Steve McQueen the king of Cool


Steve McQueen was a American film star & style icon, he is known as the king of cool, He was born Terence Steven McQueen in 1930 in Indiana, Indianapolis, he probably got his rebel side from his farther William Terence McQueen he was a stunt pilot, his Mother was said to be a prostitute who drank, she was unable to look after him, He moved in with his grandparents, then he moved in with his uncle Claude, he had good memories of the times on his great-uncle Claude’s farm,  In recalling him, McQueen stated: “He was a very good man, very strong, very fair. I learned a lot from him, on McQueen’s fourth birthday, Claude gave him a red tricycle, which McQueen later said started his interest in racing, when he turned 8 his mum sent for him, she had got remarried to another man, when Steve came to leave Claude gave him a pocket watch with an inscription inside the case.” The inscription read: “To Steve – who has been a son to me, McQueen was dyslexic and partially deaf due to an ear infection, Steve’s time with his mum wasn’t good he was sent back to his uncle Claude, a couple of years later his mum sent for him again she was living in Los Angeles, California, his mum had got married a third time at the age of nine his step farther beat him very bad, very soon he was on the street roaming with gangs committing petty crime, he soon was sent back to Claude for the last time, at the age of 14 he left Claude`s with out saying good buy, he drifted back to his mother, very soon his step farther was beating him again & he was committing petty crime again, McQueen was caught stealing hubcaps by police, who handed him over to his stepfather who beat him severely, ending the fight by throwing McQueen down a flight of stairs. McQueen looked up at his stepfather and said, “You lay your stinkin’ hands on me again and I swear, I’ll kill ya, after the incident, McQueen’s stepfather convinced his mother to sign a court order stating that McQueen was incorrigible, remanding him to the California Junior Boys Republic in Chino, California, here McQueen grew up & matured when He eventually left Boys Republic at 16. When he later became famous, he regularly returned to talk to the boys and retained a lifelong association. over the next couple of years moved from job to job a lumberjack, merchant marine, oil rigger, in 1947 he joined the United States Marine Corp, when he first joined up he was very rebelliousness & ended up in the brig many times, but he soon sorted him self even finding him self guarding the president at the time, his military training would come in use later on in life when he used weapons in films, he left the marines in the 50s, when he left the military he was able to get financial assistance from the GI bill to get into college.

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Steve McQueen in the classic film Bullet

McQueen began studying acting at Sanford Meisner‘s Neighborhood Playhouse, delivered his first dialogue on a theater stage in a 1952 play produced by Yiddish theater star Molly Picon. McQueen’s character spoke one brief line: “Allez iz forloren.” (“All is lost.“), to earn extra money he turned to motor bike racing at the weekend which he became famous for,  McQueen ended up getting bit parts in plays, in 1955 McQueen moved to California seeking better acting work in the movies, he again got bit parts but his break through role was a B movie called the Blob, Steve McQueen the film star had arrived, but his first starring role was in a TV program called Wanted Dead or Alive, he played the role of Josh Randal the bounty hunter, his character was famous for holstering a special sawed-off .44-40 Winchester rifle nicknamed the “Mare’s Leg” he soon was in movies with big stars like Frank Sinatra, what came next was of his most memorable roles, it was  Vin Tanner in the The Magnificent Seven, the film the music was a smash hit it cemented McQueen as A list star, Then came one of his most famous roles as Capt. Virgil Hilts, the “Cooler King” in the great escape he was famous for performing most of his own stunts on set, through the 60s top producers wanted McQueen in their films, he became the highest paid actor in Hollywood history, he gained a anti-hero persona, over the next couple of years he starred in many famous films, Bullet, The Sand Pebbles, The Getaway, The Thomas Crown affair, Papillon, Towering Inferno, McQueen became combative with directors and producers in the 70s  which made him less sort after, he didn’t work for 4 years he ended touring america on his motorbikes, he returned at the late 70s and made a couple of movies that were launched in the 1980, it was around this time it was revealed he had cancer, on 7th November 1980 Steve McQueen passed away  after surgery to remove tumors from his neck and liver.

The style icon still lives on today his estate is one of the top ten highest-earning deceased celebrities, this is because Steve McQueen lived life to the full, he had style like no other man, the way he carried him self was amazing, what ever he wore or drove or rode he made it look cool, to this day certain pieces that he wore or used still use his image to sell their products.

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Steve McQueen loved stylish but practical things, so when it came to sunglasses he chose Persol true Italian style, Persol were designed by Via Caboto he made technical advanced glassed, designed to satisfy the demands of pilots and sport drivers who requited comfort, protection and optimum vision, The blue-tinted sunglasses (Persol 714) worn by McQueen in the 1968 movie The Thomas Crown Affair sold at a Bonhams & Butterfields auction in Los Angeles for $70,200 in 2006 after McQueen`s  death Persol dedicated a collection to him.

http://www.persol.com

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When Steve McQueen started bike racing he needed proper bike Jacket that was rugged but practical, he chose a British brand called Belstaff, the Trialmaster is a classic, belted, four pocket jacket, cotton treated to protect against rot, fungus & water, storm cuffs with poppers, it was made popular by trials riders in the fifties and sixties. It was worn by factory test riders as well as competition riders like Sammy Miller and Bud Edkins,

http://www.belstaff.co.uk

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Steve McQueen also loved Harrington Jackets again it was down to their practicality, they were a short bomber style jacket undisputed iconic garment from the collection, chosen by some for its straighter silhouette. Water repellent poly/cotton outer. Coolmax cotton/poly Fraser Tartan lining. Zip front. Double button fastening collar. Two front flap pockets. ‘Umbrella’ back vent. Side adjusters. Made in UK. Regular fit. the brand he chose was called Baracuta

www.baracuta.com

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In the 1970s Le Mans, film he famously wore a blue faced Monaco 1133B Caliber 11 Automatic which led to its cult status among watch collectors. His sold for $87,600 at auction on June 11, 2009, Tag Heuer continues to promote its Monaco range with McQueen’s image.

https://shop-uk.tagheuer.com

Steve McQueen lived by a mantra I live for myself and I answer to nobody.” this sums up the great man he lived life to the full and if any one didn’t like it then to hell with them was his answer, this man has inspired me so much, he changed the way I looked at men`s style he inspired me to start writing this blog on men`s style and fashion. 

By

Bob Redfern

BE BOLD BE PROUD