Spencer Tracy

Highest Rated: 100% Desk Set (1957)
Lowest Rated: 17% The Sea of Grass (1947)
Birthday: Apr 5, 1900
Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Universally regarded among the screen's greatest actors, Spencer Tracy was a most unlikely leading man. Stocky, craggy-faced, and gruff, he could never be considered a matinee idol, yet few stars enjoyed greater or more consistent success. An uncommonly versatile performer, his consistently honest and effortless performances made him a favorite of both audiences and critics throughout a career spanning well over three decades. Born April 5, 1900, in Milwaukee, WI, Tracy was expelled from some 15 different elementary schools prior to attending Rippon College, where he discovered and honed a talent for debating; eventually, he considered acting as a logical extension of his skills, and went on to study at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. His first professional work cast him as a robot in a stage production of R.U.R. at a salary of ten dollars a week. He made his Broadway debut in 1923's A Royal Fandango and later co-starred in a number of George M. Cohan vehicles. Tracy's performance as an imprisoned killer in 1930's The Last Mile made him a stage star, and during its Broadway run he made a pair of shorts for Vitaphone, The Hard Guy and Taxi Talks. Screen tests for MGM, Universal, and Warners were all met with rejection, however, but when John Ford insisted on casting Tracy as the lead in his prison drama Up the River, Fox offered a five-year contract.Tracy's second film was 1931's Quick Millions, in which he portrayed a racketeer. He was frequently typecast as a gangster during his early career, or at the very least a tough guy, and like the majority of Fox productions throughout the early part of the decade, his first several films were unspectacular. His big break arrived when Warners entered a feud with Jimmy Cagney, who was scheduled to star in 1933's 20,000 Years in Sing Sing; when he balked, the studio borrowed Tracy, and the picture was a hit. His next two starring roles in The Face in the Sky and the Preston Sturges epic The Power and the Glory were also successful, earning very positive critical notice. Still, Fox continued to offer Tracy largely low-rent projects, despite extending his contract through 1937. Regardless, much of his best work was done outside of the studio grounds; for United Artists, he starred in 1934's Looking for Trouble, and for MGM starred as The Show-Off. After filming 1935's It's a Small World, executives cast Tracy as yet another heavy in The Farmer Takes a Wife; he refused to accept the role and was fired. Despite serious misgivings, MGM signed him on. However, the studio remained concerned about his perceived lack of sex appeal and continued giving the majority of plum roles to Clark Gable. As a consequence, Tracy's first MGM offerings -- 1935's Riff Raff, The Murder Man, and 1936's Whipsaw -- were by and large no better than his Fox vehicles, but he next starred in Fritz Lang's excellent Fury. For the big-budget disaster epic San Francisco, Tracy earned the first of nine Academy Award nominations -- a record for male stars -- and in 1937 won his first Oscar for his work in Victor Fleming's Captains Courageous. Around the release of the 1938 smash Test Pilot, Time magazine declared him "cinema's number one actor's actor," a standing solidified later that year by Boys' Town, which won him an unprecedented second consecutive Academy Award. After 1939's Stanley and Livingstone, Tracy starred in the hit Northwest Passage, followed by a turn as Edison the Man. With the success of 1941's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, he even usurped Gable's standing as MGM's top draw.Tracy was happily married to actress Louise Treadwell when he teamed with Katharine Hepburn in 1942's Woman of the Year. It was the first in a long series of collaborations that established them as one of the screen's greatest pairings, and soon the two actors entered an offscreen romance which continued for the remainder of Tracy's life. They were clearly soulmates, yet Tracy, a devout Catholic, refused to entertain the thought of a


Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet Murnau, Borzage & Fox Actor 2008
No Score Yet Spencer Tracy Legacy Actor 1987
No Score Yet George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey Actor 1984
No Score Yet That's Entertainment, Part 2 Actor 1976
71% Guess Who's Coming to Dinner Matt Drayton 1967
73% It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World Capt. C.G. Culpepper 1963
90% How the West Was Won Narrator 1963
90% Judgment at Nuremberg Judge Dan Haywood 1961
No Score Yet The Devil at 4 O'clock Father Matthew Doonan 1961
92% Inherit the Wind Henry Drummond 1960
88% The Old Man and the Sea The Old Man 1958
91% The Last Hurrah Mayor Frank Skeffington 1958
100% Desk Set Richard Sumner 1957
No Score Yet The Mountain Zachary Teller 1956
97% Bad Day at Black Rock John J. Macreedy 1955
88% Broken Lance Matt Devereaux 1954
No Score Yet The Actress Clinton Jones 1953
No Score Yet Plymouth Adventure Capt. Christopher Jones 1952
90% Pat and Mike Mike Conovan 1952
100% Father's Little Dividend Stanley Banks 1951
No Score Yet The People Against O'Hara James Curtayne 1951
93% Father of the Bride Stanley T. Banks 1950
No Score Yet Malaya Carnaghan 1949
100% Adam's Rib Adam Bonner 1949
No Score Yet Edward, My Son Arnold Boult 1949
80% State of the Union Grant Matthews 1948
No Score Yet Cass Timberlane Cass Timberlane 1947
17% The Sea of Grass Col. James B. 'Jim' Brewton 1947
No Score Yet Without Love Pat Jamieson 1945
No Score Yet A Guy Named Joe Pete Sandridge 1944
100% Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo Lt. Col. James Doolittle 1944
100% The Seventh Cross George Heisler 1944
No Score Yet Keeper of the Flame Steven 'Stevie' O'Malley 1942
No Score Yet Tortilla Flat Pilon 1942
92% Woman of the Year Sam Craig 1942
65% Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Dr. Harry Jekyll/Mr. Hyde 1941
No Score Yet Men of Boys Town Father Flanagan 1941
80% Edison, the Man Thomas Alva Edison 1940
100% Northwest Passage Major Rogers 1940
No Score Yet I Take This Woman Dr. Karl Decker 1940
No Score Yet Boom Town Square John Sand 1940
No Score Yet Stanley and Livingstone Henry M. Stanley 1939
No Score Yet Land of Liberty Actor 1939
89% Boys Town Father Edward Flanagan 1938
71% Test Pilot Gunner Sloane 1938
No Score Yet Mannequin John L. Hennessey 1937
No Score Yet Big City Actor 1937
93% Captains Courageous Manuel 1937
No Score Yet They Gave Him a Gun Fred P. Willis 1937
100% San Francisco Father Tim Mullin 1936
100% Fury Joe Wheeler 1936
No Score Yet Riffraff Dutch Miller 1936
82% Libeled Lady Warren Haggerty 1936
No Score Yet Whipsaw Ross 'Mac' McBride aka Danny Ross Ackerman 1935
No Score Yet Dante's Inferno Jim Carter 1935
No Score Yet The Murder Man Steve Gray 1935
No Score Yet Now I'll Tell Murray Golden 1934
No Score Yet Marie Galante Crawbett 1934
71% Man's Castle Bill 1933
No Score Yet The Power and the Glory Tom Gardner 1933
No Score Yet 20,000 Years in Sing Sing Tommy Connors 1932
No Score Yet Me and My Gal Dan Dolan 1932
No Score Yet Young America (We Humans) Jack Doray 1932
No Score Yet Disorderly Conduct Dick Fay 1932
No Score Yet She Wanted a Millionaire William Kelley 1932
No Score Yet Quick Millions Daniel J. 'Bugs' Raymond 1931
No Score Yet Goldie Bill 1931
No Score Yet Up the River Saint Louis 1930
No Score Yet The Hard Guy (The Tough Guy) Actor 1930