Today is the 85th birthday of Steve McQueen. A true Style Icon, I covet his sunglasses, Rolex, car, haircut and the suits he wore in his movies. The world is a better place because he was in it and still feels the loss that he has left.
Terrence Stephen “Steve” McQueen (March 24, 1930 – November 7, 1980) was an American movie actor. He was nicknamed “The King of Cool.” His “anti-hero” persona, which he developed at the height of the Vietnam counterculture, made him one of the top box-office draws of the 1960s and 1970s. McQueen received an Academy Award nomination for his role in The Sand Pebbles. His other popular films include The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, The Thomas Crown Affair, Bullitt, The Getaway, Papillon, and The Towering Inferno. In 1974, he became the highest-paid movie star in the world. Although McQueen was combative with directors and producers, his popularity put him in high demand and enabled him to command large salaries.
He was an avid racer of both motorcycles and cars. While he studied acting, he supported himself partly by competing in weekend motorcycle races and bought his first motorcycle with his winnings. He is recognized for performing many of his own stunts, but one of the most widely claimed and cherished 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 also designed and patented a bucket seat and transbrake for race cars.
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.
The Rolex Explorer II 2 Reference 1655, is also now so-called Rolex Steve McQueen in the horology collectors world, but the Rolex Submariner Reference 5512 he was often photographed wearing in private moments sold for $234,000 at auction on June 11, 2009, a world-record price for the reference.