Steve McQueen was an American actor born in Beech Grove, Indiana. He had a troubled childhood and adolescence, up until he joined the Marine Corps in 1947. He began acting in the 50s and got his first film role in the 1956 movie Somebody Up There Likes Me, opposite Paul Newman. He had his breakout role in the television series, Tales of Wells Fargo, capturing the attention of producer Vincent M. Fennelly.
His career grew significantly during the 60s, starring in films such as Love with the Proper Stranger, The Magnificent Seve, The Great Escape, Bullitt, The Thomas Crown Affair, The Cincinnati Kid and The Sand Pebbles — which earned him his only Academy Award nomination. Amongst his most famous 70s films are The Towering Inferno and Papillon. His last appearance was as a bounty hunter Ralph “Papa” Thorson in the 1980 movie, The Hunter.
McQueen was also known for being a passionate admirer of race cars and motorcycles, owning many racing cars and over a hundred motorcycles. He was married three times: first to Neile Adams, then to Ali MacGraw, and finally to Barbara Minty. He had two children.
In 1979 he was diagnosed with cancer. He died a year later in Mexico, at age 50.
images source: LIFE magazine