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American film actor.
Born: 24 March 1930 in Beech Grove, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.
Died: 7 November 1980 in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico (aged 50).
Nicknamed "The King Of Cool". In many of his films he often maintained an "anti-hero" persona, developed at the height of the Vietnam counterculture, making him one of the top box-office draws of the 1960s and 1970s. In 1974, he became the highest-paid film actor in the world.
McQueen received an Academy Award nomination for his role in "The Sand Pebbles" (1966). His other popular films include "The Magnificent Seven" (1960), "The Great Escape" (1963), "The Thomas Crown Affair" (1968), "Bullitt" (1968), "The Getaway" (1972), "Papillon" (1973), and "The Towering Inferno" (1974).
Although McQueen's popularity put him in high demand and enabled him to command large salaries, despite his combative nature with directors and producers.
As an avid racer of both motorcycles and cars, and whilst studying acting, he supported himself partly by competing in weekend motorcycle races and bought his first motorcycle with his winnings, and also designed and patented a bucket seat and transbrake for race cars.
He also performed many of his own stunts in the films he appeared in. However, one of the most widely claimed examples of this —that he did the majority of the stunt driving for his character during the high-speed chase scene in "Bullitt"— was revealed not to be true by his most trusted stuntman and stunt driver Loren James.
McQueen died of a heart attack following an operation to remove or reduce several metastatic tumors in his neck and abdomen. After his memorial service he was cremated and his ashes spread in the Pacific Ocean.