The king of cool is our muse this week – Steve McQueen continues to inspire us with his delinquent-turned-thespian history. McQueen found his niche in Hollywood in the 60’s by becoming the go-to symbol of rebellion and he continues to represent “cool and unruly” even decades later. During the 1960s, McQueen built his reputation by playing cool, loner characters in films such as; The Magnificent Seven (1960), The Great Escape (1963), and Bullitt (1968). Early on in his childhood he was troubled and rebellious, being bounced around from home to home, and from reform school to the U.S Marine Corps. For McQueen, acting saved his life and eventually enabled him to give back to the same reformatory school where he spent many years himself.
McQueen eventually became one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood, but his career almost didn’t take off due to clashing egos, and a lot of missed opportunities. In addition to his prolific acting career, McQueen was also known for having close calls with the law and for dangerous motorcycle racing. In an eery Hollywood coincidence, McQueen’s life was also at risk during Charles Manson’s murderous reign. McQueen was invited to visit the home of Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate for dinner the night of Tate’s notorious death, but he cancelled last minute. He found out later on that he was on the top of Manson’s so called ‘death list.’
Throughout the various challenges in his life, McQueen defined himself by being contrary to the status quo, and blazing his own trail – brave qualities that inspire us and hopefully others!