Spencer Tracy

Born Apr 5, 1900

Spencer Bonaventure Tracy was an American actor. Respected for his natural style and versatility, Tracy was one of the major stars of Hollywood's Golden Age. In a screen career that spanned 37 years, he was nominated for nine Academy Awards for Best Actor—a record he holds with Laurence Olivier—of which he won three.… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Spencer Tracy.


1900 Birth Tracy was born on April 5, 1900, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. … Read More


1919 19 Years Old …  He achieved the rank of seaman second class, but never went to sea, and was discharged in February 1919. … Read More


1921 21 Years Old 1 More Event
He entered Ripon in February 1921, declaring his intention to major in medicine.
1922 22 Years Old 1 More Event
Tracy left Ripon, and began classes at AADA in April 1922. … Read More
1923 23 Years Old 1 More Event
Tracy met actress Louise Treadwell while they were both members of the Wood Players in White Plains, New York—the first stock company Tracy joined after graduating. The couple were engaged in May 1923, and married on September 10 of that year between the matinee and evening performances of his show. … Read More
1924 24 Years Old 1 More Event
In January 1924 he played his first leading role with a company in Winnipeg, but the organization soon closed.


1930 - 1932 2 More Events
1933 33 Years Old 1 More Event
Tracy left the family home in 1933, and he and Louise openly discussed the separation with the media, maintaining that they were still friends and had not taken divorce action.
1934 34 Years Old Tracy drank heavily during his years with Fox, and gained a reputation as an alcoholic. He failed to report for filming on Marie Galante in June 1934, and was found in his hotel room, virtually unconscious after a two-week binge. … Read More
1935 35 Years Old 1 More Event
They were in need of a new male star, and contacted Tracy on April 2, 1935, offering him a seven-year deal. … Read More
…  His career flourished with a series of hit films, and in 1937 and 1938 he won consecutive Oscars for Captains Courageous and Boys Town. … Read More
1938 38 Years Old 1 More Event
Tracy was reunited with Gable and Loy for 1938's Test Pilot. … Read More
1939 39 Years Old Tracy was absent from screens for almost a year before returning to Twentieth Century-Fox on loan and appearing as Henry M. Stanley in Stanley and Livingstone, his only film of 1939. … Read More


1940 40 Years Old MGM capitalized on Tracy's popularity, casting him in four movies for 1940. … Read More
Tracy signed a new contract with MGM in April 1941, which paid $5,000 a week and limited him to three pictures a year (Tracy had previously expressed a need to reduce his workload). … Read More
1942 - 1944 2 More Events
1945 45 Years Old In 1945, Tracy returned to the stage for the first time in 15 years. … Read More
1946 46 Years Old Tracy was absent from screens in 1946, the first year since his motion picture debut that there was no Spencer Tracy release. … Read More


1951 - 1953 3 More Events
1954 54 Years Old MGM lent Tracy to Twentieth Century-Fox for the Western film Broken Lance, his only appearance of 1954. … Read More
In 1955 Tracy turned down William Wyler's The Desperate Hours because he refused to take second-billing to Humphrey Bogart. … Read More
1958 58 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1958, Tracy appeared in The Old Man and the Sea, a project that had been in development for five years. … Read More


1960 60 Years Old Tracy did not appear on the screen again until October 1960, with the release of Inherit the Wind, a film based on the 1925 Scopes "Monkey Trial" which debated the right to teach evolution in schools. … Read More
1963 63 Years Old As he entered his sixties, years of drinking, smoking, taking pills, and being overweight left Tracy in poor health. On July 21, 1963, he was hospitalized after a severe attack of breathlessness. … Read More
1965 65 Years Old 1 More Event
In January 1965, he was diagnosed with hypertensive heart disease and began treatment for a previously ignored diagnosis of diabetes.
…  He completed his last scene on May 24, 1967. … Read More
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