Steve McQueen, one of the world’s greatest actors and the man who brought the Le Mans 24 Hours and the 1968 Ford Mustang GT390 to the silver screen, would have been 84 today.
Terence Steven McQueen was born today in 1930, in Beech Grove, Indiana, to a stunt pilot for a barnstorming flying circus, and an alleged rebellious alcoholic prostitute. Because of this he was raised by his grandparents on a farm. When he left the farm to be with his mother in Los Angeles, he became a victim of physical abuse by his stepfathers, thrusting him into the life of a petty criminal in and out of juvenile facilities. He joined the Marine Corps and turned his life around. In 1952 he began studying acting and the rest is history.
Steve McQueen passed away on November 7, 1980, in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico of cancer related to asbestos exposure.
Some neat facts about the icon…
-He was at the top of Charles Manson’s list and was expected for dinner and the later tragedy at the Polanski-Tate home in the Hollywood hills. He was detoured by a mystery woman who caught his attention and never made it.
-He was slated to play Rambo, but because of his death, it was given to Sylvester Stallone. Can you imagine?
-Was also set to star alongside Paul Newman in ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’ but declined. Robert Redford was given the role of Sundance and today we have the Redford’s world famous Sundance Film Festival!
-He was an avid dirt bike rider and airplane pilot – of which he owned several of each.
-He was a pallbearer at the funeral of actor Bruce Lee.
-He owned several exotic sports cars, including:
Porsche 917, Porsche 908 and Ferrari 512 race cars from the Le Mans film. 1963 Ferrari 250 Lusso Berlinetta, Jaguar D-Type XKSS, Porsche 356 Speedster, and a 1962 Cobra.
-Actors Colin Farrell, Kevin Costner, Pierce Brosnan and Bruce Willis have all listed McQueen as their hero and inspiration for being an actor.