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The other side of Steve McQueen


We all know the story of Steve McQueen, from troubled youth to Hollywood stardom, and not only the “King of Cool” but a car guy as well, from bikes in Baja to Bullitt and Le Mans.

The other side of Steve McQueen | ClassicCars.com Journal
Steve McQueen in a later in life photo | Movie photo

McQueen died November 7, 1980, after undergoing treatment in Mexico for cancer. He was only 50 at the time.

By then, he had withdrawn from Hollywood, lived for a time in the Idaho hometown of his third wife, Barbara, and finally resettled in Ventura, California, where he took up flying.

McQueen’s life, and especially his final years, are the subject of Steve McQueen: American Icon, a movie produced by Greg Laurie, senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship.

Yes, it is a movie with an evangelical Christian message, but it also is a movie about McQueen’s life, from birth to death. It also is a story very well told, through vintage photos and movie footage and interviews with people who knew McQueen, and knew him intimately, who note how his personality changed, how he became happier, more content and friendly, after his Christian conversion.

The other side of Steve McQueen | ClassicCars.com Journal
The movie poster

I was part of the audience for a special screening of the movie during the recent SEMA Show. I’d read books and articles about McQueen, but while watching the film I learned new things about his life, about his acting career and his rivalries and demands, and about his withdrawal from the Hollywood lifestyle. And I’d never read or heard before about his faith.

The film has been shown in several theaters and is or soon will be available on DVD or via internet streaming.

For information, visit the movie website.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


  1. Thanks for mentioning the McQueen movie. I’m looking forward to seeing it when it becomes available on DVD. Thanks too for being bold enough to mention the most important decision Steve made in his life…the decision to follow Christ before he died.

  2. Thank you so much for the article a d documentary about Steve. I still love to watch him weekly on western tv.
    Thank you for the glorious news that he received Christ as his savior. Praise the Lord I’ll see him in heaven someday. God is so amazing


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