American film star Steve McQueen Called “The King of Cool,” his “anti-hero” persona developed at the height of the counterculture of the 1960s and made him a top box-office draw of the 1960s and 1970s. He starred in such films as The Great Escape, Bullit and The Getaway. Seeking alternative therapies for his cancer, he died on November 7, 1980, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, after undergoing surgery to remove several tumors.
The highest paid actor in his time, Steve McQueen already had amassed a fortune by the time of his death. Notoriously difficult with directors and producers, his popularity made up for it. To this day, licensing deals to use his image brings in millions. Clothing and watch brands create collections in tribute to him. His family, though, limits the use of his image, as to not cheapen it. Memorabilia, such as motorcycles and a Rolex watch, have been sold throughout the years, bringing in huge profits.
McQueen made headlines posthumously in 2013, when his 1952 Chevy pickup truck—the last vehicle he ever drove—was scheduled to be auctioned off on July 26 by Mecum Auctions. At the time of his death, the actor, a longtime car and motorcycle enthusiast, reportedly owned more than 60 classic/rare vehicles.