Steve McQueen – 30 years after his death and still the embodiment of cool

Steve McQueen in The Cincinnati Kid

“I really don’t like to act. At the beginning, back in ’51, I had to force myself to stick with it. I was real uncomfortable, real uncomfortable.”

Lucky he kept at it (even though he once said “In my own mind, I’m not sure that acting is something for a grown man to be doing”) or he wouldn’t have turned into an American icon. This day marks the 30th anniversary of his death.

Steve McQueen passed away at the relatively young age of 50 from mesothelioma cancer. His wife, Barbara McQueen, liked to photograph her husband and a selection of previously unseen pictures from her collection are on display at London’s Movie Poster Art Gallery as part of their McQueen exhibition, which runs from 5 to 18 November.

McQueen biographer Marshall Terrill has also just released a new book, Steve McQueen: A Tribute to the King of Cool, to mark the anniversary.

And Sky Movies Classics is having a Steve McQueen day, showing Hell is for Heroes, Bullitt and The Thomas Crown Affair among a few other of his movies.

In other words, it’s a cool day to stay in and watch telly.

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