Steve McQueen

Actor, Producer, Sailor
A brooding performer with a rebellious streak and a proclivity for speed, actor Steve McQueen forever changed the definition of the Hollywood leading man with roles as quiet, but tough protagonists who sought their own ... Read more »
Born: 03/23/1930 in Beech Grove, Indiana, USA

Filmography

Actor (30)

Dust to Glory 2005 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

The Hunter 1980 (Movie)

"Papa" Ralph Thorson (Actor)

Tom Horn 1980 (Movie)

Tom Horn (Actor)

An Enemy of the People 1977 (Movie)

Dr Thomas Stockmann (Actor)

Papillon 1973 (Movie)

Papillon (Actor)

The Towering Inferno 1973 (Movie)

Fire Chief O'Hallorhan (Actor)

Junior Bonner 1972 (Movie)

Junior Bonner (Actor)

Le Mans 1971 (Movie)

Michael Delaney (Actor)

The Getaway 1971 (Movie)

Doc McCoy (Actor)

The Reivers 1969 (Movie)

Boon Hogganbeck (Actor)

Bullitt 1968 (Movie)

Frank Bullitt (Actor)

The Thomas Crown Affair 1968 (Movie)

Thomas Crown (Actor)

The Sand Pebbles 1966 (Movie)

Holman (Actor)

Alfred Hitchcock Presents 1955 - 1965 (TV Show)

Actor

Baby, the Rain Must Fall 1965 (Movie)

Henry Thomas (Actor)

Nevada Smith 1965 (Movie)

Nevada Smith/Max Sand (Actor)

The Cincinnati Kid 1965 (Movie)

Cincinnati Kid (Actor)

Love With the Proper Stranger 1963 (Movie)

Rocky Papasano (Actor)

Soldier in the Rain 1962 (Movie)

Supply Sgt Eustis Clay (Actor)

The Great Escape 1962 (Movie)

"Cooler King" Hilts (Actor)

Hell Is For Heroes 1961 (Movie)

Reese (Actor)

The Honeymoon Machine 1961 (Movie)

Lt Fergie Howard (Actor)

The Bob Hope Show (01/13/60) 1959 - 1960 (TV Show)

Actor

The Magnificent Seven 1960 (Movie)

Vin (Actor)

Never So Few 1959 (Movie)

Bill Ringa (Actor)

Never Love a Stranger 1958 (Movie)

Martin Cabell (Actor)

The Blob 1958 (Movie)

Steve Andrews (Actor)

The Great St. Louis Bank Robbery 1958 (Movie)

George Fowler (Actor)

The Defender 1956 - 1957 (TV Show)

Actor

Somebody Up There Likes Me 1956 (Movie)

Fidel (Actor)

Biography

A brooding performer with a rebellious streak and a proclivity for speed, actor Steve McQueen forever changed the definition of the Hollywood leading man with roles as quiet, but tough protagonists who sought their own methods outside the bounds of authority. Dubbed "The King of Cool," McQueen ushered in a new breed of antiheroes who commanded the begrudging respect - along with large salaries - of studio producers and directors, while attracting millions of moviegoer fans around the world. Though he made a name for himself as the star of the popular Western series "Wanted: Dead or Alive" (CBS, 1958-1961), McQueen nearly stole the rug from under star Yul Brynner in the acclaimed movie "The Magnificent Seven" (1960). He next portrayed a brash, but wily escape artist in "The Great Escape" (1963) before giving acclaimed performances in "The Cincinnati Kid" (1965) and "The Sand Pebbles" (1966), the latter of which earned him his only Academy Award nomination. Following a small break from the screen, McQueen entered into his most memorable phase with "The Thomas Crown Affair" (1968) and "Bullitt" (1968), which featured what many considered to be the greatest car chase ever seen on film. After the underperforming race movie "Le Mans" (1971), he had one of the biggest hits of the year with "The Getaway" (1972) and delivered a solid turn as an escaped prisoner in "Papillion" (1973). Following the epic disaster movie, "The Towering Inferno" (1974), McQueen's career hit a down slope that was later revealed to be the result of his battle with lung cancer. Though his life and career were cut short at age 50, McQueen remained one of the most iconic and beloved film stars of the latter half of the 20th century.

Relationships

Jullian Berri

Mother
born in 1910 alcoholic married at least one other time after divorced from McQueen's father left son in care of her uncle and mother died on October 15, 1965

Lillian Crawford

Grandmother
helped to raise him

Barbara Leigh

Companion
acted opposite McQueen in "Junior Bonner"

Ali MacGraw Actor

Wife
Became involved during the filming of "The Getaway" (1972) Married 1973 Filed for divorce in November 1977 Divorced 1978

William McQueen

Father
abandoned McQueen's mother died in 1959 McQueen attempted to locate his father but found his widow three months after father's death

Terry McQueen

Daughter
headed a film production company born on June 5, 1959 died on March 12, 1998 of respiratory failure at age 38 mother, Neile Adams survived by a daughter Molly, born c. 1987

Chad McQueen

Son
born on December 28, 1960 mother, Neile Adams

Neile McQueen-Toffel Actor

Wife
Introduced by mutual friend Mark Rydell whom she had dated Married November 1956; assisted McQueen in choosing scripts during their marriage Reportedly McQueen turned abusive in the early 1970s while overindulging in drugs and alcohol; separated 1971

Barbara Minty

Wife
Began relationship 1977 Married Jan. 16, 1980 until his death Nov. 7, 1980

Claude Thomson

Great-Uncle
mother's uncle helped to raise McQueen

EDUCATION

The Neigborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre

New York , New York 1951

Boys Republic Reform School

Chino , California 1945 - 1946

Milestones

1979

First disgnosed with cancer caused by exposure to asbestos

1977

Starred in Arthur Miller's adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's "An Enemy of the People" (directed by George Schaefer); film sat on shelf for years and received only limited distribution

1974

Presided over listless all-star project, "The Towering Inferno"; reteamed onscreen with Paul Newman

1973

Inspired performance as "Papillon", the man who defies solitary confinement, madness and aging to become a wistful genius of survival

1972

Teamed with Sam Peckinpah for two pictures, the captivating rodeo comedy-drama "Junior Bonner" and "The Getaway", an enjoyable film built around a chase

1970

Returned behind the wheel for "Le Mans"; film was a pet project that began with no script and John Sturges at the helm; Sturges dropped out after shooting many racing sequences

1968

Ventured into (William) Faulkner country for "The Reivers"

1968

Cast against type as the suave mastermind of Jewison's "The Thomas Crown Affair"

1968

Offered a superb performance as as rough, surly cop "Bullitt", particularly behind the wheel for one of the screen's all-time best car chases through streets of San Francisco

1966

Played "Nevada Smith", directed by Henry Hathaway

1966

Second film with Wise, "The Sand Pebbles"; nominated for Best Actor Oscar

1965

Acted the title role in Norman Jewison's "The Cincinnati Kid"

1964

Competed on USA team in motorcycle race

1963

Reteamed with Sturges, soaring as the motorcyle-riding American amidst mostly Brits in "The Great Escape"

1962

Developed his screen persona further as a surly, rebellious, busted NCO in Don Siegel's "Hell Is for Heroes"

1961

Formed Solar Productions

1960

Sturges' "The Magnificent Seven" reinforced him as a laconic loner in action

1959

Staged an "accident" in order to get out of TV series commitment to act in a feature

1959

First film with director John Sturges, "Never So Few"

1958

Attracted attention for his first starring turn in "The Blob", a campy classic of cheap 1950s sci-fi

1958

Introduced character of Josh Randall in episode of "Trackdown", starring Robert Culp

1956

Feature debut in small role of Fidel in Robert Wise's "Somebody Up There Likes Me", starring Paul Newman

1956

Broadway debut, replacing Ben Gazzara as Johnny Pope in "A Hatful of Rain"; fired after six weeks

1950

Returned to NYC

1948

Served in US Marine Corps as a tank driver

1946

Moved with mother to Greenwich Village in NYC; lived with gay neighbor

1944

Ran away to California to live with mother and stepfather

Sick with cancer, made his final two films, "Tom Horn" (bad) and "The Hunter" (perhaps his worst movie), playing a bounty hunter in each

Starred as bounty hunter of few words Josh Randall in CBS series, "Wanted: Dead or Alive"

Took 18-month sabbatical from acting in order to pursue hobby of racing

Raised in Slater, Missouri by a grandmother and great-uncle

Bonus Trivia

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McQueen was reportedly on the Manson family's hit list. In a twist of fate, he was supposed to have dinner with Sharon Tate on the night she was murdered but met a young woman with whom he decided to have a one-night stand.

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"One afternoon on location...I was sitting there reading my script...and Frank crept up behind me and slipped a lighted firecracker in one of the loops of my gunbelt. When that thing went off I jumped about three feet straight up. Which naturally delighted Frank. So I grabbed one of the Tommy guns we were using in the film and jammed in a full clip--fifty rounds. Sinatra was walking away laughing it up with his buddies, when I yelled at him, 'Hey, Frank!' He turned around and I let him have it, zap-zap-zap-zap, the whole clip." Blanks fired at close range can be quite painful and the whole set fell quiet while waiting to see what Sinatra's reaction would be. As McQueen stood there staring at Sinatra, the star, ".., just started laughing, and it was all over. After that, we got along fine. In fact, we tossed firecrackers at each other through the picture." --Steve McQueen on filming "Never So Few" in William F Nolan's biography "McQueen"

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"When a horse learns to buy martinis, I'll learn to like horses." -- McQueen GQ September 2002

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