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SPENCER TRACY - A nightmare of a man. ⋆ Historian Alan Royle
As an actor Spencer Tracy had few peers and cinema-goers adored him. Off screen he was a very ordinary human being, a man beset with all kinds of problems. He was a violent alcoholic his entire life and a rampant womanizer who had almost as many conquests to his name as Gable although, unlike ‘the King’, he is alleged to have taken male lovers as well. When he went on a ‘bender’, which was often, he was known at times to demolish hotel rooms a la Charlie Sheen. As a youth he was thrown out of half a dozen grammar schools, the only subject he handled with relative ease being drama. There is no doubt he became one of the greatest movie actors in history, an achievement made more meritorious when we consider that he came to the screen with virtually no stage experience behind him. All the other greats such as Brando, Olivier and Bette Davis, brought a wealth of stage experience with them, but not Tracy. He started his movie career at Fox in 1930, made sixteen movies there, but could not establish himself in the top echelon of performers. And he was trouble with a capital [...]