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Spencer Tracy [Paperback]

James Curtis
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
RRP: 10.99
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Book Description

1 Nov 2012

During his lifetime, 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, until now.

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 shunned the 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 struggled with alchoholism to the end, a fact which the studios managed to keep 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.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 1024 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow (1 Nov 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099547295
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099547297
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.8 x 4.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 321,414 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"The definitive account of a womaniser, drunk and brilliant actor, and his decades-long affair with Katharine Hepburn" (Sunday Times)

"Curtis's biography weaves a fascinating, not to say definitive portrait of an individual both naively simple and immensely complex." (Mail on Sunday)

Book Description

The complete, compelling, turbulent life of one of the greatest of all screen actors

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding 15 Nov 2011
I clearly remember as a small boy in the early 6o's crying for the first time at a film. It was at the end of Captain's Courageous. I have never been able to watch it since but Spencer Tracy became one of my favourite Hollywood actors.
This book is a meticulously researched biography. It details the complexities of a deeply religious and god-fearing man and his chronic alcoholism due to a deep sense of personal guilt. His Catholic upbringing and influences ensured that he was continually torn between his moral sense of right and wrong, but the flesh was weak, and he continued to bed many glamorous women including Loretta Young, Jean Harlow, Ingrid Bergman and Joan Crawford. The guilt was the result of these extra-marital affairs which culminated in his long term relationship with Katherine Hepburn.
It provides detailed insight into his relationships with his wife Louise and son John (who was born deaf and contracted spinal meningitis). Again Tracy believed that this was a result of his infidelity, Gods retribution!
I would suggest that any reader would need to have a real interest in the subject as this book is not simply a lightweight sensationalist depiction of Tracy's life and times. It provides an incredible wealth of information about Tracy's career and a rewarding insight into a time when Hollywood stars enjoyed incredible plaudits, rewards and attention. Fans however will be amply rewarded. I personally did not want this book to end. This is how biographies should be written. Brilliant!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Simply one of the best biographies I've ever read, although it runs to over 1000 pages there was not a dull moment in a book that I felt was as well researched as it was written. I only hope that Curtis will write another biography like this one, Hepburn perhaps?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exceptional piece of work 26 Mar 2013
Just finished reading this exceptional piece of work by author James Curtis. The book is an indepth look into the life and times of one of hollywoods best loved actors, Spencer Tracy. The subject has been thoroughly researched by Mr Curits over six years and it tells on every page. I have read many actor biographies in my time and this is one of the best. A great read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive biography 7 Jun 2013
By maisie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For devotees of Spencer Tracy....the detail is staggering....eveything's been explored. I had not realised just how talented and supportive his wife was..... usually Louise is glossed over in favour of Hepburn. This is a comprehensive biog and occasionally I've glossed over information I wasn't interested in...but it's all there and well worth owning and reading
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Toooooooo Long 16 Jan 2013
I have always been a massive fan of Spencer Tracy probably my favourite actor of all time. I was really looking forward to reading this book. It is well written but far to long I did get to the end of it but more as a challenge than the fact that I was enjoying the book. Spencer Tracy was a complex human being and led a fascinating life but the book goes into his life in far to much detail. There were facts that were just not necessary and took away from the overall enjoyment of the book. I really believe this book would have been far better if it had been a third of the size.I do however think I now have learnt what the man was really like. If you think you can cope with nearly 900 pages of very small print and masses of unecessary details than go for it but be warned if your not a huge Spencer Tracy fan and alot of time to complete the book then I wouldn't bother.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars well received gift 10 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
the recipient was very please with the item and the book arrived in good time and was well packaged. Its a very interesting book.
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