November 7, 1980 – The death of Steven McQueen

The “King of Cool” Steven McQueen passed away on this day in 1980 due to pleural mesothelioma, a cancer associated with asbestos exposure. Born Terence Steven McQueen on March 24, 1930, he would go on to make a name for himself in Hollywood and on the racetrack. Starring in such films as The Cincinnati Kid, The Thomas Crown Affair, The Getaway, Oscar nominated The Sand Pebbles and Papillon, McQueen’s was well known on the screen. His other passion, which reflected in many of his movies, including Bullitt, was auto racing. In several of his movies, including the famous chase scene through the streets of San Francisco in Bullitt, McQueen conducted his own driving stunts. In once scene in The Great Escape he can even be seen chasing himself wearing a German uniform thanks to careful editing. This was because the directors said it was hard to find as skilled of motorcycle riders as McQueen. McQueen also participated in a few professional automobile races including the 1970 12 Hours of Sebring race. He and co-driver Peter Revson won with a Porsche 908/02 in the three-litre class. They missed an overall first place by 23 seconds, losing  to Mario Andretti, Ignazio Giunti and Nino Vaccarella in a five-litre Ferrari 512S. McQueen was also an avid car and motorcycle collector and earned a spot in the Off-road Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1978. PicsPhoto of Steve McQueen as Josh Randall from an episode of the television program Wanted:Dead or Alive dated August 21, 1959. By CBS Television – File:Steve McQueen Virginia Gregg Wanted Dead or Alive 1959.JPG (cropped), Public Domain McQueen with his horse, Doc, and his Jaguar XKSS (1960) By CBS Television – eBay itemphoto frontphoto back, Public Domain

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