper child  with poor school attendance. At nine years old he was placed in the hands of Dominican nuns in the hope of transforming his behavior. Later in life he remarked, "I never would have gone back to school if there had been any other way of learning to read the subtitles in the movies." He became fascinated with motion pictures, watching the same ones repeatedly and then re-enacting scenes to his friends and neighbors. He began working from a young age, at one point taking a job as a lamplighter
Lamplighter
A lamplighter, historically, was an employee of a town who lit street lights, generally by means of a wick on a long pole. At dawn, they would return and extinguish them using a small hook on the same pole. Early street lights were generally candles, oil, and similar consumable liquid or solid...

. In 1915 the Tracy family moved to Kansas and he was enrolled in St.Mary Academy
St. Mary's College, Kansas
Saint Mary's Academy and College is a religious school of the Society of St. Pius X located in St. Marys, Kansas, 25 miles west of Topeka.- St. Mary's College :...

, a Jesuit boarding school, but lasted there only five weeks. He switched to Rockhurst Academy
Rockhurst High School
Rockhurst High School is a private, Roman Catholic, Jesuit, preparatory school for boys located in Kansas City, Missouri, USA, on the Missouri-Kansas border along State Line Road....

, another Jesuit institution. The school's strict ethos had a positive effect on Tracy, who commented that they took the "badness" out of him, and his grades improved. While studying at Rockhurst, Tracy entertained the idea of becoming a priest. The family soon moved back to Milwaukee and Tracy changed school again, enrolling at the prestigious Marquette Academy
Marquette University High School
Marquette University High School is a private, all-male, Jesuit, Roman Catholic school located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and is a member of both the National Catholic Educational Association and the Jesuit...

. Here he met future actor Pat O'Brien
Pat O'Brien (actor)
Pat O’Brien was an American film actor with more than one hundred screen credits.-Early life:O’Brien was born William Joseph Patrick O’Brien to an Irish-American Catholic family in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He served as an altar boy at Gesu Church while growing up near 13th and Clybourn streets...

, and the pair began attending plays together, awakening Tracy's interest in the theatre.

With little care for his studies and "itching for excitement", Tracy enrolled in the Navy when he turned eighteen. He was sent straight to the Naval Training Station
Naval Station Great Lakes
Naval Station Great Lakes is the home of the United States Navy's only boot camp, located near the city of North Chicago, Illinois, in Lake County. Important tenant commands include the Recruit Training Command, Training Support Center and Navy Recruiting District Chicago...

 in North Chicago, where he was still a student when World War One came to an end. He achieved the rank of seaman second class
Seaman Apprentice
ConstructionmanvariationFiremanvariationAirmanvariationSeamaninsigniaSeaman apprentice is the second lowest enlisted rank in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, just above seaman recruit and below seaman; this rank was formerly known as seaman second class.The actual title for an E-2 in the U.S....

, but never went to sea and was discharged in February 1919. It still proved a valuable experience for Tracy, who left with an alert mind and acute sence of personal responsibilty. John Tracy's desire to see one of his sons gain a college degree drove Tracy back to High School to finish his diploma. Studies at two more institutions plus the additional allowance of "war credits" won Tracy a place at Ripon College
Ripon College
Ripon College can refer to:*Ripon College - US college*Ripon College, North Yorkshire - secondary school*Ripon College Cuddesdon, Oxfordshire - theological college...

. He entered Ripon in February 1921, declaring his intention to major in Medicine.

Tracy was a popular student at Ripon, serving as President of his hall and being involved in a number of college activities. He made his stage debut in June 1921, playing the male lead in The Truth
The Truth (play)
The Truth is a play in four acts by Clyde Fitch, first performed in 1906.-Synopsis:Becky Warder is a 1903 society matron who suspects her husband, Tom, of having an affair. She hires a private detective to follow him around. The situation is complicated by Becky's view of reality, that she can lie...

. Tracy was very well received in this role  and he quickly developed a passion for the stage. He formed an acting company with friends, which they called "The Campus Players" and took on tour. He also excelled in the college debating team. It was during a tour with this team that Tracy auditioned for the American Academy of Dramatic Arts
American Academy of Dramatic Arts
The American Academy of Dramatic Arts is a fully accredited two-year conservatory with facilities located in Manhattan, New York City – at 120 Madison Avenue, in a landmark building designed by noted architect Stanford White as the original Colony Club – and in Hollywood, California...

 (AADA) in New York City. He performed a scene from one of his earlier roles, and was offered a scholarship to attend the school. Tracy left Ripon, and began classes at AADA in April 1922. He was deemed fit to progress to the senior class, allowing him to join the academy stock company
Stock company
Stock company can refer to:*Joint stock company *Stock company - referring to a group of actors...

 with fifteen others—among them Sterling Holloway
Sterling Holloway
Sterling Price Holloway, Jr. was an American character actor who appeared in 150 films and television programs. He was also a voice actor for The Walt Disney Company...

 and Thelma Ritter
Thelma Ritter
Thelma Ritter was an American supporting and character actress from the 1940s until her death in 1969.-Early life:...

. Tracy made his New York debut in October 1922, in a play called The Wedding Guests, and then his Broadway debut three months later playing a wordless robot in R.U.R. He graduated from AADA in March 1923.

Career

Tracy performed in stock in Michigan, Canada, and Ohio for several years. Finally in 1930 he appeared in a hit play on Broadway, The Last Mile. Director John Ford
John Ford
John Ford was an American film director. He was famous for both his westerns such as Stagecoach, The Searchers, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and adaptations of such classic 20th-century American novels as The Grapes of Wrath...

 saw Tracy in The Last Mile and signed Tracy for Up the River
Up the River
Up the River is a Pre-Code comedy film about escaped convicts, directed by John Ford and featuring Spencer Tracy and Humphrey Bogart in their feature film debuts.-Plot:...

 (1930) with Humphrey Bogart
Humphrey Bogart
Humphrey DeForest Bogart was an American actor. He is widely regarded as a cultural icon.The American Film Institute ranked Bogart as the greatest male star in the history of American cinema....

 for Fox Film Corporation
20th Century Fox
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation — also known as 20th Century Fox, or simply 20th or Fox — is one of the six major American film studios...

. Shortly after that Tracy and his family moved to Hollywood, and he made 25 films in the next five years.

Tracy's reputation for versatility and naturalness are based on the twenty years (1935–1955) he acted at Metro Goldwyn Mayer and for the subsequent dozen years when he was an independent actor. Yet the twenty-five films he made prior to his move to MGM are notable in that they demonstrate the range and diversity of characters he would continue to deliver through his post-Fox career.
Tracy won the Academy Award for Best Actor
Academy Award for Best Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...

 two years in a row, for Captains Courageous (1937) and Boys Town (1938). He was also nominated for San Francisco
San Francisco (film)
San Francisco is a 1936 musical-drama directed by Woody Van Dyke, based on the April 18, 1906 San Francisco earthquake. The film, which was the top grossing movie of that year, stars Clark Gable, Jeanette MacDonald, and Spencer Tracy. The then very popular singing of MacDonald helped make this film...

 (1936), Father of the Bride
Father of the Bride (1950 film)
Father of the Bride is a 1950 American comedy film about a man trying to cope with preparations for his daughter's upcoming wedding. The movie stars Spencer Tracy in the titular role, Joan Bennett, Elizabeth Taylor, Don Taylor, Billie Burke, and Leo G. Carroll. It was adapted by Frances Goodrich...

 (1950), Bad Day at Black Rock
Bad Day at Black Rock
Bad Day at Black Rock is a 1955 thriller film directed by John Sturges that combines elements of Westerns and film noir. It tells the story of a mysterious stranger who arrives at a tiny isolated town in a desert of the southwest United States in search of a man...

 (1955), The Old Man and the Sea
The Old Man and the Sea
The Old Man and the Sea is a novel written by American author Ernest Hemingway in 1951 in Cuba, and published in 1952. It was the last major work of fiction to be produced by Hemingway and published in his lifetime. One of his most famous works, it centers upon Santiago, an aging fisherman who...

 (1958), Inherit the Wind
Inherit the Wind (1960 film)
Inherit the Wind is a 1960 Hollywood film adaptation of the play of the same name, written by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee, directed by Stanley Kramer....

 (1960), Judgment at Nuremberg
Judgment at Nuremberg
Judgment at Nuremberg is a 1961 American drama film dealing with the Holocaust and the Post-World War II Nuremberg Trials. It was written by Abby Mann, directed by Stanley Kramer, and starred Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Maximilian Schell, Werner Klemperer, Marlene Dietrich, Judy...

 (1961), and posthumously for Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner is a 1967 American drama film starring Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier and Katharine Hepburn, and featuring Hepburn's niece Katharine Houghton...

 (1967). Tracy and Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM was an English actor, director, and producer. He was one of the most famous and revered actors of the 20th century. He married three times, to fellow actors Jill Esmond, Vivien Leigh, and Joan Plowright...

 share the record for the most nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actor
Academy Award for Best Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...

.

Tracy is remembered for his screen partnership with Katharine Hepburn. They first appeared together in in Woman of the Year
Woman of the Year
Woman of the Year is a romantic comedy film. The movie is about an emancipated woman, chosen "Woman of the Year", and her colleague-turned-husband and their efforts to negotiate a path to marital bliss....

 (1942), directed by George Stevens
George Stevens
George Stevens was an American film director, producer, screenwriter and cinematographer.Among his most notable films were Diary of Anne Frank , nominated for Best Director, Giant , winner of Oscar for Best Director, Shane , Oscar nominated, and A Place in the Sun , winner of Oscar for Best...

. The duo formed one of Hollywood's most recognizable couples. Hepburn, with her agile mind and distinctive New England accent, complemented Tracy's working-class machismo. When Joseph Mankiewicz introduced them, Hepburn, who was wearing special heels that added several inches to her slender frame, said, "I'm afraid I'm too tall for you, Mr. Tracy." Mankiewicz retorted, "Don't worry, he'll soon cut you down to size." As The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph is a daily morning broadsheet newspaper distributed throughout the United Kingdom and internationally. The newspaper was founded by Arthur B...

 observed in Hepburn's obituary, "Hepburn and Spencer Tracy were at their most seductive when their verbal fencing was sharpest: it was hard to say whether they delighted more in the battle or in each other."
Most of their films stress the difficulties that couples can have when they try to find an equitable balance of power. The sparring over power and control is almost always resolved in Tracy's favor: despite her feminist reputation, Hepburn submitted to second billing with Tracy and nearly always accepted the "comeuppance" at the end of their films together, being taught a lesson. Together Hepburn and Tracy appeared in nine movies, including Keeper of the Flame
Keeper of the Flame (film)
Keeper of the Flame is a dramatic film from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer . It stars Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. Hepburn plays the widow of a famous civic leader who has suddenly died in an accident. Tracy plays a former war correspondent who intends to write a flattering biography of the dead man,...

 (1942), Adam's Rib
Adam's Rib
Adam's Rib is a 1949 American film written by Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin and directed by George Cukor. It stars Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn as married lawyers who come to oppose each other in court. Judy Holliday co-stars in her first substantial film role...

 (1949), Pat and Mike
Pat and Mike
Pat and Mike is a 1952 comedy starring Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. The movie was directed by George Cukor, who also directed The Philadelphia Story and Adam's Rib.- Plot :...

 (1952), Desk Set
Desk Set
Desk Set is a 1957 American romantic comedy film directed by Walter Lang and starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn...

 (1957) and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner is a 1967 American drama film starring Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier and Katharine Hepburn, and featuring Hepburn's niece Katharine Houghton...

.

Personal life

Tracy was a Catholic, and attended Mass every Sunday without fail. He married actress Louise Treadwell
Louise Treadwell
Louise Tracy , born Louise Ten Broeck Treadwell, was the founder of the John Tracy Clinic, a private, non-profit education center for the deaf that began in 1942. She was married to the Academy Award-winning actor Spencer Tracy.-Family:Louise Ten Broeck Treadwell's parents were Alliene Wetmore and...

 in 1923, with whom he had two children: John Tracy (who was born profoundly deaf) and Louise 'Susie' Tracy. He felt great guilt over John's deafness, and turned to drinking as a relief. He battled with alcoholism throughout his life. In 1941, during the filming of Woman of the Year, Tracy began a relationship with Katharine Hepburn. Tracy and his wife had been living separate lives since the 1930s, but there was never an official split and neither party ever pursued a divorce. Tracy felt indebted to his wife, whom he respected greatly for her work with John, while Louise was reluctant to be the one to take action. This relationship with Hepburn, which neither would discuss publicly, lasted until Tracy's death in 1967.

He also had affairs at various times with actresses Loretta Young
Loretta Young
Loretta Young was an American actress. Starting as a child actress, she had a long and varied career in film from 1917 to 1953...

, Joan Crawford
Joan Crawford
Joan Crawford , born Lucille Fay LeSueur, was an American actress in film, television and theatre....

, Myrna Loy
Myrna Loy
Myrna Loy was an American actress. Trained as a dancer, she devoted herself fully to an acting career following a few minor roles in silent films. Originally typecast in exotic roles, often as a vamp or a woman of Asian descent, her career prospects improved following her portrayal of Nora Charles...

, Ingrid Bergman
Ingrid Bergman
Ingrid Bergman was a Swedish actress who starred in a variety of European and American films. She won three Academy Awards, two Emmy Awards, and the Tony Award for Best Actress. She is ranked as the fourth greatest female star of American cinema of all time by the American Film Institute...

 and Gene Tierney
Gene Tierney
Gene Eliza Tierney was an American film and stage actress. Acclaimed as one of the great beauties of her day, she is best remembered for her performance in the title role of Laura and her Academy Award-nominated performance for Best Actress in Leave Her to Heaven .Other notable roles include...

.

Death and legacy

During his later years, Tracy's health worsened after he was diagnosed with diabetes, exacerbated by his alcoholism
Alcoholism
Alcoholism is a broad term for problems with alcohol, and is generally used to mean compulsive and uncontrolled consumption of alcoholic beverages, usually to the detriment of the drinker's health, personal relationships, and social standing...

. On 21 July 1963, less than eight months after finishing the filming of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World is a 1963 American comedy film produced and directed by Stanley Kramer about the madcap pursuit of $350,000 in stolen cash by a diverse and colorful group of strangers...

, Tracy suffered a congested lung condition, forcing him to pull out of Cheyenne Autumn
Cheyenne Autumn
Cheyenne Autumn is a 1964 western starring Richard Widmark, Carroll Baker, James Stewart, and Edward G. Robinson. Regarded as an epic film it tells the story of a factual event, the Northern Cheyenne Exodus of 1878-9, although it is told in 'Hollywood style' using a great degree of artistic license...

 and The Cincinnati Kid
The Cincinnati Kid
The Cincinnati Kid is a 1965 American drama film. It tells the story of Eric "The Kid" Stoner, a young Depression-era poker player, as he seeks to establish his reputation as the best...

. Edward G. Robinson
Edward G. Robinson
Edward G. Robinson was a Romanian-born American actor. A popular star during Hollywood's Golden Age, he is best remembered for his roles as gangsters, such as Rico in his star-making film Little Caesar and as Rocco in Key Largo...

 replaced him for both films. He spent most of the next four years inactive as his health further declined. On 10 June 1967, seventeen days after completing his last film, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner is a 1967 American drama film starring Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier and Katharine Hepburn, and featuring Hepburn's niece Katharine Houghton...

 with Hepburn, Tracy died of a massive heart attack at age 67, having long suffered from emphysema
Emphysema
Emphysema is a long-term, progressive disease of the lungs that primarily causes shortness of breath. In people with emphysema, the tissues necessary to support the physical shape and function of the lungs are destroyed. It is included in a group of diseases called chronic obstructive pulmonary...

 since the early 1950s from his daily smoking habit. The film was released in December, six months after his death.

Katharine Hepburn was with him the night he died. According to her, he had gotten up in the middle of the night to get a glass of milk. She followed the sickly Tracy to the kitchen but before she got there she heard a glass shatter and then a loud thud. She found Tracy dead on the floor.

In 1988 the University of California at Los Angeles Campus Events Commission and Susie Tracy created the UCLA Spencer Tracy Award. The award has been given to actors in recognition for their achievement in film acting. Past recipients include William Hurt
William Hurt
William McGill Hurt is an American stage and film actor. He received his acting training at the Juilliard School, and began acting on stage in the 1970s. Hurt made his film debut as a troubled scientist in the science-fiction feature Altered States , for which he received a Golden Globe nomination...

, James Stewart
James Stewart (actor)
James Maitland Stewart was an American film and stage actor, known for his distinctive voice and his everyman persona. Over the course of his career, he starred in many films widely considered classics and was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning one in competition and receiving one Lifetime...

, Michael Douglas
Michael Douglas
Michael Kirk Douglas is an American actor and producer, primarily in movies and television. He has won three Golden Globes and two Academy Awards; first as producer of 1975's Best Picture, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and as Best Actor in 1987 for his role in Wall Street. Douglas received the...

, Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington
Denzel Hayes Washington Jr. is an American actor, screenwriter, director, and film producer. He first rose to prominence when he joined the cast of the medical drama, St. Elsewhere, playing Dr...

, Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks
Thomas Jeffrey "Tom" Hanks is an American actor, producer, writer, and director. Hanks worked in television and family-friendly comedies, gaining wide notice in 1988's Big, before achieving success as a dramatic actor in several notable roles, including Andrew Beckett in Philadelphia, the title...

, Sir Anthony Hopkins
Anthony Hopkins
Sir Philip Anthony Hopkins, KBE , best known as Anthony Hopkins, is a Welsh actor of film, stage and television...

, Jodie Foster
Jodie Foster
Alicia Christian "Jodie" Foster is an American actress, film director, producer as well as a former child actress....

, Harrison Ford
Harrison Ford
Harrison Ford is an American film actor and producer. He is famous for his performances as Han Solo in the original Star Wars trilogy and as the title character of the Indiana Jones film series. Ford is also known for his roles as Rick Deckard in Blade Runner, John Book in Witness and Jack Ryan in...

, Anjelica Huston
Anjelica Huston
Anjelica Huston is an American actress. Huston became the third generation of her family to win an Academy Award, for her performance in 1985's Prizzi's Honor, joining her father, director John Huston, and grandfather, actor Walter Huston. She later was nominated in 1989 and 1990 for her acting in...

, Nicolas Cage
Nicolas Cage
Nicolas Cage is an American actor, producer and director, having appeared in over 60 films including Raising Arizona , The Rock , Face/Off , Gone in 60 Seconds , Adaptation , National Treasure , Ghost Rider , Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans , and...

, Kirk Douglas
Kirk Douglas
Kirk Douglas is an American stage and film actor, film producer and author. His popular films include Out of the Past , Champion , Ace in the Hole , The Bad and the Beautiful , Lust for Life , Paths of Glory , Gunfight at the O.K...

, Jack Lemmon
Jack Lemmon
John Uhler "Jack" Lemmon III was an American actor and musician. He starred in more than 60 films including Some Like It Hot, The Apartment, Mister Roberts , Days of Wine and Roses, The Great Race, Irma la Douce, The Odd Couple, Save the Tiger John Uhler "Jack" Lemmon III (February 8, 1925June...

 and Morgan Freeman
Morgan Freeman
Morgan Freeman is an American actor, film director, aviator and narrator. He is noted for his reserved demeanor and authoritative speaking voice. Freeman has received Academy Award nominations for his performances in Street Smart, Driving Miss Daisy, The Shawshank Redemption and Invictus and won...

.

The main character Carl from Pixar
Pixar
Pixar Animation Studios, pronounced , is an American computer animation film studio based in Emeryville, California. The studio has earned 26 Academy Awards, seven Golden Globes, and three Grammy Awards, among many other awards and acknowledgments. Its films have made over $6.3 billion worldwide...

's film Up
Up (2009 film)
Up is a 2009 American computer-animated comedy-adventure film produced by Pixar, distributed by Walt Disney Pictures and presented in Disney Digital 3-D. The film premiered on May 29, 2009 in North America and opened the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, becoming the first animated and 3D film...

 was primarily based on a combination of Spencer Tracy and Walter Matthau
Walter Matthau
Walter Matthau was an American actor best known for his role as Oscar Madison in The Odd Couple and his frequent collaborations with Odd Couple star Jack Lemmon, as well as his role as Coach Buttermaker in the 1976 comedy The Bad News Bears...

, because, according to director Pete Docter, there was "something sweet about these grumpy old guys".

Filmography

Tracy appeared in 75 feature films and several short films. Eight of the films he starred in were nominated for Best Picture
Academy Award for Best Picture
The Academy Award for Best Picture is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to artists working in the motion picture industry. The Best Picture category is the only category in which every member of the Academy is eligible not only...

: San Francisco
San Francisco (film)
San Francisco is a 1936 musical-drama directed by Woody Van Dyke, based on the April 18, 1906 San Francisco earthquake. The film, which was the top grossing movie of that year, stars Clark Gable, Jeanette MacDonald, and Spencer Tracy. The then very popular singing of MacDonald helped make this film...

, Libeled Lady
Libeled Lady
Libeled Lady is a 1936 screwball comedy film starring Jean Harlow, William Powell, Myrna Loy and Spencer Tracy, written by George Oppenheimer, Howard Emmett Rogers, Wallace Sullivan and Maurine Dallas Watkins, and directed by Jack Conway....

, Captains Courageous, Test Pilot
Test Pilot (film)
Test Pilot is a 1938 film directed by Victor Fleming and featuring Clark Gable, Myrna Loy, Spencer Tracy, and Lionel Barrymore. The movie tells the story of a daredevil test pilot , his wife , and his best friend...

, Boys Town, Father of the Bride
Father of the Bride (1950 film)
Father of the Bride is a 1950 American comedy film about a man trying to cope with preparations for his daughter's upcoming wedding. The movie stars Spencer Tracy in the titular role, Joan Bennett, Elizabeth Taylor, Don Taylor, Billie Burke, and Leo G. Carroll. It was adapted by Frances Goodrich...

, Judgment at Nuremberg
Judgment at Nuremberg
Judgment at Nuremberg is a 1961 American drama film dealing with the Holocaust and the Post-World War II Nuremberg Trials. It was written by Abby Mann, directed by Stanley Kramer, and starred Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Maximilian Schell, Werner Klemperer, Marlene Dietrich, Judy...

 and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner is a 1967 American drama film starring Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier and Katharine Hepburn, and featuring Hepburn's niece Katharine Houghton...

.
Film
Year Film Role Notes
1930 The Strong Arm short subject
Taxi Talks Taxi Driver short subject
The Hard Guy Guy short subject
Up the River
Up the River
Up the River is a Pre-Code comedy film about escaped convicts, directed by John Ford and featuring Spencer Tracy and Humphrey Bogart in their feature film debuts.-Plot:...

Saint Louis
1931 Quick Millions
Quick Millions
Quick Millions is a 1931 Pre-Code crime film directed by Rowland Brown. The film involves a truck driver and the wealthy woman that he covets, and also features George Raft and Leon Ames in supporting roles.-Cast:...

Daniel J. 'Bugs' Raymond
Six Cylinder Love William Donroy
Goldie
Goldie (1931 film)
Goldie is a 1931 black-and-white comedy film about a woman named Goldie, portrayed by Jean Harlow, pursued by two sailors, played by Spencer Tracy and Warren Hymer. The movie was written by Paul Perez and Gene Towne, and directed by Benjamin Stoloff...

Bill
1932 She Wanted a Millionaire
She Wanted a Millionaire
She Wanted a Millionaire is a pre-Code 1932 movie starring Joan Bennett and Spencer Tracy. The film was directed by John G. Blystone and also features Una Merkel. This is the only film that Bennett and Tracy made together in which she was billed over Tracy...

William Kelley
Sky Devils Wilkie
Disorderly Conduct Dick Fay
Young America
Young America (1932 film)
Young America was a film first adapted for the screen by Maurine Watkins from the play by Fred Ballard . William M. Conselman rewrote the screenplay and Maurine's name no longer appeared on the credits . The film was directed by Frank Borzage.-Cast:* Spencer Tracy .....

Jack Doray
Society Girl Briscoe
The Painted Woman Tom Brian
Me and My Gal
Me and My Gal
Me and My Gal is a 1932 American motion picture drama and romantic comedy starring Spencer Tracy and Joan Bennett, directed by Raoul Walsh, and released by the Fox Film Corporation...

Danny Dolan
20,000 Years in Sing Sing
20,000 Years in Sing Sing
20,000 Years in Sing Sing is a 1932 American black-and-white drama film set in Sing Sing Penitentary, the notorious maximum security prison in New York State. This movie was directed by Michael Curtiz, and it starred the noted actors Spencer Tracy as the main convict, and Bette Davis as his...

Tommy Connors
1933 Face in the Sky Joe Buck
Shanghai Madness
Shanghai Madness
Shanghai Madness is a 1933 American drama film directed by John G. Blystone and starring Spencer Tracy, Fay Wray, Ralph Morgan and Albert Conti. After attacking and destroying a Chinese outpost, an American officer is dismissed from the US navy and instead finds himself in charge of a gunboat and...

Pat Jackson
The Power and the Glory Tom Garner
Man's Castle
Man's Castle
Man's Castle is 1933 film directed by Frank Borzage, and starring Spencer Tracy and Loretta Young.-Plot:Well-dressed Bill takes pity on Trina , a starving young woman he meets in a city park and treats her to a dinner in a fancy restaurant. After she is finished, he informs the manager he has no...

Bill
The Mad Game Edward Carson
1934 The Show-Off
The Show-Off
The Show-Off is a 1946 film directed by Harry Beaumont. It stars Red Skelton and Marilyn Maxwell. Previously filmed in 1926 as The Show Off starring Ford Sterling, Lois Wilson and Louise Brooks and in 1934 as The Show-Off with Spencer Tracy also with Lois Wilson.-Cast:*Red Skelton as J. Aubrey...

J. Aubrey Piper
Looking for Trouble
Looking for Trouble
Looking for Trouble is a 1934 American crime film directed by William A. Wellman and starring Spencer Tracy, Jack Oakie and Constance Cummings. After he is rejected by a woman, a man leaves his safe job and joins a gang that robs banks.-Cast:...

Joe Graham
Bottoms Up
Bottoms Up (1934 film)
Bottoms Up is a 1934 musical comedy film made by Fox Film Corporation, and was directed by David Butler who co-wrote original story and screenplay with producer Buddy G. DeSylva and co-star Sid Silvers. The film stars Spencer Tracy, Pat Paterson, John Boles and Herbert Mundin...

'Smoothie' King
Now I'll Tell
Now I'll Tell
Now I'll Tell is a 1934 American drama film starring Spencer Tracy, Helen Twelvetrees, and Alice Faye. The film was directed and written by Edwin J. Burke and is based on a novel by Mrs. Arnold Robinson. The film is about a gambler who gets in trouble with the mob by fixing fights and loses his...

Murray Golden
Marie Galante
Marie Galante (film)
Marie Galante is a 1934 American film directed by Henry King adapted from a French musical Marie Galante.- Cast :*Spencer Tracy as Dr...

Dr. Crawbett
1935 It's a Small World Bill Shevlin
The Murder Man
The Murder Man
The Murder Man is a 1935 crime-drama film starring Spencer Tracy, Virginia Bruce, and Lionel Atwill, and directed by Tim Whelan. It was Tracy's first film in what would be a twenty-year career with MGM. Tracy plays an investigative reporter who specializes in murder cases...

Steven 'Steve' Grey first credited screen role of James Stewart
James Stewart (actor)
James Maitland Stewart was an American film and stage actor, known for his distinctive voice and his everyman persona. Over the course of his career, he starred in many films widely considered classics and was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning one in competition and receiving one Lifetime...

Dante's Inferno Jim Carter
Whipsaw
Whipsaw (film)
Whipsaw is a 1935 film, produced by MGM and directed by Sam Wood. Stars Myrna Loy and Spencer Tracy.-Story:A group of thieves, a woman Vivian Palmer and two men Ed and Harry break into jewelry stores in Paris. Ross McBride, an official U.S. government falls on Vivian trying to left the country...

Ross 'Mac' McBride with Myrna Loy
Myrna Loy
Myrna Loy was an American actress. Trained as a dancer, she devoted herself fully to an acting career following a few minor roles in silent films. Originally typecast in exotic roles, often as a vamp or a woman of Asian descent, her career prospects improved following her portrayal of Nora Charles...

1936 Riffraff
Riffraff (1936 film)
Riffraff is a 1936 film starring Jean Harlow and Spencer Tracy. The movie was written by Frances Marion, Anita Loos, and H. W. Hannaford, and directed by J. Walter Ruben.-Plot:...

Dutch with Jean Harlow
Jean Harlow
Jean Harlow was an American film actress and sex symbol of the 1930s. Known as the "Blonde Bombshell" and the "Platinum Blonde" , Harlow was ranked as one of the greatest movie stars of all time by the American Film Institute...

 and Mickey Rooney
Mickey Rooney
Mickey Rooney is an American film actor and entertainer whose film, television, and stage appearances span nearly his entire lifetime. He has won multiple awards, including an Honorary Academy Award, a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award...

Fury Joe Wilson
San Francisco
San Francisco (film)
San Francisco is a 1936 musical-drama directed by Woody Van Dyke, based on the April 18, 1906 San Francisco earthquake. The film, which was the top grossing movie of that year, stars Clark Gable, Jeanette MacDonald, and Spencer Tracy. The then very popular singing of MacDonald helped make this film...

Father Mullin with Clark Gable
Clark Gable
William Clark Gable , known as Clark Gable, was an American film actor most famous for his role as Rhett Butler in the 1939 Civil War epic film Gone with the Wind, in which he starred with Vivien Leigh...


Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actor
Academy Award for Best Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...


Nominated — New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
The New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor is one of the awards given by the New York Film Critics Circle to honor the finest achievements in filmmaking....

Libeled Lady
Libeled Lady
Libeled Lady is a 1936 screwball comedy film starring Jean Harlow, William Powell, Myrna Loy and Spencer Tracy, written by George Oppenheimer, Howard Emmett Rogers, Wallace Sullivan and Maurine Dallas Watkins, and directed by Jack Conway....

Warren Haggerty The film was nominated for Best Picture, but lost out to The Great Ziegfeld
1937 They Gave Him a Gun
They Gave Him a Gun
They Gave Him a Gun is a 1937 American drama film directed by W. S. Van Dyke- Cast :* Spencer Tracy: Fred P. Willis* Gladys George: Rose Duffy* Franchot Tone: James 'Jimmy' Davis* Edgar Dearing: Sgt. Meadowlark* Mary Treen: Saxe...

Fred P. Willis
Captains Courageous Manuel Fidello with Lionel Barrymore
Lionel Barrymore
Lionel Barrymore was an American actor of stage, screen and radio. He won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in A Free Soul...

, John Carradine
John Carradine
John Carradine was an American actor, best known for his roles in horror films and Westerns as well as Shakespearean theater. A member of Cecil B DeMille's stock company and later John Ford's company, he was one of the most prolific character actors in Hollywood history...

, Melvyn Douglas
Melvyn Douglas
Melvyn Edouard Hesselberg , better known as Melvyn Douglas, was an American actor.Coming to prominence in the 1930s as a suave leading man , Douglas later transitioned into more mature and fatherly roles as in his Academy Award-winning performances in Hud...

, Mickey Rooney
Mickey Rooney
Mickey Rooney is an American film actor and entertainer whose film, television, and stage appearances span nearly his entire lifetime. He has won multiple awards, including an Honorary Academy Award, a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award...

 and Freddie Bartholomew
Freddie Bartholomew
Frederick Cecil Bartholomew , known for his acting work as Freddie Bartholomew, was an English-American child actor. One of the most famous child actors of all time, he became very popular in 1930s Hollywood films...

 
Academy Award for Best Actor
Academy Award for Best Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...


Nominated — New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
The New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor is one of the awards given by the New York Film Critics Circle to honor the finest achievements in filmmaking....

Big City
Big City (1937 film)
Big City is a 1937 drama film directed by Frank Borzage. The film was also released as Skyscraper Wilderness.-Plot:Joe Benton and his wife Anna are suspects of starting a taxi war. Although they are innocent, they are blamed for everything that has happened and the officials demand for Anna to be...

Joe Benton
Mannequin
Mannequin (1937 film)
Mannequin is 1937 film directed by Frank Borzage, and starring Joan Crawford, Spencer Tracy and Alan Curtis. In the film, Crawford plays Jessie, a young working class woman who seeks to improve her life by marrying her boyfriend, only to find out that he is no better than what she left behind...

John L. Hennessey
1938 Test Pilot
Test Pilot (film)
Test Pilot is a 1938 film directed by Victor Fleming and featuring Clark Gable, Myrna Loy, Spencer Tracy, and Lionel Barrymore. The movie tells the story of a daredevil test pilot , his wife , and his best friend...

Gunner Morris with Clark Gable
Clark Gable
William Clark Gable , known as Clark Gable, was an American film actor most famous for his role as Rhett Butler in the 1939 Civil War epic film Gone with the Wind, in which he starred with Vivien Leigh...

Boys Town Father Flanagan
Edward J. Flanagan
Father Edward Joseph Flanagan was a priest of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. He was the founder of what is arguably the most famous orphanage—Boys Town...

with Mickey Rooney
Mickey Rooney
Mickey Rooney is an American film actor and entertainer whose film, television, and stage appearances span nearly his entire lifetime. He has won multiple awards, including an Honorary Academy Award, a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award...


Academy Award for Best Actor
Academy Award for Best Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...


Nominated — New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
The New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor is one of the awards given by the New York Film Critics Circle to honor the finest achievements in filmmaking....

Another Romance of Celluloid himself behind-the-scenes short film, includes filming of Test Pilot
Test Pilot (film)
Test Pilot is a 1938 film directed by Victor Fleming and featuring Clark Gable, Myrna Loy, Spencer Tracy, and Lionel Barrymore. The movie tells the story of a daredevil test pilot , his wife , and his best friend...

, and shows Tracy accepting his Academy Award for Boys Town
Screen Snapshots Series 17, No. 9 himself short subject showing Tracy accepting his Academy Award for Boys Town
Hollywood Goes to Town himself short subject, showing notable Hollywood performers preparing for the world premiere of Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette (1938 film)
Marie Antoinette is a 1938 film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It was directed by W. S. Van Dyke and starred Norma Shearer as Marie Antoinette...

1939 Stanley and Livingstone
Stanley and Livingstone
Stanley and Livingstone is a movie about reporter Sir Henry M. Stanley's quest for Dr. David Livingstone, a missionary presumed lost in Africa. Spencer Tracy played Stanley, Sir Cedric Hardwicke portrayed Livingstone, and other cast members included Nancy Kelly, Walter Brennan, Charles Coburn,...

Henry M. Stanley
Henry Morton Stanley
Sir Henry Morton Stanley, GCB, born John Rowlands , was a Welsh journalist and explorer famous for his exploration of Africa and his search for David Livingstone. Upon finding Livingstone, Stanley allegedly uttered the now-famous greeting, "Dr...

For Auld Lang Syne himself fundraising short film in which several actors, including Tracy, appeal for funds for the Will Rogers Memorial Hospital
Hollywood Hobbies himself behind-the-scenes short film
1940 I Take This Woman
I Take This Woman (1940 film)
I Take This Woman is a 1940 drama film starring Spencer Tracy and Hedy Lamarr.-Cast:*Spencer Tracy as Dr. Karl Decker*Hedy Lamarr as Georgi Gragore Decker*Verree Teasdale as Madame "Cesca" Marcesca*Kent Taylor as Phil Mayberry...

Dr. Karl Decker
Young Tom Edison
Young Tom Edison
Young Tom Edison is a 1940 biographical film about the early life of inventor Thomas Edison, with Mickey Rooney in the title role.-Cast:*Mickey Rooney as Thomas Edison*Fay Bainter as Nancy Edison*George Bancroft as Samuel Edison...

uncredited role with Mickey Rooney
Mickey Rooney
Mickey Rooney is an American film actor and entertainer whose film, television, and stage appearances span nearly his entire lifetime. He has won multiple awards, including an Honorary Academy Award, a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award...


Tracy appears as a man admiring a portrait of Edison; he plays the older Edison in Edison, the Man
Edison, the Man
Edison, the Man was a 1940 biographical film depicting the life of inventor Thomas Edison, who was played by Spencer Tracy. Hugo Butler and Dore Schary were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Writing, Original Story for their work on this film...

 in the same year
Northwest Passage Major Rogers
Robert Rogers (soldier)
Robert Rogers was an American colonial frontiersman. Rogers served in the British army during both the French and Indian War and the American Revolution...

Edison, the Man
Edison, the Man
Edison, the Man was a 1940 biographical film depicting the life of inventor Thomas Edison, who was played by Spencer Tracy. Hugo Butler and Dore Schary were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Writing, Original Story for their work on this film...

Thomas Edison
Thomas Edison
Thomas Alva Edison was an American inventor and businessman. He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. In addition, he created the world’s first industrial...

Boom Town
Boom Town (film)
Boom Town is a 1940 adventure drama Hollywood film starring Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Claudette Colbert, Hedy Lamarr, and Frank Morgan. A story written by James Edward Grant in Cosmopolitan magazine titled "A Lady Comes to Burkburnett" provided the inspiration for the film.-Plot:"Big John"...

Jonathan Sand with Clark Gable
Clark Gable
William Clark Gable , known as Clark Gable, was an American film actor most famous for his role as Rhett Butler in the 1939 Civil War epic film Gone with the Wind, in which he starred with Vivien Leigh...

Northward, Ho! himself behind-the-scenes short film about the filming of Northwest Passage
1941 Men of Boys Town Father Flanagan
Edward J. Flanagan
Father Edward Joseph Flanagan was a priest of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. He was the founder of what is arguably the most famous orphanage—Boys Town...

with Mickey Rooney
Mickey Rooney
Mickey Rooney is an American film actor and entertainer whose film, television, and stage appearances span nearly his entire lifetime. He has won multiple awards, including an Honorary Academy Award, a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award...

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941 film)
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a 1941 horror film starring Spencer Tracy, Ingrid Bergman and Lana Turner. Rather than being a new film version of the novel, it is a direct remake of the 1931 film of the same name, which differs greatly from the novel. The movie was based on Robert Louis Stevenson's...

Dr. Henry Jekyll/Mr. Hyde
1942 Woman of the Year
Woman of the Year
Woman of the Year is a romantic comedy film. The movie is about an emancipated woman, chosen "Woman of the Year", and her colleague-turned-husband and their efforts to negotiate a path to marital bliss....

Sam Craig first film with Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Houghton Hepburn was an American actress of film, stage, and television. In a career that spanned 62 years as a leading lady, she was best known for playing strong-willed, sophisticated women in both dramas and comedies...

Tortilla Flat
Tortilla Flat (film)
Tortilla Flat is a 1942 film with Spencer Tracy, Hedy Lamarr, John Garfield, Frank Morgan, Akim Tamiroff, and Sheldon Leonard based on the novel by John Steinbeck. It was directed by Victor Fleming.- Plot :...

Pilon
Keeper of the Flame
Keeper of the Flame (film)
Keeper of the Flame is a dramatic film from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer . It stars Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. Hepburn plays the widow of a famous civic leader who has suddenly died in an accident. Tracy plays a former war correspondent who intends to write a flattering biography of the dead man,...

Steven 'Stevie' O'Malley with Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Houghton Hepburn was an American actress of film, stage, and television. In a career that spanned 62 years as a leading lady, she was best known for playing strong-willed, sophisticated women in both dramas and comedies...

Ring of Steel Narrator Military documentary
1943 His New World Narrator documentary
A Guy Named Joe
A Guy Named Joe
A Guy Named Joe is a 1943 film made by MGM, directed by Victor Fleming, produced by Everett Riskin, from a screenplay by Dalton Trumbo, adapted by Frederick Hazlitt Brennan from a story by Chandler Sprague and David Boehm. It starred Spencer Tracy, Irene Dunne and Van Johnson, with Esther Williams...

Pete Sandidge
His New World Narrator War documentary
1944 The Seventh Cross
The Seventh Cross (1944 film)
The Seventh Cross is a 1944 film starring Spencer Tracy, Hume Cronyn, Ray Collins and Jessica Tandy. Cronyn was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor...

George Heisler
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
Thirty Seconds over Tokyo
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo is a 1944 MGM war film. It is based on the true story of America's first retaliatory air strike against Japan four months after the December 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The movie was directed by Mervyn LeRoy and produced by Sam Zimbalist. The screenplay by...

Lieutenant Colonel James H. Doolittle
Jimmy Doolittle
General James Harold "Jimmy" Doolittle, USAF was an American aviation pioneer. Doolittle served as a brigadier general, major general and lieutenant general in the United States Army Air Forces during the Second World War...

1945 Without Love
Without Love
Without Love is a 1942 play by Philip Barry, later made into a 1945 romantic comedy film starring Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. The film was directed by Harold S...

Pat Jamieson with Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Houghton Hepburn was an American actress of film, stage, and television. In a career that spanned 62 years as a leading lady, she was best known for playing strong-willed, sophisticated women in both dramas and comedies...

1947 The Sea of Grass
The Sea of Grass (film)
The Sea of Grass is a 1947 western-drama film. It was directed by Elia Kazan and based on the novel of the same name by Conrad Richter. The movie stars Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy and Melvyn Douglas....

Col. James B. 'Jim' Brewton with Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Houghton Hepburn was an American actress of film, stage, and television. In a career that spanned 62 years as a leading lady, she was best known for playing strong-willed, sophisticated women in both dramas and comedies...

Cass Timberlane
Cass Timberlane
Cass Timberlane is a novel written by Sinclair Lewis, published in 1945. It is Sinclair Lewis' nineteenth novel and one of his last.It was made into a romantic drama film starring Spencer Tracy and Lana Turner, directed by George Sidney, and released in 1947.Timberlane is a minor character in...

Cass Timberlane
1948 State of the Union
State of the Union (film)
State of the Union is a 1948 film adaptation written by Myles Connolly and Anthony Veiller of the Russel Crouse, Howard Lindsay play of the same name. Directed by Frank Capra and starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, the film is Capra's first and only project for MGM Pictures...

Grant Matthews with Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Houghton Hepburn was an American actress of film, stage, and television. In a career that spanned 62 years as a leading lady, she was best known for playing strong-willed, sophisticated women in both dramas and comedies...

1949 Edward, My Son
Edward, My Son
Edward, My Son is a 1949 American/British drama film directed by George Cukor that stars Spencer Tracy and Deborah Kerr. The screenplay by Donald Ogden Stewart is based on the play by Noel Langley and Robert Morley.-Plot:...

Arnold Boult
Adam's Rib
Adam's Rib
Adam's Rib is a 1949 American film written by Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin and directed by George Cukor. It stars Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn as married lawyers who come to oppose each other in court. Judy Holliday co-stars in her first substantial film role...

Adam Bonner with Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Houghton Hepburn was an American actress of film, stage, and television. In a career that spanned 62 years as a leading lady, she was best known for playing strong-willed, sophisticated women in both dramas and comedies...

Malaya
Malaya (film)
Malaya is a 1949 war film set in colonial Malaya during World War II, starring Spencer Tracy and James Stewart. The movie was directed by Richard Thorpe.-Plot:...

Canaghan
Some of the Best himself retrospective of MGM
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. is an American media company, involved primarily in the production and distribution of films and television programs. MGM was founded in 1924 when the entertainment entrepreneur Marcus Loew gained control of Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures Corporation and Louis B. Mayer...

's history
1950 Father of the Bride
Father of the Bride (1950 film)
Father of the Bride is a 1950 American comedy film about a man trying to cope with preparations for his daughter's upcoming wedding. The movie stars Spencer Tracy in the titular role, Joan Bennett, Elizabeth Taylor, Don Taylor, Billie Burke, and Leo G. Carroll. It was adapted by Frances Goodrich...

Stanley Banks Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actor
Academy Award for Best Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...

1951 Father's Little Dividend
Father's Little Dividend
Father's Little Dividend is a 1951 comedy film directed by Vincente Minnelli and starring Spencer Tracy, Joan Bennett, and Elizabeth Taylor. The movie is the sequel to Father of the Bride ....

Stanley Banks
The People Against O'Hara
The People Against O'Hara
The People Against O'Hara is a 1951 film noir based on Eleazar Lipsky's novel. The movie stars Spencer Tracy, Pat O'Brien, and James Arness, and is directed by John Sturges, who also directed the The Great Escape.- Plot :...

James P. Curtayne
For Defense for Freedom for Humanity himself short film in which Tracy urges support for Red Cross fundraising
1952 Pat and Mike
Pat and Mike
Pat and Mike is a 1952 comedy starring Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. The movie was directed by George Cukor, who also directed The Philadelphia Story and Adam's Rib.- Plot :...

Mike Conovan with Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Houghton Hepburn was an American actress of film, stage, and television. In a career that spanned 62 years as a leading lady, she was best known for playing strong-willed, sophisticated women in both dramas and comedies...

Plymouth Adventure
Plymouth Adventure
Plymouth Adventure is a 1952 drama film with an ensemble cast starring Spencer Tracy, Gene Tierney, Van Johnson and Leo Genn, made by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, directed by Clarence Brown, and produced by Dore Schary...

Captain Christopher Jones with Gene Tierney
Gene Tierney
Gene Eliza Tierney was an American film and stage actress. Acclaimed as one of the great beauties of her day, she is best remembered for her performance in the title role of Laura and her Academy Award-nominated performance for Best Actress in Leave Her to Heaven .Other notable roles include...

1953 The Actress
The Actress
The Actress is an 1953 American comedy-drama film based on Ruth Gordon's autobiographical play Years Ago. Gordon herself wrote the screenplay. The film was directed by George Cukor and stars Jean Simmons, Spencer Tracy, Teresa Wright, and Anthony Perkins in his film debut.The film was nominated for...

Clinton Jones Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actor
BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Best Actor in a Leading Role is a British Academy Film award presented annually by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding leading performance in a film.-Superlatives:...


Nominated — New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
The New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor is one of the awards given by the New York Film Critics Circle to honor the finest achievements in filmmaking....

1954 Broken Lance
Broken Lance
Broken Lance is a 1954 Western film made by Twentieth Century-Fox, directed by Edward Dmytryk and produced by Sol C. Siegel. The movie stars Spencer Tracy and features Katy Jurado, Richard Widmark, Robert Wagner, Jean Peters, Eduard Franz, Hugh O'Brian and Earl Holliman.Shot in color and...

Matt Devereaux
1955 Bad Day at Black Rock
Bad Day at Black Rock
Bad Day at Black Rock is a 1955 thriller film directed by John Sturges that combines elements of Westerns and film noir. It tells the story of a mysterious stranger who arrives at a tiny isolated town in a desert of the southwest United States in search of a man...

John J. Macreedy Best Actor Award (Cannes Film Festival)
Best Actor Award (Cannes Film Festival)
The Best Actor Award is an award presented at the Cannes Film Festival. It is chosen by the jury from the 'official section' of movies at the festival. It was first awarded in 1946.- Award Winners :-External links:* * ....

 Prix d'interprétation masculine
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actor
Academy Award for Best Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...


Nominated — New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
The New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor is one of the awards given by the New York Film Critics Circle to honor the finest achievements in filmmaking....

1956 The Mountain
The Mountain (1956 film)
The Mountain is a 1956 dramatic film starring Spencer Tracy and Robert Wagner. The supporting cast included Claire Trevor, Richard Arlen, William Demarest, and Anna Kashfi...

Zachary Teller Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actor
BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Best Actor in a Leading Role is a British Academy Film award presented annually by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding leading performance in a film.-Superlatives:...

1957 Desk Set
Desk Set
Desk Set is a 1957 American romantic comedy film directed by Walter Lang and starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn...

Richard Sumner with Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Houghton Hepburn was an American actress of film, stage, and television. In a career that spanned 62 years as a leading lady, she was best known for playing strong-willed, sophisticated women in both dramas and comedies...

1958 The Old Man and the Sea
The Old Man and the Sea (1958 film)
The Old Man and the Sea is a 1958 film starring Spencer Tracy, in a portrayal for which he was nominated for a best actor Oscar. The screenplay was adapted by Peter Viertel from the novella of the same name by Ernest Hemingway, and the film was directed by John Sturges...

The Old Man/Narrator NBR Award for Best Actor
National Board of Review Award for Best Actor
An incomplete list of the winners of the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures Award for Best Actor :-1940s:-1950s:-1960s:-1970s:-1980s:-1990s:-2000s:-2010s:...

 (award was also for The Last Hurrah
The Last Hurrah
The Last Hurrah is a 1956 novel written by Edwin O'Connor. It is considered the most popular of O’Connor's works, partly because of a significant 1958 movie adaptation starring Spencer Tracy. The novel was immediately a bestseller in the United States for 20 weeks, and was also on lists for...

)
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actor
Academy Award for Best Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...


Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated — New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
The New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor is one of the awards given by the New York Film Critics Circle to honor the finest achievements in filmmaking....

The Last Hurrah
The Last Hurrah (1958 film)
The Last Hurrah is a 1958 film adaptation of the novel The Last Hurrah by Edwin O'Connor. It was directed by John Ford and starred Spencer Tracy as a veteran mayor preparing for yet another election campaign...

Mayor Frank Skeffington NBR Award for Best Actor
National Board of Review Award for Best Actor
An incomplete list of the winners of the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures Award for Best Actor :-1940s:-1950s:-1960s:-1970s:-1980s:-1990s:-2000s:-2010s:...

 (award was also for The Old Man and the Sea
The Old Man and the Sea (1958 film)
The Old Man and the Sea is a 1958 film starring Spencer Tracy, in a portrayal for which he was nominated for a best actor Oscar. The screenplay was adapted by Peter Viertel from the novella of the same name by Ernest Hemingway, and the film was directed by John Sturges...

)
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actor
BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Best Actor in a Leading Role is a British Academy Film award presented annually by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding leading performance in a film.-Superlatives:...


Nominated — New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
The New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor is one of the awards given by the New York Film Critics Circle to honor the finest achievements in filmmaking....

1960 Inherit the Wind
Inherit the Wind (1960 film)
Inherit the Wind is a 1960 Hollywood film adaptation of the play of the same name, written by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee, directed by Stanley Kramer....

Henry Drummond Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actor
Academy Award for Best Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...


Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actor
BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Best Actor in a Leading Role is a British Academy Film award presented annually by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding leading performance in a film.-Superlatives:...


Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
1961 The Devil at 4 O'Clock
The Devil at 4 O'Clock
The Devil at 4 O'Clock is a 1961 disaster film with elevated themes, starring Spencer Tracy and Frank Sinatra and directed by Mervyn LeRoy. Based upon an eponymous novel by Max Catto, film was a precursor to the disaster movies of the 1970s, such as The Poseidon Adventure, Earthquake, and The...

Father Matthew Doonan
Judgment at Nuremberg
Judgment at Nuremberg
Judgment at Nuremberg is a 1961 American drama film dealing with the Holocaust and the Post-World War II Nuremberg Trials. It was written by Abby Mann, directed by Stanley Kramer, and starred Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Maximilian Schell, Werner Klemperer, Marlene Dietrich, Judy...

Chief Judge Dan Haywood Fotogramas de Plata Award for Best Foreign Performer
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actor
Academy Award for Best Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...

1962 How the West Was Won
How the West Was Won (film)
How the West Was Won is a 1962 American epic Western film. The picture was one of the last "old-fashioned" epic films made by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to enjoy great success. It follows four generations of a family as they move ever westward, from western New York state to the Pacific Ocean...

Narrator
1963 It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World is a 1963 American comedy film produced and directed by Stanley Kramer about the madcap pursuit of $350,000 in stolen cash by a diverse and colorful group of strangers...

Captain T. G. Culpepper with Milton Berle
Milton Berle
Milton Berlinger , better known as Milton Berle, was an American comedian and actor. As the manic host of NBC's Texaco Star Theater , in 1948 he was the first major star of U.S. television and as such became known as Uncle Miltie and Mr...

, Sid Caesar
Sid Caesar
Isaac Sidney "Sid" Caesar is an Emmy award winning American comic actor and writer known as the leading man on the 1950s television series Your Show of Shows and Caesar's Hour, and to younger generations as Coach Calhoun in Grease and Grease 2.- Early life :Caesar was born in Yonkers, New York,...

, Edie Adams
Edie Adams
Edie Adams was an American singer, Broadway, television and film actress and comedienne. Adams, a Tony Award winner, "both embodied and winked at the stereotypes of fetching chanteuse and sexpot blonde." She was well-known for her impersonations of female stars on stage and television, most...

, Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman was an American actress and singer. Known primarily for her powerful voice and roles in musical theatre, she has been called "the undisputed First Lady of the musical comedy stage." Among the many standards introduced by Merman in Broadway musicals are "I Got Rhythm", "Everything's...

, Jonathan Winters
Jonathan Winters
-Early life:Winters was born in Bellbrook, Ohio, the son of Alice Kilgore , a radio personality, and Jonathan Harshman Winters II, an investment broker. He is a descendant of Valentine Winters, founder of the Winters National Bank in Dayton, Ohio...

, Mickey Rooney
Mickey Rooney
Mickey Rooney is an American film actor and entertainer whose film, television, and stage appearances span nearly his entire lifetime. He has won multiple awards, including an Honorary Academy Award, a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award...

, Buddy Hackett
Buddy Hackett
Buddy Hackett was an American comedian and actor.-Early life:Hackett was born in Brooklyn, New York, New York, the son of a Jewish upholsterer. He grew up on 54th and 14th Ave in Borough Park, Brooklyn, across from Public School 103...

, Phil Silvers
Phil Silvers
Phil Silvers was an American entertainer and comedy actor, known as "The King of Chutzpah." He is best known for starring in The Phil Silvers Show, a 1950s sitcom set on a U.S...

, and numerous others
1967 Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner is a 1967 American drama film starring Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier and Katharine Hepburn, and featuring Hepburn's niece Katharine Houghton...

Matt Drayton with Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Houghton Hepburn was an American actress of film, stage, and television. In a career that spanned 62 years as a leading lady, she was best known for playing strong-willed, sophisticated women in both dramas and comedies...


BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Best Actor in a Leading Role is a British Academy Film award presented annually by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding leading performance in a film.-Superlatives:...

 (posthumous)
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actor
Academy Award for Best Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...

 (posthumous)
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama (posthumous)
Nominated — New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
The New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor is one of the awards given by the New York Film Critics Circle to honor the finest achievements in filmmaking....

 (posthumous)

Awards and nominations

Academy Award wins and nominations (all for Best Actor):
  • 1937: Nomination for San Francisco
    San Francisco (film)
    San Francisco is a 1936 musical-drama directed by Woody Van Dyke, based on the April 18, 1906 San Francisco earthquake. The film, which was the top grossing movie of that year, stars Clark Gable, Jeanette MacDonald, and Spencer Tracy. The then very popular singing of MacDonald helped make this film...

  • 1938: Win for Captains Courageous
  • 1939: Win for Boys Town
    Boys Town (1938 film)
    Boys Town is a 1938 biographical drama film based on Father Edward J. Flanagan's work with a group of disadvantaged and delinquent boys in a home that he founded and named "Boys Town". It stars Spencer Tracy as Father Edward J...

  • 1951: Nomination for Father of the Bride
    Father of the Bride (1950 film)
    Father of the Bride is a 1950 American comedy film about a man trying to cope with preparations for his daughter's upcoming wedding. The movie stars Spencer Tracy in the titular role, Joan Bennett, Elizabeth Taylor, Don Taylor, Billie Burke, and Leo G. Carroll. It was adapted by Frances Goodrich...

  • 1956: Nomination for Bad Day at Black Rock
    Bad Day at Black Rock
    Bad Day at Black Rock is a 1955 thriller film directed by John Sturges that combines elements of Westerns and film noir. It tells the story of a mysterious stranger who arrives at a tiny isolated town in a desert of the southwest United States in search of a man...

  • 1959: Nomination for The Old Man and the Sea
  • 1961: Nomination for Inherit the Wind
    Inherit the Wind (1960 film)
    Inherit the Wind is a 1960 Hollywood film adaptation of the play of the same name, written by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee, directed by Stanley Kramer....

  • 1962: Nomination for Judgment at Nuremberg
    Judgment at Nuremberg
    Judgment at Nuremberg is a 1961 American drama film dealing with the Holocaust and the Post-World War II Nuremberg Trials. It was written by Abby Mann, directed by Stanley Kramer, and starred Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Maximilian Schell, Werner Klemperer, Marlene Dietrich, Judy...

  • 1968: Nomination for Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
    Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
    Guess Who's Coming to Dinner is a 1967 American drama film starring Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier and Katharine Hepburn, and featuring Hepburn's niece Katharine Houghton...

     (posthumous nomination)

External links

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