Spencer Tracy

Bill Davidson, Author Dutton Books $17.95 (232p) ISBN 978-0-525-24631-2
Davidson (The Gary Coleman Story, etc.) dwells overlong on attempts to explain the late actor's periodic alcoholic binges and their tragic effects. And there are some slips: commenting on the father-son bond between Tracy and George M. Cohan, he says that the latter was only 12 years older; the difference was 22 years. Cohan sponsored the actor's early stage career on Broadway, Tracy's goal after leaving Milwaukee where he was born in 1900. It was an apprenticeship that led him to Hollywood in 1930, playing roles in 75 films and winning two Oscars out of seven nominations. The best parts of the book are reminiscences by Katharine Hepburn, director Stanley Kramer, actors and others who loved, or disliked, the incomparable performer known for such classics as Judgment at Nuremberg, Boys' Town, etc. The consensus voiced by Sir Laurence Olivier is that Tracy was the greatest actor of his time. As for his lapses, James Cagney's words serve as an epitaph: ""Sure he was a fallible human . . . . What counts is what he did on the screen. People are always imitating me and other actors. Well nobody imitates Tracy. Nobody can imitate Tracy.'' Photos. Author tour. (April)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1988
Release date: 04/01/1988
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-8217-3738-5
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-8217-2656-3
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