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September 21, 2022 3:00 am
On this episode of Our American Stories, you are about to hear the untold story of Hollywood legend Steve McQueen, told by McQueen expert, Marshall Terrill.
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And that's how Steve McQueen. I think it's been passed on down to the generations. It's not like the Beatles or Elvis Presley were these parents and grandparents now have such a love for this person that they will pass that on to their children and their grandchildren and somehow miraculously they get filtered down to the next generation so Steve McQueen there's a lot of that with him and I think one of the reasons for that is because his look is so timeless you know that he looks like he stepped out of the screen today that he could fit in society today because he had that that great looking haircut that great physique. He didn't look like he belonged in a sort of time. And then of course there is films which she was my voice and he's kind of the template for the modern-day start. He didn't.
He he he sort of had his own code and people pick that up and they want to acclimate to themselves as so as the result of following his own instincts is an actor Steve McQueen became the biggest movie star of the 1960s and 70s from 1963 to 1975 he was the number one box office start world Steve McQueen was born on March 24, 1930 couple knots right after the Great Depression hit the pool there was the Wall Street crash of 1929, so he grew up right in the middle that and both of his parents were alcoholics didn't really know his father because he walked out on his wife and his child. After six months.
His mother Julian was what they called a flapper. She was kind of a good time girl.
She was 17 years old when she gave birth to Steve and it was just a kid herself and so Steve was raised by his maternal grandparents. At first Victor and Lillian Crawford when he was about four or five years old. You know they have lost pretty much everything. As a result, the Great Depression, and so they moved to Slater Missouri where Steve's granduncle Claude had a hog farm and so sometimes Julian would come.
Sometimes you be off in California sometime should come and take him because she felt guilty and bring them out to California and then expose him to stepfathers who did necessary have his best interest at heart. Sometimes they were abusive.
Most almost always there were alcoholics and so he was just raising this environment where he was didn't really have a home turned out he was dyslexic and couldn't read well and so you he was just one of those kids who fell for the crack when Steve McQueen lived in Los Angeles. He got into a lot of trouble and were talking like between the ages of nine and 1314 he got involved in a street gang. He talked about committing some robberies and hubcaps playing pool and pool halls and hustling people for money and there was a circus traveling circus that came to town and he had decided that he was going to join it and even tried boxing for little that he said he got not flat of his death, so when Steve got older. His mother had married a gentleman by the name of how variances in Los Angeles and so how was alcoholics and you he beat Steve.
I don't know how frequently would Steve to talk about that it interviews one time he talked about in getting beat up getting thrown in a closet and then one time getting beat up and threaten being thrown down set of stairs to Steve basically said if you touch me again.
I'm going to kill you and so turns out that his mother Adam declared incorrigible and took them to the boys Republican Chino which was basically reformatory school, and so that's where Steve started getting his act together. Start learning some discipline started understanding the fact that he could have a life of a life is choosing.
If he decided to clean up his act and so they gave him a pretty good education, but that the further she got was in ninth grade.
It wasn't until he decided to join the Marines that he was the quote will become a real man close to join the Marines. In 1947, and he needed the permission of his mother do it because he was 17 and the kind of thing about that was he actually sent a portion of his paycheck to his mother. Even though she wasn't really good to him, but she did, she did sign the paperwork for him and in the beginning it did not make a man but what he found out was when he was Marines he could get away with some of us the shenanigans that he pulled and you been listening to Marshall Terrell tell the story of actor Steve McQueen and what a difficult start to a life you can't get dealt a much worse hand.
McQueen got dealt as a young man of the Marine Corps and reform school for the steps towards at least an attempt to straighten his life. When we come back more of a life story of actor Steve McQueen here on our American stories.
We Habibi are the host about American stories every day on the show were bringing inspiring stories from across this great country. Doors were big cities and small towns that we truly can't do the show without our stories are free to listen to, but they're not free to make if you love what you hear go to L American stories.com click the donate button give a little give a lot go to L American stories.com and give all the material family friendly conversation over half the offense help to make your home phone number is not.com today need life insurance but have diabetes, high blood pressure or unexciting meds. If you're a 50-year-old male even 40 or with type II diabetes. $1 million of life insurance may only cost you about 200 bucks a month for affordable term life insurance called term provider and speak with Big Blue and 800-700-6898 800-700-6898 or visit Big Blue.com. Remember big losers like you. He's on meds to 800 768, 98 technology curriculum connectivity. Students million. I met William in the sixth grade from the beginning he wanted to explore things missing solid actually put a robe I'm I had. I gimme a tablet around now open my eyes and I realize I now my classroom is a place of invasion is shaped.
Learning and we continue with our American stories and the story of actor Steve McQueen. Let's pick up where we last left off with Arthur Marshall Terrell they went AWOL. A couple times that was to be with her girlfriends. There you know in another state.
Part of his passionate was that he had to clean up the whole the ship which was in the naval yard in Washington DC. They had to clean up pipes which was filled with the stresses everything and that ship was for the special estate of any mast on so he prayed that in that was in December 1949 and he was diagnosed with cancer in December 1979 cell is almost exactly 30 years, which is what they say that mesothelioma takes tactically for the other thing that he did that that Asarco told me I was served with the present. He offered to clean the trip. The latrines in the morning and in the Sgt. said no one ever ever offered to clean the latrines.
727 W. McQueen could sleep in extra power in if he you wake up. They would go to sleep inside the bathroom area we have put his coat down and then down sleeper next to our chair which was considered gold Marines itself, but also there was duty as well. But he said those are the kinds of things that McQueen Whipple know he could be conformed fully but you know he conformed enough to where he felt like the Marines I had given him a life of discipline well. States typically was a bit aimless after joining the Marines. He drove a taxi cab and was a mechanic for a company in Washington DC as soon as he got out, because that's where he was discharged was in DC, and then he worked his way up to New York City where he felt quote" where the action was. He was selling encyclopedias door door and he did stuff like he still like us. The shower nozzle and a large department store and bring it back for returning cash that and another buddy of mine told me that that you will walk around the street offering single ladies a tour the city and they would buy him a meal or give It was a real hustler you know he did anything that he could to survive.
This is a really tough days.
That's what they what I call salad days, and then what happened was he was dating a dancer who said you know Steve you really kind of kooky and strange you be perfect for acting and he discovered under the G.I. bill he qualified for for active tracer because if you do that so big shot Justine McQueen started taking their acting lessons at Sanford Meisner's neighborhood Playhouse and Meisner was the perfect acting coach for him because he was soft with people and Steve was very very insecure and so real for him being an actor meant being vulnerable. He truly got into it because he knew that that's where women were once it was discovered he had this great raw talent and was given great positive feedback. He really fed on that. So then that's when he really started trying and then you don't. Once once those skills were honed and interested took took several years for him to perfect the McQueen persona right around the time that he enters the actors studio is when he starts to get you know little mojo with his career. He gets a Broadway play is not very good. It had been a star in a Broadway play was given the courage to ask out his first wife, Neal Adams is a very successful Broadway dancer and they start dating they really hit it off, but his success does not match hers and select like that, Dragon crazy at the time she was making $50,000 a year. He was making 4000 and the fact that his wife was more successful with him given that he was a male chauvinist program crazy, but some of the productions that he was getting just independent films like ADK got a job as a $17 day extra in the movie somebody up there like space-time, Paul Newman. He did a movie of the week of never let a stranger great St. Louis bank robbery and of course the blog which was like to be movie picture of all the movie pictures so the blob was made. I think it started production in August 1957. It was a very, very low grade B-movie about this blob that comes from outer space and starts becoming bigger and swallowing people and at the time it was considered a very high-tech, but that the interesting thing was it was developed by a production company called good news productions, which was a Christian-based film company itself with the blob. They partnered with Jack Harris to make a mainstream movie and to tap into to some of that money to to make more Christian fellows and near the end of filming Russell.who later went on to produce a movie called thief in the night he went on to produce a lot of Christian films thief in the night was spent one.
He said there was a a week of overruns in which the queen would have to know in the debit card or reactive scene and McQueen was basically basically said nothing doing so., sat down and talk to him about his attitude in life, and gave him a Bible because he knew that McQueen after this production was at the Hollywood and he said he announced he was heading out to the wilderness anyone.
Make sure that he gave the Bible and.actually went to Hollywood a couple months later he said he bumped into McLean incentive has to let your Bible Steve a clean first at the Hollywood you know he he made a strike almost right away. And the reason for that was because again Neal had translated her star power from Broadway to Hollywood and said she was starting to really get a lot of attention specifically was following her to the studio as and we want to look for famous books that he gives was that you know I was starting to get elbowed about the makeup people and assistant directors. They were calling Mr. Adams and he said I I came to realize at that moment time either become famous real fast because he did not follow in her footsteps so he was driving her crazy and said she called her manager really offenses and hilly you gotta get him a job. He's driving me absolutely bonkers to the first job that hilly gets nasty. McLean is in a series called track down and somebody on that show saw Steve McLean and said who is that guy. And so they they said yeah just some younger not acting Steve McLean in the civil we want we want him for something else and so that was for a TV series called want a better life and wanted dead or alive. Believe it or not was a big hit.
I debuted in September 1958, and it had the luckily for him, the blob had just previewed just at that time and have finally come out in theaters yet the double whammy of the blob and wanted dead or alive. Same time and you been listening to author Marshall Terrell tell the story of Steve McQueen by way you can learn so much more by going to a local bookstore and buying this book or heck go to Amazon with the usual suspects wherever you get your books, the McQueen the salvation of an American icon by Greg Laurie and Marshall Terrell and Terrell has written so many books about this subject that we chose to interview him and have him tell the story of McQueen, what a story it is imagined that his entire career almost as predicated on egg girl he's dating saying your kooky and strange to be a good actor and of course he took that as a compliment or a call to action and he gave it a shot and he is very lucky. He was in New York City and ended up with the great Sanford Meisner great acting teachers, coaches of all time who did indeed have a gentle touch and of course actors are the most insecure people in the world.
As you can imagine, and having a man like that tutor and mentor and then to end up at the actors studio and some of the great actors of his generation, studying his craft become indeed what he wants. One of the great American actor, Atchison I, the real talent when we come back more of the untold story of Steve McQueen here on our American story.
Read the material family-friendly conversation over half the offense help to make your home phone number is not Ashley.com today need life insurance but have diabetes, high blood pressure or unexciting meds. If you're a 50-year-old male even Porky or with type II diabetes $1 million of life insurance may only cost you about 200 bucks a month for affordable term life insurance called term provider and speak with big fluid 800-700-6898 800-700-6898 or visit Big Blue.com. Remember big losers like you. He's on meds to 800 768, 98 technology curriculum connectivity. Students like million. I met William in the sixth grade from the beginning he wanted to explore things missing solid actually put a robe I'm I had. I gimme a tablet around open my eyes and I realize I now my classroom is a place of invasion than a shape get the first thing and we continue with our American stories in the story of Steve McQueen and my goodness go back and watches movies and there so good and and the range and depth and breath of his talent is remarkably magnificent seven.
The greatest date, which by the way features the greatest car chase in American history.
One of the first great ones to I think is best performance alongside Faye Dunaway Thomas Crown affair a slow cool burning brilliant brilliant movie pallets returned to Marshall Terrell to continue the story of actor Steve McQueen in the summers when he was on hiatus from wanted dead or alive.
Heat a cup with mayonnaise. He did never serve you for John Sturgis. That part was originally written for Sammy Davis Junior, who it said something disparaging about Frank Sinatra on radio and that he was out. Steve McQueen was in St. John Sturgis like very much promise them for his next movie In the role that next that was the magnificent seven, which again was still on hiatus for the following year and he was the star opposite your brother, and of course he costarred with a couple of his friends, Charles Bronson, James Coburn and a few other young upstarts, but we wanted to upset the apple cart and you know he was second billed and that the NJ annual rent was*you know, Steve McQueen emerged as a star because it planned and plotted to upstage your printer whenever he could. Similarly, acting choices, McQueen made to upstage Brenner.
There was a scene where there there talking to each other, and McQueen is walking back and forth and and Brenner because he was little bit smaller and built a little sand pile stand on. So I've McQueen's walking by going past in each scene is kicking away a little bit of sand to the point were real buyers sinking every every time that McQueen kicks sand so that was the kind shenanigans at equal. So from that performance.
A lot of the movers are started, take note of this young guy so a few years later John Sturgis asked starring the great escape that when Steve McQueen turned into a household name and when he read the script.
He said everybody's got a bit. I don't have a bit garter had a turtleneck and James Coburn had his suitcase and Sturgis was same door about Steve. Just like magnificent seven in a proximally camera time as opposed to lines that he take care 70 get over to Germany.
McQueen's attitude really starts to sour and he's not getting the attention that he wants, especially regarding his part so he walked off the set for six weeks and so but McQueen asked for was another writer to come in and start working on his part again from that rewrite they start developing the bed about throwing the ball up against itself in solitary confinement.
The motorcycle chase these other parts that would make that character Steve quaintness turned out it worked perfectly because McQueen was the breakout start and that was the one baby that catapulted him from TV start of the film star. He was the first actual act in that era. So it was the very first at catapulted from television film after the great escape. McQueen becomes even the new big star in Hollywood and he has this attitude of I am going to taste all the goodies that Hollywood has to offer by beautiful home in Brentwood bought a house in Palm Springs had tons of sports cars dated a lot of pretty ladies behind his wife's back.
He hung out on the Sunset strip.
He had a booth at the whiskey a go go because he knew the owner, so again he was going to sample all the all the goodies that Hollywood had offered after the great escape. McQueen made a couple of email like a trio of movies that didn't really go anywhere. So his next big film which started our history that made him the biggest movie star in the 60s and that I needed five back to back hits in Iraq and that was the Cincinnati kid Nevada Smith Sam Pebbles Thomas Crown affair and then it all ends with thoughts which was as big as it in the 60s and made him a cultural icon and superstar so he was no longer just a movie star he was that rarefied air superstars with McQueen now on this big wall policy. Every movie offer came his way.
With the exception of a movie called the Thomas Crown affair and that was because Steve McQueen was always kind of play. These blue-collar types and Thomas Crown was a swap debonair white-collar bank robber and it was originally offered to Sean Connery offered to him right after he made his last James Bond you only live twice and for whatever reasons, Sean Connery decided not to take it they said they talk to rock Hudson. They talked to a few of the people itself.
Neil McLean, his wife was very very good program in terms of his career and picking out movies that she can't benefit him and sell Thomas Crown don't take up that offer yet. It was directed by Norman Julius and the direct playing in the Cincinnati kid. So one day sheets topically and she said you know it's really a darn shame that Norman doesn't want you to sweettalk that she said the Thomas Crown affair is a logic for tissues using some some sort of reverse psychology and she said yeah you know that Dr. Chuck irate rock Hudson everybody in town, but you and so McQueen hip-hop – just and designed a family, Norman and Norm told me not right for Steve. You know you you look down at your feet shuffling issues. Thomas founds the kind of person that will look you in the eye LU ally is are you capable so McQueen told him that basically you know he was ready for the part he was ready to do it and it made sense virtuous and because Steve McQueen was a major major box office star so he wanted to get his movie Greenwood would only make sense to have Steve quaintness start raw so after bullet becomes his major, major Hollywood hit. It was definitely that of the biggest hit of 1968. It was during that period of time where he really started getting into cocaine. He started getting into orgies and allow that downfall had to do with the fact that the Manson family had killed two of his friends Sharon Tate and JC bring Sharon Tate was somebody that Steve McQueen said on his deathbed was a girlfriend and that JC bring who cut his hair was his best friend in Neil McQueen's book. She says the night before the murders stacked at JC bring had to come over to their house and giving Steve a trim asked him if he went down come to the house the next night babe help babysit chair because you can really have a child and her husband, Clancy was out of town so you know she wanted people around just to keep her company itself.
The next night, Neil Steve McQueen was on his motorcycle ready to go over to the house and saw either some young girl hitchhiking or sought Rexall somebody recognize and spent the evening with her and avoided that whole massacre because he was with somebody else and then later on it turned out there was a report in the paper that Susan Atkins had claimed to someone that the Manson's had a deft list of celebrities kill Steve McQueen was one on that list and you been listening to author Marshall Terrell, tell the riveting story of Steve McQueen and how he barely escaped being the Roman Polanski home with the Manson's did their devilish work escape death by a narrow chance when we come back more of the life of Steve McQueen here on our American story is just around the corner and read the material family friendly conversation over half the offense help to make your home phone number is not Ashley.com today need life insurance but have diabetes, high blood pressure or unexciting meds. If you're a 50-year-old male even Porky or with type II diabetes. $1 million of life insurance may only cost you about 200 bucks a month for affordable term life insurance called term provider and speak with big fluid 800-700-6898 800-700-6898 or visit Big Blue.com. Remember big losers like you. He's on meds to 800 768, 98 technology curriculum and connectivity. Like many new ways when the first students in the grant and learning technology totally changed to 30 around leaders. Learning.com and we continue with our American stories and with author Marshall Terrell, let's continue with the story of actor Steve McQueen Pierce Marshall saw the end of the 1960s Steve McQueen's life is really becoming a mass he gets a divorce from his wife is company goes bankrupt and he also severs his relationship with his longtime agent to help them become very successful despite the fact that you know he carried on in this affairs.
He was actually believe or not a family man. He cared very deeply. He loved his wife and he loved his two children Chad and Terry and he he came from a broken home, and it horrified him that these two children were now quotable quote come from a broken home that that's makes him so interesting and complex because you know heat. On the one hand, he couldn't help himself with women but on the other hand, he was a family man and so that that family was now broken up because of him.
By 1972, Steve McQueen's career is on the upswing again and he had the 1-2-3 punch of the getaway Papillion was extremely successful in the towering Inferno was the most successful film of all time with the box office grosses were three dollars in 19 $75 up to John's which eclipsed it six months later he found love again and am a young model by the name of Barbara Minty so she created that you spark in him so he decided that he was going to move to Santa Paula California which is about 60 miles north of Los Angeles. One of the reasons why he did last because when to fly antique airplanes and at time that was the antique airplane capital world and he bought a ranch and he was living in a town that really reminded him of the home that he grew up in as a kid, Slater, Missouri and he was happy again in one of the most interesting things that happened in Santa Paula was the gentleman that taught him out of fly's name was Sammy Mason was a former World War II pilot and after a couple of lessons. Steve picked up on his spirit or is by whatever you are going to call it and he said Sammy there's something different about you can't quite put my finger on it and Sammy civil Steve, I'm a born again Christian. And so rather than that turning off Steve. Steve was intrigued. And here's Pastor Leonard Whetten talking about his relationship with Steve McQueen. Sam wasn't the preacher type.
He was rocksolid in his faith, and he lived the life he saw in Sam, someone that that he could trust someone who genuinely cared about both families just embraced it and so he saw in them a quality of life.
You know they they prayed over their meals. They were respectful they were support if they were encouraging they they were just rocksolid. He realizes there's something a whole lot better than I've ever experienced.
So when they were then invited to church. No big deal. He was ready. I don't what he thought he was going to experience but he trusted them and when he started coming he just felt at home. The people didn't bother him. They were asking for autographs or anything.
The mission family always set up in the balcony has six children and he just sat with the whole family. He, I think he'd been coming about three or four months, but one Sunday I was out in the foyer greeting the people that I felt someone tapped me on the shoulder and I turned around and he said the pastor. I mostly McQueen and I so high-speed I heard that you were worshiping with us and he said, done, water could have some time one of these days were we can get together and talk and we bet at the old Mill Santa Paula Airport restaurant. We met will probably about 2 o'clock in the afternoon so that would be anybody there a lot of questions, but right but he also wanted to know can you trust the Bible is accurate is reliable and all is a going to make me a Coke.
He wanted to know what difference would Christ make in a person's life is incredibly more of what I'm used to, or is Christ really going to bring about a change that I will be happy with. So those are the kind of questions not only about Christ personally, but the Bible says that if anyone is in Christ is a new creation.
All things pass away and all things become due until Steve really wanted to know what is this real, so during that two hours at the airport when he's firing one question after another.
Finally he just sat back and is as well. That's all my questions and I just started smiling several Steve, I have just one and he grinned he says you want to know if I'm a born again Christian, don't you I said well that's really what's important to me so he said you remember the Sunday and it was probably maybe three or four weeks before. Anyway, he said on that particular Sunday at the end of the service you give an opportunity for for us to receive Christ and he said that's when I invited Christ into my life I was born again. He told me at that point I missed this letter.
I don't know hardly any about the Bible so I better be coming upon you is this, could we meet on a regular basis, and if so, we set up a program where we met once a week and spend a full hour Bible study and prayer, and we would do it out of his is a creature's ranch after he told me about the about the children about the cancer we just sat there for just a few minutes and finally I I just said Steve, how do you feel about this was with me or my know and he says well now that I'm a Christian. I really do want to live because that I'd like to share what I have found with others, but if I don't make it. I know where I'm going.
I would say in his conversion that Steve discovered that being a Christian is far more than religious is a relationship that he he loved that relationship and he was growing was growing in that relationship.
That meant, is it That became his life and here Steve McQueen in a private audiotape about two weeks before his death talking about his personal faith mentioned earlier about occurred in my life but I currently find the light in my life. I like to think that I'm of the Griffin and kind of a fatty chain can be the line and out of the line that I have not pilot FNMA. I know now I've changed a lot a city and are not, and now is not body granite mountains that I spared it in passing.
People always ask me did Steve McQueen really become a Christian, or did he do it to save himself, while other people say, well, Steve, was that religious and I was just point them to Steve McQueen's own words, he made this tape while he was in Plaza Santa Maria in Mexico about two weeks before his death and all I say to them. This which is go to the tape had a great job on the production by Greg Hagler and a special thanks to Marshall Terrell for sharing the story of Steve McQueen to pick up this book, Steve McQueen, the salvation of an American icon, and it's by Greg Laurie and Marshall Terrell go to your local bookstore or go to Amazon are the usual suspects wherever you get books and also special thanks to Pastor Leonard DeWitt for sharing the story of Steve McQueen's conversion. By the way he converted to Christianity before the diagnosis of cancer.
He met this pilot instructor and he said this is how to live a life and he wanted to know more and he got curious that curiosity led to his conversion. The other remarkable part of this story is McQueen walking out on the set of the great escape for six weeks is gotten a reputation for being difficult shortly but that was soon to be not true because what happened in the end as he fought for better version of the role he was about to play in, a writer who made it happen in the end it made the film and made his career to and what's most interesting about McQueen story is that he did love his family and he did love his wife but he was a broken man and all he knew was what he knew and that was what he learned from his father and his mother's father was never there. His mother was an alcoholic and that's why we love doing these stories. We don't deify these people and we do talk about stars we cover their life stories, the good the bad and the ugly Steve McQueen story here on our American story material family friendly conversation over half the offense help to make your home phone number is not Ashley.com attention.
Medicare beneficiaries are you getting all the benefits you need.
If you have Medicare you may now be able to get new benefits. Benefits may include eyeglasses, wellness visits, gym membership, meal delivery and hearing aids with low co-pay. You may even find plans with zero monthly plan premiums zero co-pays on many services and zero deductible. Call 800-832-7597. That's 800-832-7597 800-832-7597 when the first students in the grant program technology internally to serve 30 around learning.com