Customer Reviews for

Spencer Tracy: A Biography

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

Definitive biography

This is the long awaited biography of Spencer Tracy by James Curtis and it is certainly worth the wait. James Curtis has written, by far, the best biography ever written about Tracy. Tracy has had a dismal history with the genre of the celebrity biography. There are onl...
This is the long awaited biography of Spencer Tracy by James Curtis and it is certainly worth the wait. James Curtis has written, by far, the best biography ever written about Tracy. Tracy has had a dismal history with the genre of the celebrity biography. There are only two full length Tracy biographies written prior to this book; one the fine but too brief and occasionally inaccurate book by Larry Swindell (1969), and the really poor, extremely fictionalized account of Tracy's life by Bill Davidson (1988). However, there have been more than 30 biographies of Katharine Hepburn published over the years. Most of those are highly inaccurate with regard to Hepburn and even more so on the subject of Spencer Tracy. In the Hepburn books, the facts of Tracy's life have consistently been misstated, including a huge variety of inaccurate and often malicious stories about his alcoholism, family life and relationship with Hepburn. Curtis spent more than five years researching and writing this book and has drawn on the considerable research of another writer, Selden West, who originally was going to write the book but eventually withdrew from the project. Most importantly Curtis had the complete cooperation of Tracy's daughter, Susie, and access to the journals Tracy maintained for much of his adult life as well as correspondence, medical and business records and the recollections of close family members in Freeport, IL and elsewhere. Curtis also, had access to interviews done with Katharine Hepburn by Selden West, an extensive narrative written by Louise Tracy about her life, as well as many interviews with people who worked with Tracy and others who knew him well including Katharine Houghton and the late TV executive William Self. Curtis creates a vivid portrait of Spencer Tracy setting forth all the various influences on Tracy's life; the demands on him, personally, financially and emotionally. In the process Curtis debunks many of the myths that have built up around Tracy and brings clarity and vast amounts of new information to the life of Spencer Tracy and those were close to him. This is the definitive biography of Tracy and one of the best actor biographies I've ever read.

posted by SagebrushCA on October 18, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Interesting

A slow but interesting read, a bit too heavy on the resume.

posted by 10501888 on January 29, 2012

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  • Posted October 18, 2011

    Definitive biography

    This is the long awaited biography of Spencer Tracy by James Curtis and it is certainly worth the wait. James Curtis has written, by far, the best biography ever written about Tracy. Tracy has had a dismal history with the genre of the celebrity biography. There are only two full length Tracy biographies written prior to this book; one the fine but too brief and occasionally inaccurate book by Larry Swindell (1969), and the really poor, extremely fictionalized account of Tracy's life by Bill Davidson (1988). However, there have been more than 30 biographies of Katharine Hepburn published over the years. Most of those are highly inaccurate with regard to Hepburn and even more so on the subject of Spencer Tracy. In the Hepburn books, the facts of Tracy's life have consistently been misstated, including a huge variety of inaccurate and often malicious stories about his alcoholism, family life and relationship with Hepburn. Curtis spent more than five years researching and writing this book and has drawn on the considerable research of another writer, Selden West, who originally was going to write the book but eventually withdrew from the project. Most importantly Curtis had the complete cooperation of Tracy's daughter, Susie, and access to the journals Tracy maintained for much of his adult life as well as correspondence, medical and business records and the recollections of close family members in Freeport, IL and elsewhere. Curtis also, had access to interviews done with Katharine Hepburn by Selden West, an extensive narrative written by Louise Tracy about her life, as well as many interviews with people who worked with Tracy and others who knew him well including Katharine Houghton and the late TV executive William Self. Curtis creates a vivid portrait of Spencer Tracy setting forth all the various influences on Tracy's life; the demands on him, personally, financially and emotionally. In the process Curtis debunks many of the myths that have built up around Tracy and brings clarity and vast amounts of new information to the life of Spencer Tracy and those were close to him. This is the definitive biography of Tracy and one of the best actor biographies I've ever read.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2012

    Interesting

    A slow but interesting read, a bit too heavy on the resume.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 25, 2012

    I highly recommend this book.

    This excellent biography weighs in at 700+ pages but every one of the pages is worth reading. The author has done an outstanding job researching his subject and those people Tracy held close to his heart. Spencer Tracy was an enigma to most but in reading this book I discovered he was first and foremost a true Catholic and all that label carries with it.

    When I finished, I actually missed Tracy and Hepburn and those "Movie people".

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2012

    All a Tracy fan could want to know

    Spencer Tracy made most of his films before I was born or shortly thereafter, and I grew up watching them on TV. I loved them all and the book explains why: he became the characters he protrayed, threw himself totally into each role and listened intently to his fellow actors as they spoke their lines as if he were hearing them for the first time. This is a detailed biography, right down to the discussions that took place around each film, even those which Tracy eventually didn't appear in. His notes and remarks on each role that he did play will add to my enjoyment of his movies when I watch them again. As for Tracy the person, it was a surprise to learn of his problems with alcohol, and he is to be credited for performing as well as he did through the years of abstinence and binges that poisoned him. I also appreciated the perspective on his relationship with Katharine Hepburn, because it's not the usual dreamy all-was-well perfection that I've read before. This makes me even more of a fan, because he made the most of his talent and triumphed despite his limitations.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2011

    In Depth!

    It's 1,300 pages of tedious detail so if you are a big fan then this is the book for you. It gets into every play, movie, friend, drink, woman, train ride, hotel room, argument etc. It also offers excerpts from scripts. For me the book was more than twice the length it needed to be but to be fair I am not a die hard fan. I purchased this book wanting to know what kind of man he was and some of the more interesting points of his life, including family and of course Hepburn. If I had paid attention to the # of pages before purchasing the Nook version that would have told me that I was going to learn more than I wanted to.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2014

    Baconboy: to lania if our still there

    Hey im back,sorry my friend took my nook from me and and it hasnt been working for a while

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2014

    Tracy

    Hy

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2014

    Andy

    Wanders in

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2013

    ♡ Best Present ♡

    Dear Angel, <br>
    <br> U know how u have feeling for someone but dont know if they're feelings or deeper. Well, it happened to me. It was a couple of months ago when i was dating Caylee and Tracy told me she liked me. At first i thought she liked Nate but when she told me, i realized that deep down i had some love for her too. Then she got to know me more and when Caylee disappeared she was like my back bone, my pillow. And thn sh let me stay at her house and all those times i wanted to kiss her. I wanted to feel our lips together and know it will all wayz be like this. And then Caddie jumped into the picture. I wont lie, there were fights that left me angry at my self,left me feling like my only Angel has gone away. All those times i wanted her to kiss me awake and tell me it was a nightmare and nothing will ever break us. After a while things sortaish died down and then i found out Will had a crush on Tracy. I felt like i was stab<_>bed in the back by my own friend. Tracy then told me she never had feelings for Will and it made me soo happy to know i wasnt going to lose her just yet. As the dayz followed i grew to want Tracy or more than gf and bf. I wanted to marry her. And we are today, so Tracy i love u more than anything. <br>
    Urs Truely, <br>
    <br> Kyle MacGrath

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2013

    Trent

    Bai

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2013

    Lacy

    I gtg ttyl

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2013

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2013

    Spencer

    Hey orba ever heard of playin the player? U were with Shadow that whole time. I dont care avout u just like u didnt care about me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2012

    Good but too long

    I wanted to read a definitive biography of Spencer Tracy and this book was certainly long enough. It was slow reading for me until about page 200 or so when things started to pick up with details about Tracy's more familiar film roles.

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  • Posted April 26, 2012

    I enjoyed this smart, well documented biography. Couldn't put t

    I enjoyed this smart, well documented biography. Couldn't put the thing down...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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