Lee Tracy

Lee Tracy
NBC Television


Lee Tracy
Film: East side of the 1600 block of Vine Street
Born William Lee Tracy on April 14, 1898 in Atlanta, Ga.
Died Oct. 18, 1968 of liver cancer in St. John's Hospital, CA

Actor Lee Tracy played dozens of breezy and hard-bitten cops, reporters and politicians on Broadway and in the movies.

Tracy began his career in New York as a $35-a-week vaudeville performer, became a Broadway star and came to Hollywood in the early 1930s when the screen needed actors with trained voices for talkies.

His most celebrated role was that of Hildy Johnson, the hard-drinking, fast-talking police reporter in the Broadway version of "The Front Page."

In the 1964 movie "The Best Man," Tracy played an earthy ex-president, a crusty old political warrior with the power to make or break a candidate at the national convention.

He created the role in the Broadway version of the Gore Vidal play, and ended a 16-year absence from Hollywood to play the ex-president in the film.

In movies, Tracy played a series of romantic roles, although he was the first to admit he was anything but handsome by matinee idol standards.

He played with such stars as Jean Harlow, Mae Clark and Lupe Velez in a rapid-fire string of movies such as "Big Time," "Turn Back the Clock," "Dinner at Eight," "Washington Merry-Go-Round," "Night Mayor," "Ambulance Chaser," "Born Reckless," "Criminal Lawyer" and "Power of the Press."

In television he played in many dramas as a guest star and was a leading performer in such series as "The Amazing Mr. Malone" and "Martin Kane, Private Eye."

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Points of interest

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    Academy Awards

    Year Category Work
    1964 Best Supporting Actor The Best Man Nomination

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