Many in Greater Vancouver surely remember known Manila-based talent manager Wyngard Tracy. The head of the panel of judges for the PNT Idol contest for two seasons and a close friend of the Fortaleza family, Tracy has been a regular visitor in the Lower Mainland.
On November 16 at 3:45 a.m., Tracy passed away at a Makati hospital. He was 58. According to reports, Tracy died from a stroke. It’s the second time he had an attack. After his first heart attack, Tracy underwent brain and heart operation.
Tracy’s career began as a television production assistant in the 1970s before becoming a radio disc jockey on DWWK. After a brief DJ-ing stint, he was referred to Vicor Entertainment Corporation and was tapped to manage its roster of recording artists, including Pinky de Leon, Maricris Vermont, and Leah Navarro.
As a talent manager, he also became one of the judges of ‘Search for the Star in a Million’ on ABS-CBN in 2005. Tracy even became one of the contestants in the Philippine version of ‘Celebrity Duets’ on GMA Network, where he was ranked fifth.
One of Tracy’s most recent TV appearances in Manila was as judge on “Showtime” and “Magpasikat.”
Talents managed Tracy, including Richard Gomez, Lucy Torres, John Estrada, and Maricel Soriano, remember him for his intelligence, kind heart, sincerity and sense of humor.
Gomez said: “Wyngard is one of the more intelligent people I have met in our industry. I truly enjoyed talking to him especially when it comes to analyzing situations and creating solutions. He’s a gentle giant, sometimes aggressive but has a very kind heart. My family loves him so much and he will be missed dearly.”
On her part, Torres could only wish that she spent more time with him.
“Gone too soon. I wish the time we spent together was much longer. It was short and sweet. He showed me and Richard nothing but kindness and love. We will never forget that,” she said.
Torres also commended Tracy for the latter’s “brilliant mind.” “He was sturdy and steady the same way Tito Douglas was. In so short a time he was not just a manager, he became family. I will miss his honesty, his sincerity, which just became all the more obvious against the backdrop of the resident flimsiness that will never quite leave showbiz. I will miss his sense of humor and his wit. Tito Wyn had a brilliant mind. And that on top of a generous, kind heart that was driven to make people happy. He lived to love and even if he never verbalized it I knew that he also wanted to be loved.”
Estrada remembers Tracy as “an amazing human being”, while Soriano will always think of Tracy as her “gladiator.”
“I will miss him dearly, but there are enough memories to keep me smiling until we are together again,” Soriano said.
Tracy managed the likes of Pilita Corrales, Aiko Melendez, Jaya, Martin Nievera, Luis Manzano, Arnel Ignacio, Hans Montenegro, and Willie Revillame. He went on to manage the bands Side A and Freestyle.
In an interview with Manila Bulletin in 2005, he compared talent management to “parenthood”.
“Para kang tatay. Managing is serious business because you are not only handling careers but to a certain extent, the lives of your talents,” he said.
Tracy prides himself for honesty especially in dealing with the press.
“My policy is this: I would protect you but not to the extent na magsisinungaling ako,” he explained.
“Sinasabi ko sa mga artista ko, ‘Sorry ka kung may ginawa ka talagang kalokohan, di kita pagtatakpan. I won’t deny it to press people. Siguro I’ll just say, ‘Wag na lang natin pag-usapan or off-the-record na lang.’
“Madalas kasi, the press knows the truth already. Pag dineny ko, I’d be insulting their intelligence. That’s why I tell my talents, ‘Wag kayong magkakamali. Be careful. You better behave.'”
Among Tracy’s unfulfilled wishes was managing older talents.
“I want to manage veteran actors. Madami diyan na magagaling, pero walang trabaho kasi walang materials for them. Dito lang sa Pilipinas ‘yan nangyayari. ‘Ba’t wala kang trabaho?’ ‘Kasi matanda na ako.’ But in truth, they have become better with time,” he said.
The only mass for Wyngard Tracy was at the La Salle Greenhills Chapel. No wake as per his dying wish.