ON THIS DAY: Movie world mourns King of Cool

King of Cool: Late great Steve McQueen
King of Cool: Late great Steve McQueen
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36 years ago today the world lost the leading man widely acknowledged as silver screen's King of Cool.

Terence Steven McQueen, born in Beech Grove, Indiana, died in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico, on November 7 1980 at the lamentably early age of 50. Malignant mesothelioma dimmed the light that burned so brightly in cinema classics aplenty, exemplified by art imitating life in the fast lane Bullitt, whose iconic car chase is reprised here.

Other celluloid successes ranged from The Cincinnati Kid to The Getaway, The Magnificent Seven to The Great Escape, The Towering Inferno to The Thomas Crown Affair, here polled as we ask if you prefer his '68 original http://amzn.to/1PEQqN5& or http://amzn.to/1kQZLpA Pierce Brosnan's '99 remake.

The American "anti-hero" actor was a walking, talking icon whose glowering good looks made him poster boy for 1960s counter-culture. Academy Award nomination for his role in The Sand Pebbles, he is also well remembered - and loved - for stand-out Papillon performance.

No bigger box office draw of the era, 1974 saw him become the world's highest-paid movie star. Today, over 40 years on, he remains among Hollywood greats.

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Affair of the heart: Steve McQueen sizzled on screen with Faye Dunaway in original The Thomas Crown Affair

Affair of the heart: Steve McQueen sizzled on screen with Faye Dunaway in original The Thomas Crown Affair

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Rebel without a pause: Steve McQueen mug shots

Rebel without a pause: Steve McQueen mug shots