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I’m not a great actor – let’s face it. I don’t have a great deal of scope. There are certain things I can do, but when I’m bad, I stink. There’s something about my shaggy dog eyes that makes people think I’m good. I’m not all that good.

McQueen was an avid motorcycle and racecar enthusiast. When he had the opportunity to drive in a movie, he performed many stunts. Perhaps the most memorable were the car chases in Bullitt and motorcycle chases in The Great Escape.

Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting.

It was difficult to find riders as skilled as McQueen.At one point, using editing, McQueen is seen in a German uniform chasing himself on another bike.

Although the jump over the fence in The Great Escape was done by Bud Ekins for insurance purposes, McQueen did have considerable screen time riding his 650cc Triumph TR6 Trophy motorcycle.

Acting Steve McQueen on

I'm not sure whether I'm an actor who races or a racer who acts.

Personal Steve McQueen on

I'm not that interesting of a person.

Goodness Steve McQueen on

There's something about my shaggy dog eyes that makes people think I'm good. I'm not all that good.

Manifest Steve McQueen on

I'm certainly not who people think I am. I always do whatever I want to do, and my films are personal to me.

Infinities

I learned that life is a long and difficult road, but you have to keep going, or you'll fall by the wayside.

Steve McQueen Gallery

steve mcqueen photoplay
steve mcqueen persol
steve mc queen persol
steve mcqueen orange sweater
steve mcqueen & miles davies
Steve McQueen
steve mcqueen & neile adams
steve mcqueen orange art
steve mcqueen lemans
steve mcqueen the getaway ali mcgraw

The Getaway

I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth.

In 1971 McQueen starred in the poorly received auto-racing drama Le Mans. Then came The Getaway where he met future wife Ali MacGraw. He worked for director Sam Peckinpah again with the leading role in Junior Bonner in 1972, a story of an aging rodeo rider. He followed this with a physically demanding role as a Devil’s Island prisoner in 1973’s Papillon, featuring Dustin Hoffman as his character’s tragic sidekick.

In 1973, The Rolling Stones referred to McQueen in the song “Star Star” from the album Goats Head Soup for which an amused McQueen reportedly gave personal permission. The lines were “Star fucker, star fucker, star fucker, star fucker star/ Yes you are, yes you are, yes you are/Yeah, Ali MacGraw got mad with you/For givin’ head to Steve McQueen”.

By the time of The Getaway, McQueen was the world’s highest paid actor. But after 1974’s The Towering Inferno, co-starring with his long-time professional rival Paul Newman and reuniting him with Dunaway, became a tremendous box-office success, McQueen all but disappeared from the public eye, to focus on motorcycle racing and traveling around the country in a motorhome and on his vintage Indian motorcycles. He did not return to acting until 1978 with An Enemy of the People, playing against type as a bearded, bespectacled 19th-century doctor in this adaptation of a Henrik Ibsen play.

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Steve McQueen in

The Thomas Crown affair

I'm about challenging people. Like, properly challenging them and their assumptions.

The film features the chess scene with McQueen and Dunaway play a game of chess, silently flirting with each other. The photography is unusual for a mainstream Hollywood film, using a split-screen mode. McQueen undertook his own stunts (playing polo) and driving a dune buggy at high speed on the Massachusetts coastline. This was similar to his starring role in the movie Bullitt, released a few months afterwards, in which he drove a Ford Mustang through San Francisco at more than 100 mph. In an interview, McQueen would later say this was his favorite film.

Accolades

YearFilm/TV SeriesRoleNotes
1953Girl on the RunExtraUncredited
1955Goodyear PlayhouseTV series (1 episode: “The Chivington Raid”)
1956The United States Steel HourBushyTV series (1 episode: “Bring Me a Dream”)
1956Somebody Up There Likes MeFidelUncredited
1957Studio One in HollywoodJoseph GordonTV series (2 episodes)
1957West PointTV series (1 episode: “Ambush”)
1957The 20th Century-Fox HourKinsellaTV series (1 episode: “Deep Water”)
1957The Big StoryChuck MiltonTV series (1 episode: “Malcolm Glover of the San Francisco Examiner”)
1958Climax!Anthony Reeves / Henry ReevesTV series (1 episode: “Four Hours in White”)
1958Tales of Wells FargoBill LongleyTV series (1 episode: “Bill Longley”)
1958TrackdownJosh Randall/Mal Cody/Wes CodyTV series (2 episodes)
1958Never Love a StrangerMartin Cabell
1958The BlobSteve Andrews
1958-61Wanted: Dead or AliveJosh RandallTV series (94 episodes)
1959The Great St. Louis Bank RobberyGeorge Fowler
1959Never So FewBill Ringa
1959Alfred Hitchcock PresentsBill EverettTV series (1 episode: “Human Interest Story”)
1960Alfred Hitchcock PresentsGamblerTV series (1 episode: “Man from the South”)
1960The Magnificent SevenVin Tanner
1961The Honeymoon MachineLt. Ferguson “Fergie” Howard
1962Hell Is for HeroesReese
1962The War LoverCapt. Buzz Rickson
1963The Great EscapeHilts “The Cooler King”
1963Soldier in the RainSgt. Eustis Clay
1963Love with the Proper StrangerRocky Papasano
1965Baby the Rain Must FallHenry Thomas
1965The Cincinnati KidThe Cincinnati Kid
1966Nevada SmithNevada Smith
1966The Sand PebblesJake HolmanNominated – Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
1967Think TwentiethHimselfDocumentary short
1968The Thomas Crown AffairThomas Crown
1968BullittLt. Frank Bullitt
1969The ReiversBoon Hogganbeck
1971Le MansMichael Delaney
1971On Any SundayHimselfDocumentary
1972Junior BonnerJunior “JR” Bonner
1972The GetawayDoc McCoy
1973Bruce Lee: The Man and the LegendHimselfDocumentary; uncredited
1973The Magnificent RebelHimselfDocumentary short
1973PapillonHenri ‘Papillon’ Charriere
1974The Towering InfernoChief Mike O’Hallorhan
1976Dixie DynamiteDirt-bike RiderUncredited
1978An Enemy of the PeopleDr. Thomas StockmannAlso executive producer
1980Tom HornTom HornAlso executive producer
1980The HunterPapa ThorsonFinal role

McQ on Trust

When I believe in something, I fight like hell for it.

Stardom

Stardom equals financial success and financial success equals security. I've spent too much of my life feeling insecure. I still have nightmares about being poor, of everything I own just vanishing away. Stardom means that can't happen.

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It was 1970 and Steve McQueen, with his blond hair, dare-devil demeanour and piercing blue eyes, was the darling of Hollywood.

Neile Adams

Steve McQueen on

Private

In the 1960s he publicly threatened to break Howard Hughes' nose if Hughes did not stop harassing Mamie Van Doren, a woman both men had had affairs with, but at different times. Needless to say, Hughes never bothered Van Doren again.

Upon meeting Martin Landau, McQueen told Landau that they had already met. Landau, who didn't remember McQueen, inquired as to where. McQueen told him that he--Landau--was on the back of James Dean's motorcycle when Dean brought it in for repairs at a NYC garage.

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