Appreciating all that makes America special

Steve McQueen

Actor Steve McQueen,

Steve McQueen was a popular and well-paid actor, but motor racing was always his passion. Uploaded by

Steve McQueen was the “king of cool.” He followed James Dean as an iconic anti-hero. At one time he was the highest-paid actor in the world. And like a lot of anti-heroes, he died much too young – at age 50.

Actor Steve McQueen,

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He came to national attention on the small screen, a Western called Wanted: Dead or Alive that ran from 1958 to 1961. As a movie actor, he performed in more than two dozen films. Among the most significant:

  • The Magnificent Seven (1960)
  • The Great Escape (1963)
  • Love with the Proper Stranger (1963)
  • The Cincinnati Kid (1965)
  • The Sand Pebbles (1967 – Nomination)
  • The Thomas Crown Affair (1968)
  • Bullitt (1968)
  • The Reivers (1969)
  • The Getaway (1972)
  • Papillon (1973)
  • The Towering Inferno (1974)

McQueen is almost as famous for his motor racing exploits as for his acting. He was a skilled motorcyclist who often performed his own stunts in movies. He participated in both sports car and off-road motorcycle racing, and once considered becoming a professional driver. Unlike James Dean, however, it wasn’t speed that took McQueen down, but cancer. But the line from the Eagles song still is appropriate: “You were too fast to live, but too young to die.”

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One Comment

  1. His near “Great Escape” into the wire fence is a clasic clip: