Steve McQueen was born under the name Terrence Steve McQueen in Beach Groove, Indiana, on March 24 1930. Famous for his acting career were he appeared on screen for 30 movies. His look and “bad ass” attitude gave him the nickname “The King of Cool”.
His mother was an alcoholic and he never got to know his father. He spent the beginning of his childhood on his uncles farm, later was taken back by his mother moving to Indianapolis and Los Angeles. There, he entered street gangs and with age 14 moved into a reform school. His childhood was filled with beatings from his stepfather to coming in contact with crime and justice. In 1947, McQueen joined the United States Marine where he served his country until 1950 and was honorably discharged.
1952 saw Steve McQueen start his theatrical career. He started off slow and with a few scripts here and there until his breakthrough came with age 25 when he played John Randall in “Wanted: Dead or Alive”. The name Steve McQueen, was soon to be known forever in the film industry as “The Hero of generations”. He married his first girlfriend Neile Adams, with whom he had to children, Chad and Terry Leslie. In total, Mr. McQueen married 3 times. His career however was blessed. Movies such as “The Magnificent Seven” which resulted in the withdrawal of ” Wanted: Dead or Alive” was his first big hit and brought him to an international level. Some of his most known movies are “The Great Escape” 1963, “The Cincinnati Kid” 1965, “Nevada Smith” 1966, “The Thomas Crown Affaire” 1968, and “Bullitt” to name a few of his greatest hits.
Apart from his big achievements on screen, Steve McQueen admired speed and adrenaline. This comes in form of super cars and his personal favorite, motorcycles. In fact, in many of his movies he is seen without a stunt man such as in “The Great Escape”. In the beginning of his movie career, he earned his money on the side with motorcycle races in order to cover expenses. His love for speed, motorbikes and super cars drew him away from the movie screen and at the end of his life was believed to have a collection of over 100 motorbikes worth several million dollars.
Steve McQueen died age 50 on November 8 1980 of mesothelioma in Mexico next to his 3rd wife Barbara Minty. He will forever be remembered as the ultra cool film star of the 1960s.
His sense of fashion was never really recognized, yet he had it in his DNA. He was not called “The King Of Cool” for no reason. Mr.McQueen was often seen in his rugged almost rebellious outfits such as leather jackets, crew neck t-shirts, simple chinos or jeans and a good pair of white sneakers or boots. He never left the house without his beloved Persol sunglasses (which are still available today). Admittedly very simple, but worn by a man who embraced his nickname. Even in tailoring like in “The Thomas Crown Affaire” McQueen knew what stood out of the crowd.
His scruffy and “bad ass” attitude earned him the cover of “Harpers Bazaar” the first ever dedicated to a man. He is an Icon of Style and will be remembered as such.