Spencer Tracy

Spencer Tracy

A Biography

Book - 2011
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Spencer Tracy's image on-screen was that of a self-reliant man whose sense of rectitude toward others was matched by his sense of humor toward himself. Whether he was Father Flanagan of Boys Town, Clarence Darrow of Inherit the Wind, or the crippled war veteran in Bad Day at Black Rock, Tracy was forever seen as a pillar of strength, the sort of regular American guy one could depend on. Now biographer James Curtis gives us the life of this revered actor. Curtis writes of Tracy's distinguished career, his deep Catholicism, his devoted relationship to his wife, his drinking that got him into so much trouble, and his twenty-six-year-long bond with his partner on-screen and off, Katharine Hepburn. Drawing on Tracy's personal papers and writing with the full cooperation of Tracy's daughter, Curtis tells the rich story of the brilliant but haunted man at the heart of the legend.--From publisher description.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780307262899
Branch Call Number: Biography B Tra


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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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