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
Archives: 1

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 (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 (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"? 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)

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. 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)

Duplication of death year[edit]

His death in 1967 is mentioned twice in the lead and three times in the infobox (or four, if you count the years active parameter). This strikes me as unnecessary. DrKay (talk) 17:31, 6 May 2016 (UTC)

The marriage template used here is supposed to give the end date of the marriage and the reason for the end of the marriage. For people such as Spencer Tracy and Abraham Lincoln, the end date of the marriage is the date of death of the person. For others, it may be divorce, annulment, the death of the spouse, etc. For that reason, using the date of death in the template and the reason=death really isn't duplicative. (talk) 18:10, 6 May 2016 (UTC)
The template does not say that the marriage ended in 1967. It says he died in 1967. The wording "until his death" would indicate the end of the marriage but the wording "his death" is not explanatory. DrKay (talk) 18:59, 6 May 2016 (UTC)
Then change the wording, rather than throwing the baby out with the bathwater. (talk) 19:16, 6 May 2016 (UTC)