He played the "Cooler King" who raced away from Nazis on a motorcycle in "The Great Escape."
Tommy Lee Jones
Steve McQueen raced automobiles in his spare time and did most of his own motorcycle riding for the memorable chase in "The Great Escape." Bud did you know that he didn't do the most memorable stunt? Stuntman Bud Ekins pulled off the famous motorcycle fence jump.
Who played Lt. Fletcher Christian in the 1962 remake of "Mutiny on the Bounty"?
Marlon Brando has been widely regarded as one of the greatest actors in film history. His ego was almost as famous. He was a definitive bad boy on the "Mutiny" set. He single-handedly drove up production costs by showing up late to set, constantly demanding rewrites and even demanding new directors!
Who searched for answers as the haggard Major Bennett Marco in 1962's "The Manchurian Candidate"?
Sammy Davis Jr.
Frank Sinatra may have played a man pursued by shady authorities in "The Manchurian Candidate," but did you know he was also investigated by the FBI? Justice officials thought he might have illegal connections to the Italian mob!
He played Max Cady, the psychotic who pursued his former lawyer in 1962's "Cape Fear."
Robert Mitchum had a history of playing bad guys very well in film. Besides his terrifying role in "Cape Fear" (to be remade in 1991 by Martin Scorsese starring Robert De Niro, with Mitchum in a cameo role) Mitchum was famous for playing a psychotic preacher in "The Night of the Hunter."
Who played the fast-talking Butch Cassidy in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"?
Paul Newman was arrested and kicked off the football team in college, then decided to study theater so he wouldn't have so study so much. The actor went on to star as many anti-heroes and wise guys, and was nominated for numerous Academy Awards for his performances.
Who played the fast-shooting Sundance Kid in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"?
Robert De Niro
Robert Redford wore the fasted gun and finest mustache in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid." Redford went on to star in many films, including "The Sting" beside Paul Newman. He established the Sundance Film Festival--aptly named--for the discovery and promotion of independent film.
Who played the sardonic second member of "The Magnificent Seven," Vin?
Steve McQueen and Yul Brynner, who was slated as the star of the film, often butted heads. Brynner thought McQueen was always trying to upstage him with little, attention-grabbing actions onscreen like fiddling with his cowboy hat.
Who played Billy, the free-spirited motorcycle man of "Easy Rider"?
Dennis Hopper directed the break-out hit "Easy Rider." He became known as a wild-card, insane performer in the 1970s--he was once called "the patron saint of the deranged!" He later tried to kick the crazy image he'd cultivated.
Who played the titular antagonist to Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne in "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance"?
Lee Marvin was a rebel from a young age. Did you know he was expelled from a boarding school for throwing a roommate out of a second-story window? He said that after a "sheltered childhood" he wanted to prove how tough he was!
Who played the spy who confronts a gold-obsessed supervillain and his hitman with a hat, Oddjob in "Goldfinger"?
Sean Connery took the helm of the 007 franchise for the third time in arguably the most loved Bond film, "Goldfinger." The film was the first for Bond to utter the iconic line, "A martini. Shaken not stirred."
Who played the nameless harmonica player and gunman in "Once Upon a Time in the West"?
"Once Upon a Time in the West" was spaghetti-Western director Sergio Leone's masterpiece, and it featured Charles Bronson in the lead role. Leone pursued Clint Eastwood for the role, but Bronson ultimately was the one playing the harmonica.
Who played the young poker stud who challenges New Orleans' poker king in "The Cincinnati Kid"?
"The Cincinnati Kid" was another success for McQueen in a string of successes, starting with "The Magnificent Seven." McQueen apparently insisted on the addition of a fight scene into the film to showcase his action prowess.
Who played the man with no name who played both sides of a frontier town in "A Fistful of Dollars"?
Clint Eastwood had gained fame in the television Western show "Rawhide," but his partnership with Italian director Sergio Leone would make him a Western icon. His character never gives his name in the film, adding to the mystique Eastwood brought to the squinting gunslinger in a green poncho.
Who played the millionaire art thief in "The Thomas Crown Affair"?
"The Thomas Crown Affair" featured a sizzling cat-and-mouse game between McQueen as Thomas Crown and Faye Dunaway as a seductive detective on his tail. The film was remade in 1999 with Pierce Brosnan in McQueen's old role.
Who played "The Dirty Dozen" trainer and commander, Major Reisman?
Lee Marvin may have played the World War II commander of a motley crew, but Marvin himself actually served in the Marine Corps during World War II! Marvin no doubt used his combat experience to build his character.
Who played the bad gunman in a black hat, Angel Eyes, in "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"?
Lee Van Cleef
Lee Van Cleef played "The Bad" in "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly." Van Cleef often played villains in Westerns, getting his start with small roles in classics like "High Noon" and "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance."
Who played Joseph Wladislaw, the murderer who turned into a World War II hero in "The Dirty Dozen"?
Lee Van Cleef
"Killing generals could get to be a habit with me," Charles Bronson growls in this film, featuring the first suicide squad. Bronson himself, though he claimed to have had many altercations with the law, did not have a criminal record!