In one of the most memorable exploits the Napoleon Solo “Robert Vaughn” feared he would be killed after smoking marijuana in a Mexican house of ill repute with his close friend, McQueen. The movie legends, who were filming hit western “The Magnificent Seven” at the time, were set upon by the brothel’s heavies when they couldn’t pay for the girls - and hedonist “McQueen” had racked up quite a bill.
After “Charles Manson” incited the murder of five people, including McQueen’s friends in 1969, it was rumored that he was another potential target of the killers. McQueen began carrying a handgun at all times in public, even at Sebring’s funeral. McQueen was “The King Of Cool”, the rockstar on the screen and the bonafide bad boy from the streets. Basically, was the man who adored #Marijuana, he was a big weed smoker.
Exercised two-hour, involving weightlifting and at one point running five miles, seven days a week, he learned the martial art “Tang Soo Do” from ninth degree black belt “Pat E. Johnson”. Discharged from the Marines at the age of 20, after he did three years, he discovered that he loved acting.
Joined the “Actors Studio”, which schooled such luminaries as Marlon Brando, Marilyn Monroe, and James Dean, he met Paul Newman there, which began an intense lifelong rivalry. Began as a stage actor and worked on Broadway and off-Broadway, he met the woman who became his first wife, “Neile Adams” and they got married.
Married three times, he cheated casually and compulsively, telling his long-suffering first wife, Neile, that “You can only say NO so many times”. Conservative in his political views, he did campaign for “Democrat Lyndon Johnson” in 1964, he supported the “Vietnam War”.
Discovering a mutual interest in racing, McQueen and his Great Escape co-star “James Garner” became good friends. McQueen Became friends also with “William Claxton” before he shot the sickest car chase ever through the streets of San Francisco. Later in life, Claxton said “The King of Cool” smoked weed almost every day.
Having a lot of habits, that’s putting it mildly, he smoked cigarettes, cigars, and pipes, he try to quit smoking late in his life, he did but only with partial success. Cutting out cigarettes, but never quit smoking cigars, even when he was dying of lung cancer, he chewed tobacco and used snuff, he was a daily #Weed smoker.
Developed a serious cocaine habit, he made several movies with Sam Peckinpah who was a major, super-addicted cokehead, and they did coke together. Using LSD mainly as a sexual enhancer, he went through a phase where he was spending his nights on the Sunset Strip at the Whiskey A Go-Go. It was like he was a fixture at the place, it was good for business, he was involved a lot of sex and a lot of #Acid.
His friends “Blamed The Asbestos” face masks and protective clothing he often wore while engaging in his favorite sports, motorcycle and sports-car racing. On November 7, 1980, McQueen died of heart failure, 12 hours after surgery to remove numerous metastatic tumors in his neck and abdomen. He was 50 years old. McQueen died in his sleep.
He made 27 films altogether, starting with a bit part in “Somebody up There Likes Me” (1956) and including an inauspicious debut in a leading role in “The Blob” (1958), battling a slimy invader from space. He first became a star on television, with the 1958-61 CBS series “Wanted Dead or Alive”.