Steve McQueen was the greatest movie star to ever appear onscreen. He defined what it means to be "cool" and is imitated by today's major movie actors, but none comes close. There was only one Steve McQueen.
The career of Steve McQueen seems a classic example of the American dream made real, of a small town boy triumphing over adversity-broken home, poor education-to become one of the richest and most sought-after superstars in the world. He was a man who finally found the love he never knew as a child in the adoration of the millions of adoring fans who flocked to every action-packed screen adventure graced by his rugged, tanned, and quizzical good looks. McQueen lived every day as if it was his last, and by doing so he lived an extraordinary life, both on screen and off. *
Steve McQueen was a superstar in the true sense of the word. He is probably the most emulated movie actor ever. He was into motorcycles and race cars long before it became "hip" in Hollywood to do so, and he raced both professionally. At one point in his career, he considered taking up auto racing full time, showing that his passion for racing and fast machines was more than a publicity move, as it seems to have become for today's actors.
His peers have called him one of the best actors in film history and McQueen's films are considered classics. Movies such as The Great Escape, The Sand Pebbles, (for which he received an Academy Award nomination), Nevada Smith, Bullitt (which became the basis for police action movies and to this day has the most exciting car chase ever filmed), The Getaway (where he met his second wife, actress Ali McGraw), Papillon, and many others.
He died an early death at the age of fifty on November 7, 1980, after suffering from mesothelioma, a rare and painful form of lung cancer.
Biography continued-Steve's early years
Born: Beech Grove, Indiana March 24, 1930. Died November 7, 1980 in Juarez, Mexico.
Married to: Neile Adams (from 1956-72), Ali MacGraw (1973-78), Barbara Minty (1980-80).
Children: Chad McQueen (son) and Terry Leslie McQueen (daughter) by first wife Neile Adams.
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(* This single paragraph from an article by Phillip Bergson)