Steve McQueen

McQueen’s Machines: The Cars and Bikes of a Hollywood Icon

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Date of Birth : 1930-03-24
Deceased : 1980-11-07

Biography Steve McQueen

Steven Terrence McQueen was born on March 24, 1930, in Beech Grove, Indiana. One of the most popular film actors of the 1960s and ’70s, Steve McQueen was known for his rugged good looks and cool, tough guy persona. Some of most memorable films include The Great Escape (1963), Bullitt (1968), The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) and The Getaway (1972). For race fans his appearance in the legendary Le Mans movie is probably the most importance as is his saying.

Life is Racing. Everything else is just waiting.

In his childhood Steve McQueen was raised mainly by his grand-uncle after his mother left his father in his early youth. At the age of 12 he got reunited with his natural mother, and they moved to Los Angeles where he got involved with some local gangs. After he got caught stealing hubcaps from cars, he was sent to the California Junior Boys’ Republic in Chino and barely got visit from his mother, making him feel abandoned.

Despite that feeling, Steve McQueen joined his mother in 1946, living in NYC at the time. As he was forced to live separated from her, he took off, to become a merchant mariner aboard the SS Alpha. Not exactly his dream job and he resigned while the ship was docked in the Dominican Republic.Before returning to the USA he worked as a towel boy in a brothel, to finally end up in the USA and joining the US Marine Corps to become a tank driver. After being discharged in 1950 Steve McQueen changed both jobs and places to live on a frequent base. With support from the G.I. Bill, McQueen enrolled at the Neighborhood Playhouse run by Sanford Meisner in 1951.His first role as an actor was a bit part in a Yiddish theatrical production. As it turned out he was talented,  he won a scholarship to study at the Uta Hagen-Herbert Berghof School in 1952. Just a few years later, he was accepted to the prestigious Actors Studio, where he studied with Lee Strasberg.

First appearance on broadway
His first appearance on Broadway was in 1956, 2 year later his great career breakthrough happened. He had the lead role of Steve Andrews in the sci-fi film, The Blob (1958), which went on to be cult classic. This was about the time he got passionated about racing, after being a motorcycle fan for a long time.In 1960, McQueen had a leading role in the western The Magnificent Sevenwith Yul Brynner and Charles Bronson. With 1963’s The Great Escape, McQueen earned top billing, showing the world that he was a bona fide movie star. McQueen scored another success with the romantic crime caper The Thomas Crown Affair in 1968 with Faye Dunaway as his love interest.That same year, McQueen made movie history with one of the all-time best car chases in Bullitt. He played a San Francisco cop who pursued suspects through the city’s hilly streets in one of the wildest rides ever filmed.
Le Mans
He tried to tap into his love of car racing in 1971’s Le Mans, with only limited success. In 1972, McQueen starred in The Getaway with Ali McGraw. He and McGraw began an affair during filming—McGraw was married to film executive Robert Evans at the time. Their relationship became a scandal in the press. The couple married in 1973. McQueen had been previously married to dancer and actress Neile Adams with whom he had two children, Chad and Terry.
He died on November 7, 1980, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, after undergoing surgery to remove several tumors.