Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy

Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy (Couple)

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Date Dating 1940
Date Partner Died 10 June 1967
Relationship Type Relationship
Relationship Status Separated
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Hepburn made her first appearance with Spencer Tracy in Woman of the Year (1942), directed by George Stevens. Behind the scenes the pair fell in love, beginning what would become one of Hollywood's most famous romances, despite Tracy's lifelong unwillingness (he was a Catholic) to divorce his estranged wife, the former Louise Treadwell, whom he had married in 1923. Tracy was in love with Loretta Young and had an affair with her. But he didn't marry her because she was an another religion. Tracy had also affairs with Myrna Loy and Joan Crawford. The legend holds that when Joseph Mankiewicz introduced them, Hepburn, who was wearing special heels that added several inches to her slender frame, said, "I'm afraid I'm too tall for you, Mr. Tracy." Mankiewicz retorted, "Don't worry, he'll soon cut you down to size." As The Daily Telegraph observed in Hepburn's obituary, "Hepburn and Spencer Tracy were at their most seductive when their verbal fencing was sharpest: it was hard to say whether they delighted more in the battle or in each other." The relationship between Hepburn and Tracy was complicated. After an initial romantic period, it became, much like the relationship with Laura Harding, a devoted friendship. Later, Hepburn would try to portray it as a long unbroken traditional relationship, but in fact for much of the 1950s they spent little time together. Tracy had several affairs during this period, notably while filming Plymouth Adventure with his co-star Gene Tierney. He visited and bedded secretly Myrna Loy several times with whom he wanted make more film. He also bedded Grace Kelly later. Tracy didn't want to make much films with Hepburn. But when Tracy became ill, Hepburn took five years off from her career, following completion of Long Day's Journey Into Night, to care for him. Out of consideration for Tracy's family, Hepburn did not attend his funeral. She described herself as too heartbroken to ever watch Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, saying it evoked memories of Tracy that were too painful.

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