Talk:Spencer Tracy

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Good article Spencer Tracy has been listed as one of the Media and drama good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
June 24, 2012 Good article nominee Listed
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Streamlining suggestion[edit]

Now that the whole article has undergone major revisions, I would suggest folding most, if not all, of the information in the first paragraph of the "Death and legacy section" into the last few paragraphs of the "Independent player; Stanley Kramer partnership (1956-1967)" section, if for no other reason than to remove, or at least reduce, duplicate information, such as his backing out of Cheyenne Autumn and The Cincinnati Kid, dying 17 days after finishing his scenes in Guess Who's Coming To Dinner, etc. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.100.63.148 (talk) 05:02, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

Hiya, I'm the one who wrote all the new stuff. And yes, I was still planning to change the "Death and legacy" section (I just thought it best to remove the "underconstruction" banner as soon as possible). I was still going to keep his death separate though, since the other section is titled "career". What I've been thinking is a section called "Health and death" coming after "Personal life", which would mention all his alcoholism, insomnia, dependence on pills, and then all his various health problems leading to his death. Then after that, a "Reception and legacy" section (which I also want to completely rewrite). What do you think of that? I know it is a bit awkward to briefly mention his death, then talk about his personal life, then go back to his death...but I do favour keeping "career" and "life" stuff separate. It's just annoying that they overlap for Tracy...And there is quite a bit to say about his death, so it definitely would clog up that section. Do people agree that it is best to cover his death separately, later on?
While I'm here, I'll also add (for interested people) that I am definitely planning to change some of the references so that it isn't almost entirely dependent on Curtis. I just wanted to get everything covered from that book first.
If anyone wants to make any comments about the changes I've made, please do. It's still very much a work in progress, and any help (even if it comes in the form of criticism) would be appreciated. --Lobo512 (talk) 07:43, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

Small part?[edit]

I would say that Tracy's part in "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" was anything but small. Did Tracy really film all of his appearances in just nine days? If so, were the nine days consecutive or not? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 173.51.124.210 (talk) 05:31, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

If you think about it, it's actually pretty small. It's an important part, but for the first two hours he only pops up a few times. This is the Curtis comment re nine days: "[the character backstory] wasn't much for him to go on, and with nine days of work ahead of him, Tracy made use of...." Sounds like it was 9 consecutive days. --Lobo512 (talk) 10:18, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

"Catholic-guilt"?[edit]

"Catholic-guilt"? I mean really now. No one can deny that Tracy was raised Catholic, and his sense of guilt over his son's Deafness is undeniable. But calling that "Catholic-guilt" as if the doctrine that God makes children deaf because of their parent's adultery were an actual and specifically Roman Catholic belief is editorial synthesis: hardly NPOV or even logically justifiable. We don't go around talking about people's "Catholic-hypocrisy" or "Catholic-charity" or calling people Catholic criminals because they are criminals and Catholics. I see from above attributing things to his Catholicism has been an NPOV issue above. Mere "guilt" is undeniable at quite sufficient for the lead. μηδείς (talk) 03:01, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

How is it making a generalisation about Catholicism? I was just trying to make clear that Spencer Tracy - this particular individual - felt guilt because of his religious beliefs. And that seemed the simplest way of saying it. It's also a handy way of slipping his religion into the lead, which I do feel is appropriate because he is (rightly or wrongly) quite strongly associated with his Catholicism. I can't see at all how this is suggesting ALL Catholics would feel guilt in that situation, you're reading into it way too much... --Lobo (talk) 12:33, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
And I don't really appreciate you edit-warring by undoing my edit. You've brought this to the talk page, which was the right thing to do, but you could have let the discussion commence first...edit-warring just looks silly. --Lobo (talk) 12:45, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
Does the objection continue or can I add it back? --Lobo (talk) 18:33, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
No further comments about this so I'm re-adding it for now. --Lobo (talk) 13:38, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

Sorry, I don't edit constantly and so I don't log in just to check one page's comments. You yourself have said that this is religious guilt on his part. That would be fine, I don't object to you saying "religious guilt." (actually, I'll vrevert my self to that.) The problem with calling it "Catholic-guilt" is that you are making it appear as if it is Catholic doctrine--which it most certainly is not--or unique to Catholics--which it most certainly is not.μηδείς (talk) 02:52, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Spencer Tracy/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Viriditas (talk · contribs) 01:26, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

Many thanks for taking on the review! Please keep it as simple for yourself as possible, I'm not really concerned with the article being anything beyond the GA criteria at this point. :) --Lobo (talk) 08:11, 17 June 2012 (UTC)


Infobox[edit]

  • Lists birth place but not death place. According to sources, he died in Beverly Hills. Viriditas (talk) 11:29, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
    • LA was there, but I've linked it and added CA to mirror the birth place format.

Lead[edit]

  • Spencer Bonaventure Tracy was an American actor
    • That's a bit of a short opening sentence, wouldn't you say? Personally, my attention span is long enough such that I expect to be grabbed by the first sentence; I want my attention to be captured and held. My expectations as a reader are quite simple. I want to know that "Spencer Bonaventure Tracy was an American actor who worked during the Golden Age of Hollywood" at the bare minimum. Viriditas (talk) 10:11, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
      • WP:ACTOR asks that opening sentence mention nothing beyond the bare facts. The example they give is: "William Bradley "Brad" Pitt (born December 18, 1963) is an American actor and film producer."
        • You're right, but I think far too many editors are taking Wikipedia:ACTOR#On-going projects/to do lists literally and out of context, as it is neither a policy nor a guideline. It's actually a subsection of Wikipedia:WikiProject Actors and Filmmakers that is a reminder to adhere to WP:MOSINTRO, a recommended best practice. The statement, "Lead sentences should only include name, birth/death dates, occupation and nationality" is not meant to conflict with WP:LEADSENTENCE nor our accepted MOS on lead sections, nor should it conflict with Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Biographies which explicitly states, "Generally the guidelines for lead sections specify what should be in the first section." What it is meant to do, is to get editors to stop adding peacock words and phrases to the first sentence. Somewhere along the line, people forgot this, and began treating it like gopspel. I see that older FA's haven't been changed (Rudolph Cartier, Joseph Barbera, Anna May Wong, Jackie Chan, Noël Coward) and newer ones still adhere to WP:LEAD over WP:ACTOR (Steve Dodd). There's also GA's like Jon Hamm, etc. This is a problem that lies outside the scope of this review, so I'll bring it up elsewhere. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Viriditas (talk) 13:31, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Tracy left MGM in 1955 and continued to work regularly as a freelance star, despite an increasing weariness as he aged.
    • That's a bit odd to read in the lead. Most—I would even venture to say all actors—become "weary" as they age. I'm guessing here, but I suspect this weariness can be described and illustrated with specific incidents. If so, it might make more sense to talk about it. Viriditas (talk) 07:39, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
      • I could write "although he struggled to commit to roles", or something similar? I'm not sure, I'd be interested to know what you think after you've read that part of the article.
      • A bit later: I just realised I phrased it like that specifically for a reason! It leads into the discussion of his personal unhappiness. I rather like how this flows - it will be difficult to slip in comfortably otherwise - and would prefer to leave it if possible.
  • His personal life was troubled, with a lifelong-struggle against alcoholism and a pervading religious guilt over his son's deafness.
    • I'm in agreement with previous editor(s) that this wording ("pervading religious guilt") is problematic and confusing. Viriditas (talk) 07:39, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
      • Well that's 2 against 1 so I've removed the word "religious" for now. The whole sentence may change, see what I've put below.
  • Tracy became estranged from his wife in the 1930s but never divorced, meaning a long-term relationship with Katharine Hepburn became a clandestine affair.
    • The use of "meaning" here is unusual and informal. Viriditas (talk) 07:39, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
      • Changed for now; I'm not especially happy with it though, if you can think of a good way of phrasing it please share!
        • OK, I'll get to this. Viriditas (talk) 11:03, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
          • I've changed these couple of sentences now. --Lobo (talk) 16:32, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • In a screen career that spanned 37 years
    • The lead doesn't mention how many films he appeared in. The number is quite large, more than 60 according to some sources. I expected to read that factoid (or one like it) right after that sentence. Just an observation. See below for more. Viriditas (talk) 11:09, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
      • It's mentioned towards the end of the lead. --Lobo (talk) 16:32, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
        • I know! What I would give to see this as part of the first paragraph: "Tracy appeared in 75 films throughout his career, during which time he developed a reputation among his peers as one of the screen's greatest actors. In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked Tracy among the top ten Hollywood legends," right after "a record he holds with Laurence Olivier, and received the award twice." Oh, well. Viriditas (talk) 21:49, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
          • I think it is logical to mention some legacy stuff after mentioning his death. The lead right now has a sort of "introduction", "miiddle" and "conclusion", which I think is nice. --Lobo (talk) 15:59, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
  • he was nominated for nine Academy Awards for Best Actor—a record he holds with Laurence Olivier—of which he won two.
    • That's a pretty clunky sentence, as it makes me think Olivier won two; it's a bit confusing. I really like the wording in List of awards and nominations received by Spencer Tracy: "Tracy appeared in 75 films from 1930 to 1967. He was nominated for nine Academy Awards for Best Actor, a record he holds with Laurence Olivier, and won two for Captains Courageous (1937) and Boys Town (1938)." Viriditas (talk) 11:09, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
      • Slight rewording - better? I don't want to mention the films here otherwise there will be repetition in the lead. --Lobo (talk) 16:32, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
        • Well, that's the problem. You've already got the repetition as you mention he won the two awards in the first paragraph (but don't mention the films); then you mention he won the two awards again in the second paragraph (where you do mention the films). One way to solve this problem is to use the inverted pyramid style in the lead. The lead should summarize the main points of the article of course, but it doesn't have to follow the same structure as the body. For example, (and this is only an example) as a first paragraph in inverted pyramid style: Spencer Bonaventure Tracy (April 5, 1900 – June 10, 1967) was an American actor. Respected for his natural style and versatility, Tracy appeared in 75 films during a screen career that spanned 37 years and developed a reputation as one of the greatest actors of Hollywood's Golden Age. He was nominated for nine Academy Awards for Best Actor, a record he holds with Laurence Olivier, and won two for Captains Courageous (1937) and Boys Town (1938). In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked Tracy among the top ten Hollywood legends." Just something to think about. Viriditas (talk) 11:36, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
  • According to several sources Bad Day At Black Rock is considered Tracy's best role. If so, shouldn't this film be mentioned in the lead? Viriditas (talk) 11:37, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
    • I agree it would be nice to mention more of his notable roles in the lead, but I'm not sure how to work them in at this point...And I can't say BDaBR is considered one of his best role unless that is sourced in the text, which I may try and do since you're right - it probably does get the most acclaim (which I can't understand TBH, I think he gave many better performances!) --Lobo (talk) 16:32, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • He was deemed fit to progress to the senior class, allowing him to join the academy stock company with fifteen others.
    • Fifteen other what? Students? Applicants? Viriditas (talk) 12:29, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
      • I actually don't think this detail is necessary. Removed. --Lobo (talk) 16:32, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

Career[edit]

  • In January 1924 he played his first leading role, but the Winnipeg company soon closed.
    • What does Winnipeg refer to here? Viriditas (talk) 10:50, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
      • Well I was just slipping in where the company was based. I've clarified this.
        • It's better, but the problem (as I see it) is that you start out by saying he took a position with a company in New Jersey. Then, you follow this up with his first leading role with a Winnipeg-based company. As I reader, I'm confused, and I want to know why it is important for me to know the company is based in Winnipeg. Viriditas (talk) 10:23, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
          • I think it's necessary because otherwise it will sound like he was still with the NJ company. It also shows how regularly he was moving around. But I'll have a go at wording it better. --Lobo (talk) 15:58, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
            • Right. But it so much more helpful to the reader to just say he was moving around rather than to show it by naming the location of the company and letting the reader figure it out. Hold my hand and walk me through the life of Spencer Tracy. That's how I see it. Viriditas (talk) 21:46, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • When he took a position with a struggling company in New Jersey, Tracy was living on an allowance of 35 cents a day
    • Which is about US$ 4.50 today. I wish there was a way to tell the reader that. Viriditas (talk) 21:56, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • the Hawaii location work with a simulated volcano
    • I'm not sure this is accurate. The article on The Devil at 4 O'Clock says the problematic simulated volcano scene took place in California. Viriditas (talk) 10:51, 24 June 2012 (UTC)
      • On the cited page, Curtis writes: "...he "withdrew from The Devil at 4 O'Clock, citing a conflict with the scheduled start of Judgment at Nuremberg. In a statement, Columbia's Sam Briskin said the studio considered the Hawaiian location work "too hazardous" to assure the completion of Tracy's scenes by December 16, the absolutely drop-dead date for Tracy's release to Stanley Kramer...As originally scheduled, The Devil at 4 O'Clock would have prevented Tracy from actively promoting the picture...Kramer pushed off the start date of Nuremberg, hoping to free up Tracy for a round of promotional appearances, and Tracy left for Hawaii two days later." Viriditas (talk) 11:06, 24 June 2012 (UTC)
        • I've fixed this the best I could. Feel free to take another shot at it. Viriditas (talk) 13:01, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

Personal life[edit]

  • Tracy became convinced that John's deafness was a punishment for his own sins—namely adultery—and felt a lifelong guilt over this.
    • It's a confusing statement on several levels. First, as far as I can tell (unless I'm missing something, which is possible) all of the adultery mentioned in this article takes place after John was born, not before. Of course, he could be referring to previous adultery, but the article doesn't indicate that. Second, the notion of "guilt" about his son here, while connected to his religion in the lead section, is discussed separately in the context of his family while his religious beliefs are mentioned in the character section. That is very confusing. Viriditas (talk) 10:33, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
      • Hmm, are you suggesting a restructuring of material? I'm surprised to hear it is so confusing... As for the adultery, I assumed that sentence alone told the reader that he had been adulterous before that point? No other adultery has been mentioned up til then, so I feel like the sentence speaks for itself..?
        • So, you're saying that he was cheating on his wife before John was born, right? The problem is that the article doesn't say that. Viriditas (talk) 13:44, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
          • I don't want to be difficult, but isn't the implication fully given in the sentence? I can't even think of another way of rewording this that wouldn't result in redundancy. --Lobo (talk) 15:08, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
            • You're not being difficult. Give me a few days to work on the review. Viriditas (talk) 09:48, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
              • I don't know if this is a RS, The Daily Mail (2011) says: "Spencer blamed himself. He had committed adultery emotionally with Selena, and physically with Betty Hanna. Maybe there had even been others during Louise's pregnancy." That must be what you are talking about, right? Well, the article doesn't say that, does it? Viriditas (talk) 11:42, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
                • No because, with respect, I just don't think it is necessary! The clear indication that he was adulterous is enough. I really don't see the need to name names, other than with the his co-stars since that is far more notable. Would you mind if I asked another editor if they think the sentence is clear? --Lobo (talk) 16:32, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
                  • The point I'm trying to make is, you're insinuating that he had a relationship with other women before (and possibly during) the time that his wife was pregnant, but not saying that in the article. I can understand why you don't think it isn't necessary to say that directly, probably because it is gossip and innuendo. However, one could easily solve this by simply stating he had affairs during his marriage before you say he felt guilt about the child. There's a way to do with this respect to chronology, but saying he felt guilt for committing adultery before his child was born without actually saying that is difficult for me as a reader. We should not have to read between the lines. With that said, you are free to ask whomever you like (and you don't need to ask my permission) but it's not going to change my reading of the text. In any case, this is of course, just my opinion, and you're free to completely disregard it. Viriditas (talk) 21:40, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
                    • Gosh, we really take different views over this don't we. :) I just don't even see the current sentence as being coy or indirect—it is the first time any adultery is mentioned in the article, so it has to be saying that he had committed adultery before John was born. No other period after their marriage has been discussed at that point either, so it is quite directly referring to those early years. --Lobo (talk) 15:59, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

Awards and nominations[edit]

  • In addition, he received the Cannes Film Festival award for Best Actor and was once named Best Actor by the National Board of Review.
    • This is sourced to WP:IMDB. I thought we weren't supposed to use it as a RS for biographies; is there an exemption for awards? Viriditas (talk) 11:24, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
    • FYI...Curtis pp. 685, 752 supports, "In addition, he received the Cannes Film Festival award for Best Actor[685] and was once named Best Actor by the National Board of Review[752]", but not "Tracy was also nominated for five British Academy Film Awards, of which he won two, and four Golden Globe Awards, winning once." Is that only supported by IMDb?
      • When I took Katharine Hepburn to FAC in February, they allowed IMDB as a source for awards and filmography statistics. --Lobo (talk) 16:32, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
        • That's what I thought. Good. Viriditas (talk) 21:43, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

Checklist[edit]

GA review (see here for what the criteria are, and here for what they are not)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS for lead, layout, word choice, fiction, and lists):
    Prose is choppy and unclear in some sections
    A few issues with section titles ("Years of illness and death"? What does that mean?), but otherwise MOS looks good enough to pass. I'll address any outstanding issues with section titles in the above
    I've changed the section title to "Years of illness, death" - is that better?
    I'm still a bit surprised, as I've never seen a heading with "years" in it like that. Perhaps this "Years of" style is one that I'm not familiar with here. Do other bios use it? It sounds a bit too dramatic for my tastes. You're talking about what, four or five years, right? Why not just say "Illness and death"? That's pretty much standard. Viriditas (talk) 13:41, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
    Heh, I've definitely seen it in WP bios before, but you're right that "Illness and death" is perfectly fine! Fixed. --Lobo (talk) 15:08, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
    Thanks. Viriditas (talk) 09:49, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
    The choice and use of pull quotes here is remarkable; I can't think of another article where they were used so well.
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
    Heavy reliance on a single source (Curtis 2011)
    I don't believe the GA criteria forbids this? --Lobo (talk) 08:17, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
    It's not so much a matter of proscription but rather a red flag for other issues. For example, articles that rely solely on one source usually (quite by accident of course) promote a single POV. I'm not saying this is the case, but I am saying that relying on multiple sources helps to improve topic coverage, resolve POV issues, and provide multiple perspectives and differing views. It's something to be aware of when we are writing articles. So, that is why I noted this reliance. I just started a review, so I haven't found a problem...yet. I'm merely noting it in case I do. Viriditas (talk) 08:22, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
    For what it's worth, very few books have been written about Tracy. There's only really one other biography (one that's even remotely credible, I mean). I actually have this but just haven't read it yet. In any case, I can't imagine it will have anything substantial that Curtis omits, seeing as it was written in 1969 and has 257 pages of text, while Curtis was published just last autumn with a whopping 800+ pages of text.
    One dead link (Wisconsin Birth Records)
    • Removed
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
    Major aspects are covered.
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
    Need to verify status/resolution of NPOV dispute regarding religion.
    Observation: the mention of a "pervading religious guilt over his son's deafness" in the lead section seems a bit undue when the entire incident is represented by a single sentence: "Tracy became convinced that John's deafness was a punishment for his own sins—namely adultery—and felt a lifelong guilt over this". Also, if I looked at the tertiary literature on this subject, I doubt I would find any mention of this in the opening paragraphs. So, the question that needs to be asked is, which authors beside Curtis discuss it? Viriditas (talk) 10:34, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
Well it is a fairly big part of the "Tracy legend" - the reviews of Curtis's book, for instance, routinely make a reference to it:
  • LA Times: "But Tracy was beset with demons, including a drinking problem and guilt over his marital affairs and that his son, John Tracy, was born deaf."
  • New York Times: "Concurrently, he carried a gargantuan load of Catholic guilt: he was convinced that his philandering and other careless behavior, which began in the early days of his marriage, had caused his son’s deafness."
  • Wall Street Times: "Tracy's drinking has usually been explained as stemming from guilt over his son's deafness."
  • The Washington Post: "but he also had an advanced Irish-Catholic sense of guilt. And one source of that guilt was the congenital deafness of his son, John."
  • Publisher's Weekly (shown on the Barnes & Noble page): "Curtis fingers Tracy's Catholic self-loathing and irrational guilt over his son's deafness". B&N;s own overview doesn't mention it, but describes him as "haunted".
  • San Francisco Chronicle: "a deaf son whose disability he attributed to his own sinfulness."
  • Leonard Maltin's review: "beset by demons…not just the demon rum, but an almost-overwhelming Catholic fear of damnation. He was certain, for instance, that his son John’s deafness was direct punishment from God for his own drinking and philandering."
  • USA Today "But he struggled with alcoholism, marriage and fatherhood, and was overcome with Irish Catholic guilt because of his marital infidelity and his son, John Tracy, being born deaf."
  • Independent "The pair married and had two children, but when his son John turned out to be almost totally deaf, Tracy was consumed by Catholic guilt and decided the affliction was his fault."
I can understand you bringing this up when it only gets a quick mention in the article, but even if it does only get a quick mention, I don't think that diminishes its importance...there just isn't anything more that needs to be said. I suppose the lead could just give a more general summary of his unhappiness. Looking at 2 brief articles on Tracy, this is more or less what they do: LA Time's Hollywood Star Walk describes him as "a complicated man bearing large emotional burdens"; Philip French's screen legends as "a difficult, guilt-ridden man". Would you prefer something like this? --Lobo (talk) 13:00, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
Now changed. --Lobo (talk) 16:32, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  1. It is stable.
    No edit wars, etc.:
    Same as above regarding religious dispute.
    As far as I can tell, this has been resolved. Viriditas (talk) 09:50, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
  2. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
    Excellent use of free images and captions
  3. Overall:
    Pass/Fail:
    I've passed this article after going through and making minor fixes to the prose. Several concerns, which I've addressed, are listed above in their corresponding sections. Viriditas (talk) 12:57, 24 June 2012 (UTC)
    Thank you so much for the time you gave to the article, in particular the copy edits which are great. It is sincerely appreciated! --Lobo (talk) 13:50, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

Anon editor[edit]

An anon editor has been removing cited materials with no reasons given for the deletions. Thank youRFD (talk) 16:06, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

Scotty Bowers rumours[edit]

Holanthony wants to include two paragraphs in this article about the Scotty Bowers rumours (in case anyone doesn't know, Bowers claims that he repeatedly slept with Tracy in the 1940s and 1950s). I don't think they warrant a mention, for the reasons outlines below. I've just been reverted by Holanthony again, even though we're in the process of discussing his additions on our talk pages, so it's obviously at the point where we need some more opinions. I'll copy and paste the stuff from our talk pages here:

Can I ask why you think the Bowers stuff should be included in the Tracy and Hepburn articles? It really doesn't deserve a mention. The Hepburn lesbian stuff has been around long enough to warrant a quick mention of it in her article, which I included, but it doesn't need detail (since the evidence for it is so slim). The Tracy rumours come solely from Bowers, though, and the fact that James Curtis (who did an incredible amount of detail for his biography) felt that there was no need to cover it in his book means the WP article shouldn't either. He only mentions Bowers, and the possibility of ST being bisexual, in the "Author's note" section at the end - and that is purely to dismiss his claims. For an example of how ridiculous Bowers is, William Mann interviewed him for his biography on Hepburn back in 2007. At this time, Bowers told Mann that Tracy was gay but said nothing about Kate. Then a few years later and he's claiming that he hooked KH up with 150 women. If this was true, surely he would have told Mann, and Mann would include it in the book (since he argues that KH was probably gay)? Obvious proof that Bowers is a liar. It's such a trashy book, and we're meant to use good quality sources. If the same sort of lame rumours, from the same sort of source, were included in a BLP (say, the ones about Hugh Jackman) they'd be removed instantly. I think the same standards should apply for dead people. --Loeba (talk) 19:36, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia does not take personal opinions and perceived personal offense into account. Bowers' claims have been met with mixed responses, some which support your criticism, while others support Bowers. This I have mentioned in a supporting note. Still, Bowers' claims have left a huge impact and this should be addressed to some manner. Also, the claims forwarded by Bowers have not been substantially refuted by other than subjective opinions. User:Holanthony (talk)
It's not that I think it's "offensive", I just think it's ridiculous to include such a poor source - especially in the level of detail that you included. I appreciate that you showed both sides of the argument, but ultimately it's just giving way too much weight to a poor source. A general guideline for WP is to follow what other third party sources do; the Hepburn rumours usually are mentioned to some degree in books about her, which is why I think it's appropriate to give that some coverage in her article. Since the Tracy rumours began there's been an excellent biography written about him, and the author felt that the rumours were too insubstantial to mention. So that's why I don't think our article should say anything about them either...but if we do, it definitely shouldn't be more than a couple of sentences. --Loeba (talk) 19:54, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

Holanthony, if you really refuse to step down on this (even though it's beyond me why you think this information is appropriate) then can we at least cut it down to a couple of sentences? Something like "In the 21st century, a man named Scotty Bowers claimed that he was Tracy's casual lover for many years. James Curtis refuted these claims as "unverifiable", and said there was no evidence of Bowers in any of Tracy's personal documents." That is literally ALL that needs to be said on this issue. Third party opinions wanted, please, if anyone reads this. --Loeba (talk) 20:03, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

Also, I just looked at that David Thomson article and your text about it was misrepresentative. Thompson doesn't say that Bowers's book is "the fruit of six years' serious work, and not to be taken lightly", as you wrote, he's saying that Curtis's research is not to be taken lightly. So he's not fully supporting Bowers at all. --Loeba (talk) 20:19, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

Ok, point in question made. I'm not going to be impossible about this so I've revised the text and condensed it to only mention the necessities without quoting passages from the book. I've also mentioned Curtis' objection. Hopefully we can put the matter to rest now.User:Holanthony (talk)

Mann Biography & Bowers[edit]

Ok, taking this to the talk page now as Blofeld has deleted not only my latest input but also the passage added by Loeba with the motivation that it was not "encyclopedic" but has made to effort to redit the passage or suggest how it be done to fit their liking. This time I have moved away from only relying on Bowers' to rather put more weight on Mann's biography (which predates Bowers' book by six years). Mann in fact mentions Bowers' and confirms the gay rumours of both Tracy and Hepburn. I also mentioned that Gore Vidal has confirmed these reports. Why this this problematic? If several legitimate sources claim the same thing, ought it not bring credence to the understanding that these rumours should be addressed in the Wikipedia article?

Here is the text I tried to insert:


In 2012, a man named Scotty Bowers claimed that he had been Tracy's lover in the 1940s and 1950s.Cite error: A <ref> tag is missing the closing </ref> (see the help page). Biographer James Curtis has disputed these claims as "unverifiable", and said there was no evidence of Bowers in any of Tracy's personal documents.[1] Nevertheless, Bowers' claims were vouched for by Gore Vidal.[2] In fact, William J. Mann makes mention of Bower's in his 2006 biography of Hepburn. Mann suggests Tracy was "fluid" in his sexuality, describing his close friendship with playboy Tim Durant, before recounting his dalliances with a Hollywood “male madam” named Scotty [Bowers]. While not denying the chemistry between Tracy and Hepburn, Mann questions the intimacy of their relationship, citing the fact that they never lived together and paints Hepburn's role as more similar to a caretaker than lover of the deeply alcoholic (and married) Tracy. Moreover, Mann contends that Hepburn concocted their supposed romance after Tracy had died.Cite error: A <ref> tag is missing the closing </ref> (see the help page). [3]

The fact that Mann mentions Bowers doesn't "confirm" anything. He was the first one to publish the Bowers stuff, but that's what James Curtis was responding to in 2011 (Bowers' own book hadn't been published at that point) and he called bullshit. Mann's speculations about the Hepburn-Tracy relationship are also based on nothing substantial. He had no access to either of their personal documents, whereas Curtis did and he presents the relationship as a romantic one (publishing letters, diary entries (brief, but still telling), records of international phone calls, and comments from people who saw them together along the way). ST and KH weren't together much in the 1950s, and it's likely that the relationship was pretty platonic towards the end - but they lived together and were devoted to one another at that point, as several witnesses confirmed. The possibility of them being bisexual isn't insulting, but the suggestion that their relationship was a lie is another matter.
I wonder if Mann still believed Bowers when, five years later, he went on to publish a load of stuff about Kate being with women that he had neglected to tell him...As for Gore Vidal, I don't believe he knew either Kate or Spencer so he has no business confirming this stuff. --Loeba (talk) 18:13, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

removing referenced material[edit]

An Ip editor has twice now removed referenced material as hearsay and unsupportable. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Spencer_Tracy&diff=649851129&oldid=649697610 Obviously the material is supproted, the IP is invited to provide evidence the references have been falsified or there is a competing interpretation. μηδείς (talk) 20:14, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

  1. ^ http://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/mar/04/full-service-my-adventures-bowers-review
  2. ^ http://pagesix.com/2012/02/10/sex-tales-true-vidal-says/
  3. ^ http://variety.com/2006/more/reviews/kate-the-woman-who-was-hepburn-1200512464/