Hollywood’s Hard Man

Hollywood’s Hard Man

 

 

He may have been a legend of the big screen, but Steve McQueen earnt it all the hard way…

 

 

Feature by Boris

 

 

Long before he caused the dropping of damp girl-panties all over the world by jumping the German Triumph over the Nazi’s barbed-wire fence while escaping into Switzerland, Steve McQueen was a troubled youth.
He never knew his father, who left his mother shortly after Steve’s birth.
Then his mother left him. An uncle looked after him until he was 12, and then he was re-united with his mother, who moved with him from Indiana to California.
The mother-and-child reunion did not work out.
Two years later she sent him to Boys Republic, a home for uncontrollable children in Los Angeles. His time there was probably not all bad, because he donated generously to the home later in his life.
He stayed there for three years and left at 17 to join the United States Marine Corps. Marine discipline must have grated on Steve. He spent a fair bit of time in the brig for being AWOL but redeemed himself somewhat by helping to rescue five drowning seamen. He was subsequently transferred to the President’s Honor Guard and honourably discharged in 1950.
He drifted around the country doing menial jobs for a couple of years. It was during this time he bought himself a 1946 Indian Chief, and caught the motorcycling bug.

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