With 1954's "Bad Day at Black Rock" Tracy completed his contract with the MGM studio, and would go on to freelance for Columbia, Warner Bros., and Twentieth Century-Fox.
In the early 1960s Tracy was to give two of his finest performances - as defense attorney Henry Drummond in "Inherit the Wind", and as Judge Dan Hayward in "Judgment at Nuremburg". Both films were directed by Stanley Kramer and Tracy was nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award for each role (his seventh and eighth nominations).
Tracy's health began to fail; he was hospitalized with a congested lung condition in 1963, and was forced to turn down roles in several films in the following years. In 1967 he began work on what would be his final film, "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner", co-starring Hepburn and directed by Stanley Kramer. His work-days were limited to just a few hours at a time - he had the enthusiasm and desire to work, but not the stamina. His main fear was that he would hurt the film and all those involved by not being able to finish it, but finish it he did. It was as if he had been hanging on for that reason alone; on June 10, 1967, three weeks after filming was completed, Spencer Tracy died of heart failure at his home in the Hollywood Hills.
Opening | Introduction | Films | Tracy&Hepburn | Gallery