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Steve McQueen

Steve McQueen

Steve McQueen was an American movie actor. He was born Terence Steven McQueen in Beech Grove, Indiana. He never knew his father, who abandoned his wife and child shortly after he was born. He was raised in Slater, Missouri by his uncle, where his mother left him. At the age of 12 McQueen moved with his mother to Los Angeles. When he was 14, his mother sent him to a reformatory school. Soon McQueen left the school and drifted before joining the Marines in 1947. In 1952, he took advantage of the G.I. Bill to study at the Actors' Studio in New York, making his Broadway debut in 1955 in A Hatful of Rain.

McQueen moved into film in 1956 with Somebody Up There Likes Me, securing his first lead role in the 1958 movie The Blob. Between 1958 and 1960 he gained recognition with the television series Wanted: Dead or Alive. His breakthrough, however, came in 1963 with The Great Escape, and his fame peaked in 1968 with Bullitt. Before, he had already earned an Academy Award nomination for the 1966 film The Sand Pebbles. From then on he mixed character roles in works such as 1973's Papillon, with pure spectacle in the 1971 car races film Le Mans or in The Getaway in 1972. After The Towering Inferno in 1974, McQueen did not return to film until 1978, when he played in An Enemy of the People.

McQueen was a motorcycles and race cars enthusiast. He liked fast machines, and when he had the opportunity to drive these vehicles in a movie, he did it himself, performing many of his own stunts. During his acting career he even seriously considered becoming a professional race car driver.

McQueen was married to Neile Adams from 1957 until their divorce in 1972; from this marriage he had a son and a daughter. He married actress Ali McGraw in 1973 and divorced her in 1978. He was married to Barbara Minty in January 1980.

After 1978 he appeared only in two further films before he died in November of 1980, only 50 years old, in Juárez, Mexico due to a heart attack following last-ditch lung cancer treatment.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2004.

Steve McQueen Facts

Birth NameTerence Steven McQueen
BirthdayMarch 24, 1930
BirthplaceBeech Grove, Indiana, USA
Date of deathNovember 7, 1980 (age 50)
Height5' 9" (1m75)  How tall is Steve McQueen compared to you?
Awards2009 BAFTA Awards: The Carl Foreman award for special achievement (for Hunger)

Selected Filmography

The Magnificent Seven
The Towering Inferno
Hollywood Heaven: Tragic Lives. Tragic Deaths
Steve Mcqueen: The Man & Le Mans
On Any Sunday
The Great Escape
The Thomas Crown Affair
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