Spencer Bonaventure Tracy was an American actor. Respected for his natural style and versatility, Tracy was one of the major stars of Hollywood's Golden Age. In a screen career that spanned 37 years, he was nominated for nine Academy Awards for Best Actor and won two, sharing the record for nominations in that category with Laurence Olivier. Tracy discovered his talent for acting while attending Ripon College, and later received a scholarship for the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He spent seven years in the theatre, working in a succession of stock companies and intermittently on Broadway. Tracy's breakthrough came in 1930, when his lead performance in The Last Mile caught the attention of Hollywood. After a successful film debut in Up the River, Tracy was signed to a contract with Fox Film Corporation. His five years with Fox were unremarkable, and he remained largely unknown to audiences after 25 films. In 1935, Tracy joined Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Hollywood's most prestigious studio. His career flourished with a series of hit films, and in 1937 and 1938 he won consecutive Oscars for Captains Courageous and Boys Town. By the 1940s, Tracy was one of the studio's top stars. In 1942 he appeared with Katharine Hepburn in Woman of the Year, beginning a popular partnership that produced nine movies over 25 years.