Spencer Tracy

Spencer Tracy

A Biography

Book - 2011
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During his lifetime (1900-67), Spencer Tracy was known as Hollywood's 'actor's actor'. Critics wrote that what Olivier was to theatre, Tracy was to film. Over his career he was nominated for nine Academy Awards, and won two.

But there has been no substantial, intimate biography of the man. From his earliest days in stock theatre, Tracy was a publicist's trial, guarding his private life fiercely.

Most of the people associated closely with him also shunned the fanzine limelight - notably his wife, his children and the great actress Katharine Hepburn, with whom he had an affair that lasted over 26 years.

Although his screen roles often depicted a happy, twinkling Irishman, Tracy was a periodic alcoholic and a not very agreeable drunk. But the studios managed to keep him out of the papers.

With the help of Tracy's daughter, Susie, and access to previously unseen papers, James Curtis has now produced the definitive biography of a tortured, complex and immensely talented man.

The book contains 124 integrated photos, many published for the first time.

Publisher: London : 2011
ISBN: 9780091785246
Branch Call Number: B 791.43092 CURT
Characteristics: xix, 1001 p. : ill. ; 24 cm


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steve1961 Mar 03, 2015

You probably need to be a pretty big Spencer Tracy fan to commit to this book, but if you are a fan, it's well worth the time. Author James Curtis takes the time to write the kind of biography that covers every aspect of his subject's life and career. The fact that Curtis covers every single movie Tracy appeared in (from the actor's initial involvement, through the production itself, then on to how the film was received by critics and the public) is what makes this a cut above the standard bio. As a general movie fan, I LOVE that kind of stuff. The book is very accessibly written and never feels "gossipy", trite or dry. Highly recommended.

willy56 Aug 15, 2013

At over 900 pages, this is a commitment to read. You had better be a huge Spenser Tracy fan or very interested in every detail of his life to take this one on.
The author, James Curtis, spent 6 years researching and writing this tome and made sure every word he wrote was well represented in the finished volume.
I do not need to read about every event in Tracy's early life to understand how it shaped him as a man and an actor. Curtis, on the other hand, feels that you must.
I enjoy Spenser Tracy movies but not reading this slow moving, dry and over-researched book.

Aug 29, 2012

a great actor but a boring book.

songbirdofGod Feb 22, 2012

Superb, meticulously researched autobiography on one of the greatest actors of all time. His complex and individualistic personality, compounded with his life long problem with alcohol, problematic marriage,womanizing and Catholic guilt ridden demons are all presented in fascinating detail. The piece de resistance, of course, is the meeting of his soul mate Katharine Hepburn, her refusal to be his concubine and insistence on maintaining her individuality, expressing her distaste of his numerous affairs with Hollywood actresses by distancing herself from Tracy, yet the denouement, her solicitous care of Tracy in his final years, and her love and devotion never more evident than with him at his death, incredibly moving. This book is very long, over 900 pages, but well worth reading every word. Some reviewers on amazon have called it "dry", but not at all, in my opinion. It is a magnificent and penultimate tribute to one of our greatest actors.

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