Synopses & Reviews
Steve McQueen is one of America’s legendary movie stars best known for his hugely successful film career in classics such as The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, The Thomas Crown Affair, Bullitt,
and The Towering Inferno
as well as
for his turbulent life off-screen and impeccable style. His unforgettable physical beauty, his soft-spoken manner, his tough but tender roughness, and his aching vulnerability had women swooning and men wanting to be just like him. Today—nearly thirty years after he lost his battle against cancer at the age of fifty—McQueen remains “The King of Cool.” Yet, few know the truth of what bubbled beneath his composed exterior and shaped his career, his passions, and his private life.
Now, in Steve McQueen, New York Times bestselling author, acclaimed biographer, and film historian, Marc Eliot captures the complexity of this Hollywood screen legend. Chronicling McQueen’s tumultuous life both on and off the screen, from his hardscrabble childhood to his rise to Hollywood superstar status, to his struggles with alcohol and drugs and his fervor for racing fast cars and motorcycles, Eliot discloses intimate details of McQueen’s three marriages, including his tumultuous relationships with Neile Adams and Ali MacGraw, as well as his numerous affairs. He also paints a full portrait of this incredible yet often perplexing career that ranged from great films to embarrassing misfires. Steve McQueen, adored by millions, was obsessed by Paul Newman, and it is the nature of that obsession that reveals so much about who McQueen really was. Perhaps his greatest talent was to be able to convince audiences that he was who he really wasn’t, even as he tried to prove to himself that he wasn’t who he really was.
With original material, rare photos, and new interviews, Eliot presents a fascinating and complete picture of McQueen’s life.
"Following his biographies of Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, Walt Disney, Phil Ochs, and others, Eliot now traces the 'tragically short' career of McQueen, ranking him as 'one of those actors, who, along with Eastwood and Newman, became a seminal force in the wake of the postwar Brando cinematic tsunami.' This uneven biography devotes only a few pages to McQueen's turbulent, troubled youth (including 14 months in reform school), quickly moving on to Broadway, where he appeared in A Hatful of Rain. In 1958, after the top-10 success of his Wanted: Dead or Alive series on CBS, McQueen became 'Hollywood's number one hotshot.' During the 1960s, he ascended as a superstar in such films as The Great Escape, The Cincinnati Kid, The Sand Pebbles (which brought him an Oscar nomination), and Bullitt, moving into the 1970s with The Getaway and Papillon. By 1974, he was the world's highest paid actor, indulging in 'drugs, fast cars, faster women' and confrontational, 'idiosyncratic behavior'' on film sets. Eliot manages to capture the powerful drive and rough-hewn qualities of the adventurous actor, but many pages rehash the same anecdotes found in a dozen previously published McQueen biographies. (Oct. 25)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Marc Eliot is the "New York Times" bestselling author of more than a dozen books on popular culture, among them the highly acclaimed biographies American Rebel: The Life of Clint Eastwood, Cary Grant, and Jimmy Stewart; the award-winning Walt Disney: Hollywood's Dark Prince; Down 42nd Street; what many consider the best book about the sixties, his biography of Phil Ochs, Death of a Rebel; Take It From Me (with Erin Brokovich); Down Thunder Road: The Making of Bruce Springsteen; To the Limit: The Untold Story of the Eagles; and Reagan: The Hollywood Years. He has written on the media and pop culture for numerous publications, including Penthouse, L.A. Weekly, and California magazine. He divides his time among New York City; Woodstock, New York; Los Angeles; and the Far East. Visit him at www.MarcEliot.net