Terrence Steven "Steve" McQueen (March 24, 1930 – November 7, 1980) was a popular 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, especially the majority of the stunt driving during the high-speed chase scene in Bullitt. McQueen also designed and patented a bucket seat and transbrake for race cars.
McQueen was born Terrence Steven McQueen in Beech Grove, Indiana, a suburb of Indianapolis, in Marion County. His father, Terrence William McQueen, a stunt pilot for a barnstorming flying circus, abandoned McQueen and his mother when McQueen was six months old. His mother, Julian (née Crawford), was a young, rebellious alcoholic. Unable to cope with bringing up a small child, she left him with her parents (Victor and Lillian) in Slater, Missouri, in 1933. Shortly thereafter, as the Great Depression set in, McQueen and his grandparents moved in with Lillian's brother Claude to the latter's farm in Slater. McQueen was raised as a Roman Catholic.