In the 60’s and 70’s, most guys imagined themselves living the life and being as cool as Steve McQueen. Steve was one of Hollywood’s sexiest leading men because he balanced masculinity and sensitivity, which made him both a man’s man and a ladies' man all at once. His most memorable roles in films were Bullitt, The Great Escape, The Thomas Crown Affair and, Papillion. Besides being a great actor, Steve was also a race-car driver, and father and the epitome of a man living the American dream. He rose above his humble beginnings and circumstances to become one of the most famous movie stars in the world.

Here are 15 facts you didn’t know about the coolest man, ever:

Although he was the highest paid star of the 1960s, McQueen had a reputation for being tight-fisted. On some films he would demand ten electric razors and dozens of pairs of jeans. It was later found that he gave this stuff to Boys Republic, a private school and treatment community for troubled youngsters, where he spent a few years himself.


Steve McQueen, Official Website

The young McQueen appeared as Vin, alongside Yul Brynner, in the star-laden The Magnificent Seven (1960) and effectively hijacked the lead from the bigger star by ensuring he was nearly always doing something in every shot he and Brynner were in together, such as adjusting his hat or gun belt. Brynner nixed McQueen’s appearing in the ‘7’ sequel.

A week before the Woodstock Music Festival kicked off in Bethel, New York, McQueen had been invited for dinner at the Roman Polanski-Sharon Tate home in the Hollywood hills by mutual friend and hairdresser-to the-stars, Jay Sebring. An unexpected rendezvous with a mystery woman prompted him to cancel his appointment. In the wake of the Manson Family Tate-LaBianca murders at, respectively, 10050 Cielo Drive and 3301 Waverly Drive, McQueen would later learn that he was accorded the kind of priority billing for which he was unprepared: he topped Charles Manson's celebrity death list. Thereafter he carried a concealed weapon.

Served in the United States Marine Corps were he believed he was exposed to materials that caused his cancer, mesothelioma. Which is also the cancer that claimed Yul Brynner

He was very interested in playing John Rambo in the adaptation of the novel "First Blood". He was actually slated to star, but did not due to his death. Sylvester Stallone got the role instead in First Blood (1982).

Official Website

Appears, helmeted and uncredited, as a motorcyclist in the 1976 B-movie Dixie Dynamite (1976), starring Warren Oates and Christopher George. Legend has it that the call went out for dirt bike riders to take part in this low-budget action adventure, and among those who turned up was McQueen. Heavily bearded and overweight, he kept a low profile (this was during his reclusive period when he was turning down multi-million-dollar offers for such films as A Bridge Too Far (1977) and Apocalypse Now (1979)), and was only noticed when he queued up to accept his day's payment, about $120. The astonished production assistant handing out the cash saw his name on a list and said, "Is that THE Steve McQueen?". McQueen's riding style (standing on his foot pedals, leaning forward, head over the handlebars) makes him immediately identifiable to bike buffs.

Was a pallbearer at the funeral of actor Bruce Lee.

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.

Steve McQueen, Official Website

Upon meeting Martin Landau, McQueen told Landau he had already met him. 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. The motorcycle mechanic at the garage was none other than McQueen.

Steve McQueen, Official Website

He did all of his character’s driving in ‘Bullitt’, but did not do the jump in ‘The Great Escape’

Watch Steve drive in "Bullitt"

Quigley Down Under (1990) was written for McQueen in the 1970s.

Turned down Clint Eastwood's role in Dirty Harry (1971)

He proposed the idea for a film The Bodyguard (1992) in 1976, but this was forgotten for 16 years until 1992, when Kevin Costner revived it.

The "King of Cool" became a born-again Christian shortly before he died, due to the influence of his third wife Barbara Minty and his flying instructor Sammy Mason. He went through bible studies with the Reverend Billy Graham. It is interesting to note that this conversion happened before he was diagnosed with cancer. McQueen's favorite Bible verse was John 3:16 which reads, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life".

The last words he uttered on screen were "God bless you" in The Hunter (1980).

Steve McQueen, Official Website

What are some of your favorite movies starring Steve McQueen?

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