Iconic actor, martial artist, and car (and bicycle) enthusiast, Steve McQueen was perfectly suited to the era of the counter-culture, rising up as a true embodiment of the anti-hero archetype.
McQueen’s seemingly effortless cool has been emphasized in films like “The Great Escape”, “The Cincinnati Kid”, “The Thomas Crown Affair” and “Bullitt”. The actor presented a new image for a prominent Hollywood man: unconventional, rebellious and ruggedly beautiful. To further her legendary biography, Stacker has put together a list of 25 lesser-known facts about this timeless star.
McQueen’s rebellious on-screen character matched who he was in real life. He never quite escaped the damage of his unstable and unsteady childhood, moving into adulthood steeped in risk and excess, ranging from fast vehicles and illicit substances to many historic cases. The actor was known for his wacky demands on set, including losing a starring role in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” to Robert Redford because McQueen wouldn’t sign without being headliner on Paul Newman. He complained about the lines and the costumes, and on several occasions the filming had to be delayed because McQueen was intoxicated on drugs or alcohol (or both). Other times he turned down roles in films that are masterpieces today, such as “Apocalypse Now”, “Dirty Harry” and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”.
McQueen also allegedly abused his wives and lovers. In her memoir “My Husband, My Friend,” McQueen’s first wife, Neile Adams, described the persistent psychological and physical abuse. Other allegations suggest the same treatment of McQueen’s second wife, Ali MacGraw.
McQueen’s daredevil lifestyle included racing cars and bikes. Early in his career he got his hands on Harley-Davidson and Triumph motorcycles. In the early 1950s, living in New York City and studying theater, McQueen began traveling to Long Island on weekends to compete in motorcycle races. His weekly earnings were around $ 100, which is over $ 1,000 in today’s money.
McQueen’s legacy, which spans nearly three dozen films and countless television appearances, is that of a flawless man. His signature style, often associated with Barbour jackets, Persol sunglasses and TAG Heuer watches, and his larger-than-life character captivated and inspired audiences and fans throughout the 60s and 70s and to the present day. ‘hui. Read on to learn more about the life of this iconic and complicated star.
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